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Guys, who is fired up to do some podcasting? What energy do you feel when you're going to just podcast a shit out of something?


I'm going to do it. I raced downstairs. I didn't even take a shower. I put my headphones on. I saw you guys. I got really excited. We're going to chat today, and then I'm going to take a shower.


You don't have anything prepared for this cold open?


You didn't eat anything?


No. I usually have hot coffee.


What are you holding in your hand?


That's for his little wrist when he's typing. Do you do that much typing where you need a little pad for your wrist?


I had carpal tunnel in my hand.


And then what happened? You decided to use the other hand. All right, good for you. Welcome to Smartlist. Smart.


Smart. Smart.




We already know that our mystery guest is a female, and she's no stranger to a giggle. She keeps it light.


She likes to giggle.


Yeah. That's what we know so far.


Are you Is it an early guessing game?


Yeah. Let's start. You know what? Give me the first letter of the first name.




Okay, first letter of the last name.






Not yet.


All right.


I just decided. I was like, You know what?


You know what? No.


I should go, Yes, and. I should play that.


No. All right, well, then let's get into our opening powder. Or some pattern. Sean, do you have anything prepared?


Here we go. I didn't access the file. When I'm drinking tea, I was going to ask you, do you leave your tea bags in or do you take them out? Today, mine are in.


That's something sexual about that. I know.


There is something.


Was it the last time you were tea bagged in or out?


Was it a tea bag in? Now, Sean, are you a little bit under the web?


He is. I was just telling Jason, I hope I didn't get you guys sick on Tuesday.I don't think I did.I.


Reminded him that it was no open mouth kissing at all.


It was all closed.


I kept asking you actually to stop kissing and don't look at me.


Because you usually say, Eyes on me, open eyes, eyes on me.


Eyes, please.


Eyes, please. Hey, that's a good question. When you guys kiss your significant other, do you keep your eyes open or do you close them? Whole time. The whole time open? The whole time open.


Wide open. Looking at.


React. You know what I like to do? I like to stare right into the makeup artist's eyes when they're powdering me. It really freaks them out. No blinking, just hard eye contact when they're powdering me. Tracy, getting powdered is something that's common and not freaky for people in front of the camera.


But Jason, you famously don't wear a lot of makeup when you do your gigs.


Well, the stuff I've been doing lately, you're not meant to look healthy or happy. You got that covered.


And that role you've been playing for 20 years.


Yeah, I'm going into a new thing where I just don't think I'm going to be much in the makeup trailer at all.


Yeah. You got a real look going these days.


I know, right? This stupid hair. I think I do need to get it thinned out.


No, no, no. What a bummer. Hair is too thick.


It's too thick.


I mean... By the way, Shani, I noticed you were sneezzing.


No, no, I cough. That was a cough.


Oh, there was a cough.


Yeah, but I'm saying if you guys don't feel anything by Saturday or Sunday, you're in the clear.




I got to wait. There's a five-day incubation period in your virus? Yeah. Great. I think we're fine. I think we're all right. What about Scotty? Does he have it?


He had it before, but I didn't get sick from him.


Well, we know why. Listener, Sean's really on the skids with Scotty. There's a countdown for the-No.




That's the available any You guys are about the best couple I've ever met.


I know.


We all have great partners.


We do. I was describing Scotty the other day to somebody who's asking me, and I said, he's just the nicest, sweetest dude. He's so considerate.


He is, and he looks like a box. He's in the shape of a box.


Okay, well, I didn't get into that.


A boxy bear.


But he is such a sweet, legitimately considerate person.


Yeah, he's the nicest person I've ever known.


And not from Canada.


I know.


You'd think he would be. Shockingly, I know.


Because all those Canadians are super nice.


Will introduced Sean and I to a couple of Canadians the other day who were just right out of the middle of the page for like, well, people tell you Canadians are friendly, but I don't know. Well, then you meet them. It's like, yeah.


They're all the nicest people in the world.


It's not learned, it's not contrived. It's just so genuine.


Well, Paul is Canadian, but Jenny is American, but has lived in Canada.


I wasn't getting as nice a vibe off of her. Yeah, that's interesting.


That's a good point. You're getting a selfish self-absorbed.


Something domestic, yeah.


I tell you he's got a pretty good vibe.


Oh, nice segue.


This is a segue. Here comes Giggles.


Tell you who's got a pretty good vibe is our guest today. Do you like people who can do different things?


She is a juggler from Northern That's what you want. They can go on to Broadway.


Sean, you like Broadway? Yeah. They can go on to Broadway. They can sing songs. They can sell records. They can sell 25 million albums worldwide, 40 million singles, have a multi The Emmy Award-winning Daytime Talk Show can be really plugged into the heart of America because this person was found and discovered in the heart of America. She's one of the most successful-I know, exactly. Kelly Clarks of all time. Yes, guys. It's Kelly Clarkson.


Yeah, I got it. Hi, Kelly. I was like, hello. Willy guessed my guess the other day. Now, I got you back.


I know you did. You did. Hi, Kelly Clarks. Hi, Kelly.


Kelly Ellie, I haven't seen you since Saturday Night Live, maybe?


Oh, my gosh. Okay, so I was going to bring it up. I don't even know if you remember that I was on there with you, but- Of course. I was terrified of you.


Oh, I No, you were nice. I was terrified of you.


No, you were so nice. What about the whole experience? I remember telling my band, I was like... I had a whole prep talk. I was like, Don't fucking talk. You're going to say something stupid. I was like, Just smile and just stand there. I was very nervous.


