Show People with Paul Wontorek: Harry Connick Jr. of A CELEBRATION OF COLE PORTER

(music) – Harry Connick Jr. is a
regular Renaissance man. The New Orleans native has been making music
since early childhood. He’s taken his talents to the big screen and all the way to the lights of Broadway. Landing Tony nominations for performing in “The Pajama Game” and
for creating the score for “Thou Shalt Not.” Now, he’s back on Broadway with “Harry Connick Jr. – A
Celebration of Cole Porter.” Hear about his “When
Harry Met Sally” breakout, his future Great White Way plans, and more on this week’s Show People. (upbeat jazz music) Harry, welcome back to Broadway. – Thanks Paul.
– So happy you’re here. – Me too, it’s something
I’ve been looking forward to. – Is Broadway a special place for you? – Oh yeah, no, it really is. I remember, I think the
first Broadway show I saw was “Sophisticated Ladies”
back in the 70’s or something and my parents brought me to that. And just being a performer from a place that didn’t have the kind of theater scene that New York has, it was always something that was fascinating to me. So, whatever capacity
I ended up working in, whether it was a concert
situation or a Broadway show, it’s always been something
that I take really seriously and really enjoy it when I’m doing it. – I saw your very first Broadway run at the Lunt-Fontanne, 1990. – That’s right. – And being a fan of you, lead me to criminal activity
because I had just moved to New York and I went with a
bunch of friends from college. I had just moved here, we
went to this restaurant, Isabella’s on the Upper
West Side for dinner and we were going to your show. And one of my friends
was from Baton Rouge, so she was like telling us, she said, “You know what we really
should have at this show is “we should have white
napkins that we can wave.” So we stole some white
napkins from Isabella’s. – That’s great.
– So I apologize– – Did you wave ’em at the show? – Oh, we waved ’em. – Oh, that’s fantastic.
– We we’re up in the mezzo. You probably didn’t see us. – That’s very cool. – And you know, it’s funny
that you’ve come back to Broadway in so many capacities now, and you know, you really are
part of the theater world and a part of a lot of worlds, but your new concert, you’re
back at the Nederlander. – [Harry] Yes. – [Paul] For a nice holiday run, and we’re celebrating Cole Porter. – [Harry] Yes. – [Paul] And your new album is fantastic. – [Harry] Thank you. – You’ve recorded a few Cole Porter songs over the years.
– I have. I have. – But this is, you’ve
really have, sort of, turned the focus on him. – I did. So, I had been with my record
company for about 30 years and recently I just signed with Verve after so many years with Columbia, and when I first met with them, I said, “Listen, there’s a bunch of records “that I would love to
do”, because there are. I mean I could do an
album of all originals, or, I’d love to do another funk album, or gospel, I’m all these different records and one of the records
that I suggested was, well, I could do a Cole
Porter songbook album and they said, “Whoa, whoa,
whoa, we want you to do that”. – That’s the one. – Yeah, so I did. I picked my favorite tunes
and went in the studio and recorded them and then wrote a show to coincide with the music on the record but that’s, a sort of theatrical journey through these songs. – Okay. 13 songs, picking 13 Cole
Porter songs. (chuckles) – That’s impossible. – [Paul] What a task. – Yeah, it really is. – [Paul] And I know that you chose them and you arranged them and
you’re doing a lot of things with this project, actually right? – [Harry] That’s right. – [Paul] You got the orchestra together, you conducted them. – Yeah, so I.. – [Paul] You’re directing your show. – That’s right. – [Paul] You do it all. – Well, I do the things
that I really love to do and arranging and
orchestrating are two things that are really important to me. So, for the last 30 years, I’ve arranged and orchestrated all my albums and this is the first time
I’m directing anything on Broadway, but it’s all very comfortable because I’m pretty precise
as to the vision of the show. And it’s been an incredible process. – Is it difficult to
direct Harry Connick Jr, is that guy a pain in the butt? – He’s a jerk, man. (Paul laughs) Yeah, he never comes out
of his dressing room. He’s a real pain. – Is there anything, you
gotta keep him under control. Is there any bad habits he has? – He won’t talk to anyone, so you have to through his assistant. – Won’t make eye contact. – Nope, you gotta look down. – [Paul] I think that’s
the polar opposite of you, from everything I know about you. – Life’s too short for all of that stuff. – [Paul] Exactly. – I think there was a time in my life where I thought, maybe you
should act a certain way. Like, when I was in my early 20’s, you know, people would say,
“Can I have a picture?” “No”, you know, “I’m busy”. But, over the years you learn
what an incredible blessing it is to be in the public eye. I mean, this is what
I’ve always wanted to do, so, it’s just a, I feel very lucky. – Yeah, you exude that
warmth, you always have. I just feel like you’re a guy people want to be around. – That’s really nice. – Yeah. – That’s really nice. I love performing and I love people. You know, talking