That whole week, I was petrified.


Was that your first?


Oh, you did amazing. You were so nice. I just think when you are a fan of someone so much so and you love their personality, and you're very charismatic, you're funny and quick. I was like, just don't say something stupid.


I don't think I even spoke much. You might want to withhold on the personality part. You know what I mean? Just give it a minute.


I'm like a dry wit asshole.


So he's right down there. You're going to love him. You're going to love him. You're going to love him. Welcome to smart looms. Sorry, you're going to love him.


You're going to love him. You're going to love him.


Now, I have a question about, I remember, I'm so sorry you get these questions all the time. That's okay. Go ahead. 1999 or 2000 when American Idol first started. Then I remember Megan Mulally, who I did Will & Grace with. She's like, You got to come watch. I didn't watch the show until the last-Remind Tracy what Will & Grace is.


I love...


No, I'm telling you, I love her and nick. I'm obsessed with them.


They're great. I love them, too. Megan called me in her dressing room. She's like, You got to watch this show. I'm like, What is it? It's American Idol. Of course, everybody knows the story. You know, little town girl makes it big on the show and then becomes this big pop star, blah, blah. But But there's a sense that I've always felt around you that America is like your ours. Do you constantly get bombarded by people who feel like they had a hand in your success?


Absolutely. But that's a very true statement.


For all of us, really.


Yeah, I mean, I think it's true for- Where would we be without the American audience? But I mean, that show is so massive, and you were the first one. You're easy to root for because everybody loves you and you're so likable, and I love you.


Debatable, but yes.


But to see you go from the little town girl that nobody knew to every single thing that you conquered over the years, I imagine people come up to you on the street and just be like, have a sense of ownership almost in a different way.


Yeah. I think it works for me because like I said, I'm from a very small town. I'm used to that. Even doing talent shows as a kid or even doing music musicals. I'm used to everyone knowing your name. It's like, Cheers. I'm used to that vibe. I think that's why people are always like, Oh, you're so open with any human. I'm like, Yeah, I really all the same.


On your talk show, you're It's just you're very open. You talk about everything.


Yeah, I do. I love that, Kelly. You're just like, Well, it's not really that much of an effort to not be an asshole. What are you saying?


Well, it depends on the person, Jason. Sometimes there's a lot of effort. But no, it's like, I think because I have that small town mentality, it's always been very easy for me. I don't mind. I always say, I still at 41, we'll be at Walmart in Butte, Montana, and go, Thank you, because they're like, Oh, I voted for you. I'm like, Thank you. That changed my life. I was a pretty great solid waitress, but I really like what I'm doing now.


You're like, Thank you, but now you're blocking my Range Rover. Okay. Wait, Kelly, you're so Speaking of that, now we're on that the American idol thing. I watch you, too, like everybody, especially that first season. You were undoubtedly, I would say, and I might get some pushback, I think you're the greatest American idol that there ever was. You were the first and you were the best by far.


I would not argue.


I'm just kidding. I know you wouldn't.


I'm just kidding.


No, but you legitimately have a great voice.


Without such a discovery, would that show have really carried on to the heights that it was? Like, look what they can find.


Yeah, who? I mean, believe me, it's taking everything I got right now, the entire time, I just want to go, Since you've been gone. Anyway, and I love, but what was that process for you? How did that come about, American Idol? You saw an ad in a paper. It was on Craigslist? No. How did that go down?


Oh, my God. Craigslist was not around.


Was it not? Yeah. Was it? Was it? 2001?


2002? Wait, let me see. Can I see if I can get this right?


Yes. I'd rather have her answer it, but okay. No, but wait.


I I'm curious to know if you know it.


A friend challenged you to go on, and if you went on and got on or one or something, you'd get her a car or something like that?


Something like that, yes. Well, I literally… My place had burned down. The Croft Apartments off of Melrose. It literally… The day we moved in, we had moved from this other place, and the day we moved in, it burned down. I ended up having to sleep in my car for three days, and I was like, Okay, I can't sustain this. My plan was to go back home to Texas, make some more money, come out, because I don't know if you all know, but it's expensive to live in Los Angeles, especially when broke with three jobs. Anyway, on my way home, one of my friends My friend, Jebby, Jessica, told me about this audition.


On your way home from one of your jobs? Is that what it was?


No, on my way home from California to Texas. Okay, sorry. Sorry to interrupt. Yeah, it was right after I... Yeah. I I got home and I didn't know what it was. I didn't even know it was a TV show until the third audition. Because they had us go in these just random rooms in front of producers, and you don't know anybody. You don't know what they're doing. Nobody had heard of pop idol, which there had been one season of pop idol in the UK. Nobody knew that. I didn't know what it was. Anyway, after I made it through the first rounds or whatever, I told Jebby, I was like, I'll buy. Because honestly, I didn't think I'd win. But I was like, Yeah, I'll totally buy you a car if I win. I won. So I bought her the car.


That's amazing.


Where'd you get her?


Was it a new car? It was her dream car. I think it was a Firebird or something. It was over 20 years ago, but I believe it was a Firebird.




Yeah, it was something Eric... Or not a Firebird. No.


It was like a Mustang.


A Mustang. I don't remember what it was. It was a sports car, but it was like, badass. But But I'm not into sports cars.


Were you surprised that you won or had you already experienced a pretty good level of success locally?


No, I was surprised. I'd won the Burleson talent show. Yeah, right. Wow. Exactly. Prestigious. But when you're a kid, you do those things. I'd had some success in the sense of following through on some dreams that I had locally, but when I was a kid. But no, I mean, I'd never won anything of real importance or done anything. I am like a wallflower, generally. Nobody even knows I'm in the room, generally. I did not think I was going to win that.


What was the process? From the first audition, so you heard about this audition where they were going to have, you didn't know it was a show. It was just they were looking for singers is what you heard. Is that right? Yeah. You audition in Texas, and you go to the first audition. From the first audition to winning, how long was that process?


Within a year. It was months because it was the first season and they were still putting it all together. It was an English based company, so people were coming in and out.


Are you singing the same song in every stage, every audition?


They did. They asked us to. I was about to sing. I said yes to singing at someone's wedding, and I was singing at last. They wanted me to sing at last. I think I sang at last for the first three. Then they showed this on YouTube, I think, or released it sometime. But then they asked me to sing something faster, and I was like, sing anything but the Moulin Rouge song because everyone was singing Itchie Itchie, Yaya, Donna. I was like, I literally in that moment was like, Anything will do but that song because everyone was singing it. I went into some Madonna song, which was random because normally I don't generally sing Being Madonna.


Within a year, you go from driving home so you can make more money so you don't have to live in your car to being an international superstar. That whiplash on your life, forget professionally, the whiplash on you, on you, spiritually, emotionally, all that stuff.


The weight of it.


The weight of it. Some people might say, Oh, poor Kelly Clarks, and you became rich and famous in a year.


I'm one of those people, too, by the way. Of course.


Was that Jane Buffet that you were just quoting?


That was Jane Buffet. That was my good friend, Jane Buffet. No, she never said that.


No, but that's just a great Jane accent.


I know. She's the best. What was that like, Kelly, for you? Not the day after you win, but in the time after as your life just has a dramatic shift. What was that like for you as a person, as a human being walking this planet?


Really cool moments and then a lot of not great ones. I think I'm a very trusting person. Well, I think the scary part comes when it's more the human factor. It's not the working. I've always had three or four jobs at a time. I've always enjoyed being busy. I like being productive. It wasn't so much the scheduling was intense, but it wasn't too much. It's the human factor. It's the lying, and it's the people It's like, What are we doing here? It's the lying. It's the lying. Like, literally, that really got me down. The human factor got me down. Yeah.


There's an article written in this old paper in LA. I don't even think they print it anymore, called the LA Weekly. This I was like, I don't know, 30 years ago, that's like a cover story called The Fine Art of Lying. And talking about the relevance and the necessity of it, specifically in the entertainment industry. I'm sure it's pervasive in other industries as well, but specifically that they cited all these examples. And it's really true. I have become immune or numb to it. But if you really think about it, if you think about your conversations with your team, with the other people that you work with, there is a level of lying that I myself do as well that you have to do just How do you protect the people's feelings that you love in this business because there's so much rejection. There's so much, yeah, it's not a fit, blah, blah, blah, that you have to, if you're empathetic at all, reshape and tell what I I like to think, are white lies.


But you do have to get used to it. I don't know. You do get used to it, but I don't think that you are numb to it. I know, we're talking about a lot of times.


What do you mean lies about what?


Well, lies about your Hey, I saw your movie the other day. Oh, yeah, what'd you think? Now, if you didn't like it, but you're friends with that person. Now, obviously, this is not some big thing that I'm revealing, but there is a... I find that there is a lot of it that you need to do in this town if you care about the people that you're talking to because there's so much rejection. Everybody works hard. And difference of opinion.


By the way, for what it's worth, I loved Goodnight, Oscar.


Oh, yes. And me. I just want to say that. I think I liked it more than well.


I loved it a lot. Sean, I thought you were so good in it.


Sean, so gifted.


I loved it. Good night, Oscar. What a tribute.


We will be right back.


This show is sponsored by Better Help. If I had an extra hour in my day, I'd probably either take a nap or go for a walk. Why those two things? Because they clear my head, they make me feel better, I can think easier, I can connect with people easier and I'm in a better mood. For you guys, I would ask, the question is, time for what? If time was unlimited, how would you use it? How would you decide what's important enough to make time for? Therapy can help you find what matters to you so you can do more I love it. I benefit from therapy for a long time now. I can't express to you guys enough how much greatness I get from it, how much better I feel, how much better other people see that I feel. It's good all the way around. If you're thinking of starting therapy, give Betterhelp a try. It's entirely online, designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist and switch therapists anytime for no additional charge. Learn to make time for what makes you happy with Betterhelp.


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All right, back to the show.


But Kelly, I was going to say, you touched on something which is... And actually going on what Sean said, which is that there is that feeling of like you... I think a lot of Americans identified with you because you were the first person who was plumped out of a blip and became a superstar. I guess that's what I'm wondering about is after that, you are because people felt a certain sense of ownership of you. And a proxy for the American dream. Yeah. How hard is that?


That's not hard. I get that. I don't know how, but I can still be objective and go, Man, that's incredible that someone made it in that sense. You know what I'm saying? I think what it did, just for speaking to people and meet and greets and whatnot for years and years, is it really gave people like a... I don't know. It gave people that thing of like, No, really, you can't accomplish anything. Like your dreams, whatever it is, you could actually make this happen. This person was from nowhere, like a cocktail waitress, nowhere near making it.


They actually film that stuff. They deliver your story to... Much like they do in the Olympics, they deliver your story to it, and then boom, they go live. Here's her singing on stage.


I think people relate to that. I think people think Maybe I can still do that, or maybe that could be me. I think that it has this sense of hope with it. Aspirational.




Yeah. Like, vicarious.


Yeah. Well, Sean used to do a lot of meet and beats, right?


Yeah, I used to- No, sorry. She said meet and greet, Will.


Okay, sorry. Sorry.


Well, every morning. Well done. Good for you, Sean.


Thank you, Kelly.


Listen, do you remember when you first started immersing yourself into the world of Hollywood and Los Angeles and all that? Do you remember what was foreign to you that you were like, Oh, I didn't know you needed makeup every single time. Oh, I didn't know if the camera worked like that.


I got in trouble on American Idol. They were like, So we're about to be on camera. I was like, I know. They were like, But you're going to be on camera. I was like, I know. It was like, Okay, well, do you want any makeup or hair done? I was like, No, I'm in a house right now. You're doing behind the scenes. I was like, I'm not on stage. I was like, I'll do it for stage. I was like, But why are we doing this now? One producer in particular, very high up, was not a fan of me just because I didn't play that game. It wasn't even playing the game. The other four girls that season were They were very into that stuff.


They were very into it. The glam of it, yeah.


Yeah, I was the most amazing person to tour with for those girls because I was never in the makeup and hair chair. They would have to force me to sit there because I'm highly allergic Anything that gets near my eyes, vegan, whoever's brand that says whatever, it still sucks for my eyes. Anyway, so I don't like wearing it. I don't enjoy wearing it. That was a big thing.


You can't pride me out of the chair.


I need it.


I do need it. That's the thing. I adore the people I work with. Even my makeup artist, I love her so much. I was laughing at Jason saying you often stare directly in their eyes to make it… We have so many inside… It's such an intimate setting. We're such close friends just because of that. I love the art of it. I love how creative people can be. It's just not my thing.


Right. Then you don't do it or you're resistant to it for all the reasons you just outlined. Then you win American Idol. Now you're a pop star, and now you've got to release record after record, which you do incredibly successfully. Just talk to us a little bit about that. And singing in front of thousands of people. Exactly. I'm fascinated by all of a sudden, now you're a mega star, overnight. Not really. Now, of course, people don't realize that you've been working for years trying to do what you wanted to be said.


Yeah, but it was overnight. I'm okay with that.


Okay. Thank you for letting me off the hook. But then all of a sudden, it's like, okay, so you win. That's huge. Now you got to record a record, right? You go right into making a record. Is that how it went?


Yeah. It was bumpy from the beginning. Yeah, just because nobody knew what to do with me because I liked a lot of different genres of music. And everybody had a different plan. Nobody knew that it would be successful in their defense. They were like, Yeah, this kid from this show. I understand that. And understood it then as well, by the way. But it was a little bumpy. Then people don't know this, but it wasn't Clive right off the bat. There was another person running the label. Clive Davis. Yeah, it wasn't him running the label. I didn't make my first record with him. Anyway, it was just rocky from the beginning. There was a changing of hands, like a baton passing with the label. There's a lot going on. Nobody knew what to do. It was a crazy... I think people thought, Oh, right off the bat, she had all this money. No, everybody was plugging in our own gear at state fairs and Cal Shit and doing State Fares. It wasn't right off the bat.


Who was producing the record for you then? At that point, what was that process?


I can't remember. I think it was Peterson. I can't remember his name. It was a long time ago. But he was right in the beginning. He was very nice. Right in the beginning, I had met him once. Really, it was just us in the studio, and they were setting me up with different producers and different writers and stuff.


Did you write these songs or were these songs that were written by... Because a lot of artists, I've learned very late in life, some of them write their own music and perform their music, and then others, no better, no worse, they take songs that are already written by somebody who doesn't know how to sing, and then they sing.


Didn't you sing an Abra Lovine song?


Yeah, I've sing a Katie song, Christina's song, Sia, Pink, Abra. I love writing, and I've been writing since my first album. I've always written on on my records, and I've also always just loved finding songs that I feel like I was intended to be the vessel for. It's a combo. I love interpretation. Obviously, even from the talk show, if we skip I love taking a song and even flipping it, the production. I love storytelling. I don't like acting in the way of storytelling. I like watching it, but I like singing and acting in that sense and with storytelling. That's always been a love of mine. I've done both since the very beginning.


How about that? Sorry, Shani. Do you ever see a movie called Into the Woods? I love that movie. Yeah.


With James Corden. Yeah. Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt.


Would you ever be excited if somebody brought you something like that where there's a little bit of acting, but a lot of singing as well, like singing-acting.


Also known as a musical movie. Go ahead. Jason. Also known. It was based on a musical.


There's a whole genre.


It was based on a musical.


The guy named Stephen Sondheim, I hear, is really starting to take off.


He's going to make it. Jason, do some singing acting for us real quick. I want to see some singing.


Hello, I'm hungry. Nice. Something like that.


You could sing, Jason. Well, that's not acting because we know you're hungry.


I would maybe do something like that.


But I think I'm such a fan of what you all can do. I think it's interesting when actors, especially I have in this talk show, I meet actors a lot, and I never was around actors, only musicians, generally. We're always looking at the other pasture. Everybody's like, It's always green. Everybody's like, Oh, my God, I'm such a fan of what you do. What you all do is incredible to me. The fact that you can run lines like that, do the same emotion over and over again, whatever it's serious or funny or whatever, and it doesn't wear you out or get monotonous is beyond to me.


I feel the same way about musicians. I do. I'm in awe of what you do, your ability to- No, but I find that that's the case.


But I have such an appreciation for it. I did know the winner of American Idol, we found out around the top five that in that little fine print that we signed for the contract, the winner would have to do this movie. I literally have cried It was so hard to get out of that because I did not want to do it. I did not think it was good. Neither did anyone else. I did not want to act like that. That was not my goal.


Did you? Did you have to? Oh, yeah.


I bought the first ticket.


I was right in the theater. I had to do it. It's not like I was trying to poopoo on it or whatever. I was so worried because my goal was to sing and tour and do stuff like that. I was so that it was going to ruin any chance of me being taken seriously as an artist. I begged my label to at least let me put my single out. Just let me get a single out. Let me have a chance before this comes out. They did. I think that's what saved me was that first single.


What level of pride do you allow yourself to feel that you have taken in, what, 20 years, a great step through a door that wasn't pride open for you by anybody else? You did that part, too. But once you had that platform and all this capital that you were able to build on it, diversify it, and parlay it into this massive, legitimate career such that some people would be really interested to hear that you got started on American Idol. It's much the same way. There's all these people that started on Star Search. It's like, Wait, what?


Yeah, there are a lot of kids who bought your records who didn't watch you on Idol, right, Jay? Is that where you're getting at? There are a lot of people who are fans of yours who don't know that.


Exactly. My question is, have you, just out of admirable humility, lost... Are you allowed to feel... Do you allow yourself to feel the pride that I think you deserve, that you've done so much with that moment that frankly, some others have not from American Idol or in the other shows.


Yeah. I think for me, what I'm most proud of is Because even if I've been told in this business, Well, you're a sinking ship, and I was like, Okay, cool. But as long as I'm at the helm, I'm cool with that. As long as somebody else isn't driving it, that's cool. I think that's what I take pride in. It's like, Look, it hasn't been a perfect career. It's obviously been like this. But it's been perfect for me in the sense of every decision I've made and everything I've done, it's because I wanted to do it regardless of the outcome. I think I'm proud of the fact that I don't let pride or ego or even shame, if that comes in at some point with something, or any of that. I don't let that get in the way of it.


How did you learn that? Because you were, like you said, 19 and now you're 40, whatever. How did you learn how to weed out the good from the bad as you entered the business?


Childhood trauma. I think, no, I honestly, that's why people always ask me about my kids being in the business. I'm like, I mean, good for them if they want to do it. I just think because of how I was set up from a very young person and hearing the things that happened or whatever my life happened and then and having to navigate that, I think definitely prepared me for the industry and prepared me for a spotlight to be okay to be me, regardless if you're into it or not. Everybody likes something different. Art is subjective. But I think that is fucked up as that sounds. I think a lot of the traumatic things that happened to when I was younger, really not only built a thicker skin, but I think it also... Let's say you hear from someone that's supposed to love you the most, you know what I'm saying, in life, and you're like, you weren't good enough. I think that when that happens, you're like, Well, I'm never going to please anyone. So why even aim for it? I'm just going to have a good time. Fuck it. I'm just going to do what I love to do.


It's interesting. Because when that person or people that are supposed to be there for you the most, when When you get let down, and I know that sounds dark, but when that happens, I think in your head, you're like, Okay, well, then maybe life isn't so about just aiming to please everyone or aiming to receive something. Maybe you just do it because you want to do It's a little bit different. You never know how many trips around the sun you get. You might as well try whatever you want.


Yeah, I think the same way.


Or maybe even said differently, if you agree that it sets you up, the necessity becomes being self-sufficient. If you can't rely on those closest to you at certain times, then you learn, Well, then I just have to make myself happy. I've got that board.


Yeah, it's like survival.


Yeah. Because I was going to say, and Sean beat me to the question, you are so clearly comfortable in your skin. Shitty word. I don't have a better one, but you're just lovely. Oh, God. No, I'm kidding. I love that word. But I was going to ask you, who can Can you attribute that, too? Do you have- Because you didn't become a drug addict.


You didn't become this or that. Yeah.


Did you have great parents or parent or uncle or something that really showed you this North Star of like, well, wow, look at the adversity they've gone through and they're still able to be loving and giving and warm and open to the people they care about and they're not walking around and bittered and aggrieved. You seem to You don't really have taken whatever negatives you went through, and I'm not prying for those, but you seem to have turned them into a positive. They just taught you coping mechanisms that have yielded this nice, balanced personality and vibe, it seems like.


Yeah, I think for me, it wasn't like one person.


That's our time. Thank you so much, Kelly.


I think for me, it wasn't one person. I think it's a village that raises any kid. I don't think it's... People are just like, Oh, it's my mom or it's my dad or it's whatever. I think obviously that probably is true. But I also think we are raised by our surroundings, regardless of your teachers, your coaches in sports, like all your other friends, parents. I think for some reason, I don't know why or how, but I don't know, I navigated people in a sense of like, I'm going to take the... I love that part of you. That's a really cool thing. I don't have a lot of positive experiences with this one person in my life that I won't mention. But the one thing I will say for them is they were always highly complementary of people, even if it was fake or whatever for them. But growing up, I saw how it made people feel, and I was like, Oh, that's lovely, for lack of a better word. That's to make someone feel. I stole that for my person, and I was like, I like that. I like to make people feel like that.


I like to compliment people.


But you know what, Kelly? There's a real wisdom to that, which is in Sean, you always say it takes a village people. But But there's a wisdom to this idea that whatever you put out in life is what you're going to get back, right? I believe that. I have no idea who you're talking about or what they're like as a person. They might be a terrible person, but at least in that aspect. They work great. Sometimes that feeling of loving somebody, no matter what, will increase the chances of you getting love back. That The feeling of hurt or whatever comes from a lack of actually putting love out. I think that there's a balance there. When it comes to people, too, you start to identify. I know that as I get older, I identify the people in my life where I go. I make a conscious effort to surround myself and to spend time with people that I love and I know love me, and then my experience is better. These guys on this here with us today are two great examples. I probably don't spend more time with anybody than these two guys because I love them and they love me.


That's a positive experience.




We'll be right back.


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I'm Afwa Hirsch. I'm Peter Frankerpan. In our podcast, Legacy, we explore the lives of some of the biggest characters in history. This season, we delve into the life of Mikhael Gorbachev. This season has everything. It's got political ideology, it's got nuclear Armageddon, it's got love story, it's got betrayal, it's got economic collapse. One ingredient you left out, legacy. Was he someone who helped make the world a better place, saved us all from all of those terrible things, or was he a man who created the problems and the challenges of many parts of the world today? Those questions about how to think about Gorbachev. Was he unwitting character in history? Was he one who helped forge and frame the world? It's not necessarily just a question of our making. There is a real-life binary in how his legacy is perceived. In the West, he's considered a hero, and in Russia, it's a bit of a different picture. Join us on Legacy for Michal Gorbachev.


Now, back to the show.


All right, let's get to the show. You I would imagine, yeah, do you love it as much as you seem? It's like, it seems like it's just a fantastic fit for you. Can we go back further, J. B. Yeah.


Can we go back to how did that happen? You're Kelly Clarkson. You have so many different faces. You're Kelly Clarkson, inspiring singer. You're Kelly Clarkson, rock star.


Yeah, not since Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Millions of albums. Then all of a sudden, you're like, what? One day you wake up and you're like, man, you're looking out the window. You're like, I'm going to have a talk show.


No, No. I said no the first two times. I was on The Voice, and I love MBC. I have a really healthy relationship with them. Well, they don't lie, so I like that. I'm trying to surround myself with people that are just, just feed it to me. But I had a really good experience on that show with that crew, with those executives. They came to the studio. I was doing something at the recording studio, and they They came in and they were like, We really feel like you would be really good at this. I was like, I really am not a journalist or a comedian, and there's no reason for me to be doing that. I just don't think that's a good plan, if I'm being frank. Then I said no, and then I said no again. And then all of a sudden, it was just... And it was actually my ex who we were just laying in bed, and he was like, I really feel like you'd be really good at it because you're really good with people. You're I'm really good at talking. I don't think it's going to be a job for you.


I was like, I think you just are really good at that. Why not just try it? I was like, whatever. I was like, Okay, cool. I'll try it. I will say, even from the... I say this without trying to sound any other way, but a lot of people will be like, Oh, it's really hard. It's really not. It's the easiest job I've ever had. I know that sounds like nobody wants to hear that.


It's because you're naturally charismatic and friendly and interested and curious. It's like you've got people skills because you're not a dick.


Well, thank you. But I don't know. The hardest part of my talk show is just that I was like, Hey, I have this idea. We can open with a song before and I could elevate other artists that I love or whatever and do covers and whatever. That's the hardest thing. It's like 180, and always trying to figure out clearing songs. That's the hardest part of the show is just getting that because there's no rehearsal time. It is literally like camp. When you're a kid and they're like, Get on stage, improv it. You know what I'm saying? We literally don't rehearse it. We just do it. It's the craziest thing ever. That part is the hardest part. The talking part is so easy. Well, except I know you've probably... Well, maybe not because you're super successful. But Have you ever interviewed someone and you're just like, Okay, so that's it.


You got to talk. It's not yes or no time. I'm like, You know what?


I'm here to help you sell your shit.


You're not doing me a favor by sitting on the couch.


That can be hard sometimes. I'm like, Wow, do say more. But that can be tough. But for the most part, I'm pretty good with people. It's really the easiest. I can't even believe we're in season 5 right now. It feels like not that long.


That's so amazing. Yeah, I know.


It's so cool. It's just a fun job. Honestly, the support of... Because I literally told the ABC, I was like, I'm not trying to slap a gift horse in the face, mouth, whatever you say, whatever the saying is. I was like, I'm not happy here. I can't continue doing this. I know everybody's put a lot of money and time, and we're winning, and we're doing well. I was like, But I can't continue this. I got to get out of here. They were really cool about moving the show for me. That's really great.


Which is huge.


To 30 Rock.


To 30 Rock. That's insane. Look a gift horse in the mouth. Do you know what that expression is? That's what it is. Do you know what it comes from?


I do.


Do you?


Yeah. It goes back to somebody, you give somebody a horse, and you look in the teeth, and if the teeth are bad, then you say, No, It would see how old you can see how old the horse is and the overall health of a horse.


If somebody gives you one and you go, Yeah, I'll take the gift, but hang on, let me look inside. Then you're. You're looking at the... It's rude. So Look at that.


The more you know, look at that.


Jason would know that. I love you, Jason.


I'm sneaky smart.


I know you are sneaky smart. You're not sneaky smart. You're plain smart. Hey, so, Kelly, you're now at 30 Rock, which must It feels like... I mean, has it set in? It often feels...


Well, you know what's so funny is I've been going there so much for over 20 years for promotion stuff and just in and out of the building. It oddly felt very normal right Off the bat. Yeah. I mean, you walk around. For some reason, my key never works. They just don't want to let me in the building. I always have to go to this one area and get another one. When you go there, there's all these images that change of all the things that have happened historically in that building. It's so cool. I get the gift of it, and I'm very grateful for it, but it feels really normal. We've been there the whole time.


What floor are you on? Are you on six?


I'm right across from Jimmy.


You are? Okay.


Jimmy Fallon.


From Jimmy. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Sean.


For Tracy, Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon.


I'm so jealous. It's such a dream of mine to live in New York, work at 30 Rock on something that is every day. I swear to God, I wanted that since I was a young kid. Going to New York for work and going to 30 Rock, I just think that building is incredible. The The whole area around it, even the ice, all the closed-off streets. There's something about it.


The basement level of all the things happening that I never knew the city underneath. I was like, What?


Jason, are you crying right now? I'm sorry. What are we doing? By the way, I'm going to help you out. Sorry, go ahead, Kelly.


I was going Oh, no. I was going to say, I will say it's how you're describing it. It is movie-like. I walk home every day from work, and it's the coolest thing ever. You put your headphones in. I'm usually listening to what I'm supposed to be seeing the next day. But you walk home, you go out of the building, this historical cool building, the city, everybody's got their own vibe going on. Everybody's got their own lives. Everybody's doing their own thing. Different industries. You put different industries, not just the one in LA. You put your hands in, you walk home, and it's like a 35-minute walk home. It's nice, it's lovely. You're walking through a park. I don't know, the older we get, I sound like an old person, but the older you get, those moments really matter. Those moments Those moments.


Of course, it's experiential. Jay, we were talking on the phone this morning about it. It's like, how do you want your experience to be? You can have X, Y, and Z, but you have to go through the process of doing it, and you have to do it on a day to day basis. What do you want that to be? What do you want your life experience to be? I know what you mean. I lived in New York for over 20 years, and I keep threatening that once my older kids graduate high school, I'm going to move back. I think that's what I will do because of that very thing you talked about, whether it's walking to the park, walking to things, whatever. I mean, that stuff.


It's very inspirational. Yeah.


It fills you up. It fills your soul, if you will.


It sounds cheesy, but Or very celebrity. But at the risk of this, I have to be... I think because I'm from the countryside, I have to be... That park saves me. It's right there. It saves me every day. I don't think I could live in the concrete jungle without that park. That's amazing. I literally read a whole book on Frederick Law, instead, who created it. I'm very into landscaping and very into just making sure we don't forget what that feels like to go outside and see trees and flowers. When I was doing the play last summer, I would walk.


Sometimes I'd walk four hours.


From your front door to the Escalade.


Yeah. I was exhausted.


I was exhausted. Jason, can we just Can we make an announcement right now, Jay? Will and I are pregnant.


Will and I are pregnant. Not that.


I didn't want to let them- Congratulations.


The NBC, Jason Bateman is open to your offer of working for you at 30 Rock on a Daily Basis.


You need like an Ed McMaya.


Come to him. Call Elina Kishitian.


Would you all ever... This is a real question because I'm not bullshitting you. I really do listen. Even with my sister and I, we were listening to two in the morning last night. I think the Kevin Hart one and Emma Stone. We were listening a bunch of them. Anyway, and would you ever, because I noticed with the Kevin Hart when you're in front of an audience and then you all toured it as well. Would you ever do it as a talk show, a TV show?


I've thought about it, but I think it would be more full-time than I think the three of us are willing to- Are willing to- Yeah, right now, it's just an hour a week, and we're flexible with it, we're mobile with it. But yeah, if it was a structured studio stuff. It would mean stopping some of the other things we're enjoying doing in addition to this right now.


Yeah, perfectly. Anybody who would want to have us on their platform to do that would have to make an offer to Aline Kishian.


Will has a number.


Well, let's hear what it is. But I do think that you can make that whatever you want, because I didn't know what a talk show was.


I didn't really know. I didn't know this world. I'm an artist. I'm never even awake for daytime television. I'm This is not really, generally, my world. I think you've had so much success with it, and obviously, just in your careers separately. But I think that's the cool thing about it, is that you wouldn't have to commit to more than what you wanted to commit to. You're at that level to where maybe you do it in a different way. I don't know. I just think, I think what you're doing, this is incredible. I also understand that is pretty cool because you do give up. Something has to give. Even with my music career, I'm not able to do everything because I'm doing the talk show.


But there's also a plus in that. For me, that's why it's so tempting. I love routine. I would love to have that stage across from Jimmy's. You have the pattern that you walk home every day through the park. I love it.


I love a routine.


I flourish in a routine. But also having that, as you know, because of what we do, sometimes you have a million things happening at once. Again, not a complaint. You have the privilege of having a million things. But when you get to work on one thing all the time, you're like, Sorry, I can't. I'm just doing this thing. And there's something really satisfying about having those moments. Shon, you did it for years on Will & Grace.


It was nice.


Where you're like, I'm just doing this right now, and I don't have the time to be spread thin because I'm just doing this.


I know that you've answered this question probably a billion times. I've never heard the answer. That's why I'm going to be the tool. I am a tourist as well. But no, why? Because you all have such amazing careers separate from one another, such different careers as well. Obviously, actors, but just different. What made you all three do this? Whose idea was this?


Will's originally, and then Sean and I snored in on it and changed what Will's concept and premise was going to be. Then it just became, Well, let's just hang out and chit-chat during COVID because we can't see each other.


We had no idea.


I didn't know the answer to that. Sorry, you've probably answered it a billion times.


No, it's not that. It's not particularly… We literally were like, Oh, let's just do it. Then the week, the world shut down on the Friday, March 13th of 2020, and We had a meeting on the Tuesday before, like four days before.


Yeah. Sean's real smart dude, Michael Grandtary, put some form to it and presented to us. Well, guys, just so you know, this is what it could be. This is what it's not. So don't think it's going to be a big, huge time suck, and there's some work here. But he just basically put it in an adult terms for us.


We paid for it. We put it up on its feet on our own. It wasn't a lot, but we did that, and that's how it went.


I think that's why, though, because it was so organic. I think a lot of horrible things happened because of COVID, but a lot of really incredible things happened out of COVID.


It was just an excuse to see each other. Yeah.


It became this Really great. A lot of feedback we got, especially at that time, from people was like, Hey, it was great to be able to listen during COVID. Truthfully, it was selfishly, it was great for us to be able to do it directly.


It was selfishly. It was good for me to work through that. I worked my whole TV show the whole time.




Being able to-In the mountains in snow.


Being able to call people in that you're really interested to talk to unapologetically. You're not tapping them on the shoulder like, Excuse me, Mrs. Such and Such, I'd love to ask you a question. No, we have a format for that with this. It's such a luxury to be able to talk to these heroes that we have. I'm sure you feel the same way on your show. Yeah, I do. You just say to your gang, your producers, Hey, would you reach out to such and such? See if they'd be interested in coming on the show. She's in a gang? Yeah.


No, that just having me with Cher. I was like, and Alanis was on this season. A lot of people that I adore. They're always going to be the musical ones that come on just because I have a little bit more depth with them as far as their career and catalog and stuff. But yeah, I feel the same way. It's the coolest thing to be able to just sit and chat with your people that you look up to.


Well, you're killing it. You really are. You killed it. Everything you've done, you're such a real-Say lovely.


Say lovely.


Yeah, and lovely. Lovely person.


I could hear you talk all day long. I could hear you sing all day long. I agree. I love it.


You're nice. I don't leave voicemails because of my talking voice.


I just want to belt out all your songs to you because I just love I love belting out your song. It's just so good. We have taken up way too much of your time. God, you're busy. Get back to your incredibly successful talk show. We wish you nothing but the best. Thank you for being here and blessing us with you. Thank you for your talent and everything you've done and just continued success. All your lovely.


Yeah, you're awesome.


No, thank you guys for having me. I know I've listened to the show, so I like to be in the same category as a lot of the people that you interview. It's very cool. So thank you very much for having me.


You're just a cool man.


Honestly, just cutting through the bullshit and just being yourself, it's so refreshing to listen to, and it's fun. How you all were saying, people look at me, I look at you all the same way. So I think it's very refreshing for people.


It's nice for people to see this version of Sean for sure.


I love Sean. I love Kelly.


You made this real easy. Thank you, Kelly.


Kelly, thank you. So much success. Congratulations, and I wish you nothing I'm going to be the best.


Yes. Now, you all have a good 2024, you all.


You too. You too.


See you later. Bye. Bye, Kelly. What a terrible guest, Will. Somebody just doesn't know how to... Are you kidding? Be friendly or respond to questions.


I know. She's so... I love this, Sean. You started in the right way, which is... You put it in such a great way, which is like, yeah, she feels very much like...


Like ours.


Like ours. Yeah. She is the American idol.


Yeah, she's American. She represents all sides of America, I think.


I honestly felt like I could fire up a friendship with her tomorrow that would last 40 years.


Well, when you're doing your talk show across the hall from her, Jason.


Yeah, just do that.


Or maybe combined with her. What? Kelly and Jason.


From Jason to Kelly.


From Jason to Kelly.


That was the name of her movie.


That's right.


From Justin to Kelly. That was the name of her movie.


People call me Justin all the time.


They do call me Justin. You'll be from Justin to Kelly. Oh, my God. We can do it. The posters already exist. We already have all the outdoor ads.


But isn't it amazing? We know all of her songs. It's so rare. Everybody knows all her songs.


I know.


What's that song that goes, Bye, bye, Black Sheep?Black Bird?Yeah.


Fuck, man.


Jason, why don't you get out of here?


Fuck, that was so fucking sweaty. Fucking lather up.


You're thinking I'm thinking about that in sync song.


How does it go? Bye, bye, bye. Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye. Smartless.


Smartless. Smartless is 100% organic and artisanally handcrafted by Rob Armjarff, Bennett Barbeco, and Michael Grandeterri. Smartless. If you like SmartList, you can listen early and ad-free right now by joining Wundry Plus in the WNDYRI app or on Apple podcasts. Prime members can listen ad-free on Amazon on music. Before you go, tell us about yourself by filling out a short survey at wndyri. Com/survey.


In the 1980s, Frank Farian was riding high as a successful German music producer, but he was bored. German pop was formulaic, dull, and oh, so white. Frank had bigger dreams, American dreams. He wanted to create the music that would rival larger than life artists like Michael Jackson or Ron DMC. So he assembled a hip hop duo, two once in a lifetime talents who were charismatic full of sex appeal, and phenomenal dancers. The only problem, one very important element was missing, but Frank knew just how to fix that. Wndyri's new podcast, Blame It On The Fame, dives into one of pop music's biggest controversies. Millie Vanille set the world on fire. But when their adoring fans learned about the infamous lip-sinking, their downfall was swift and brutal. With exclusive interviews from frontman Fad Morvan and his producers Frank Barian and Ingrid Segui, this podcast takes a fresh look at the exploitation of two young Black artists. Follow Blame It On The Fame wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to Blame It On The Fame early and ad-free by joining WNDYRI Plus.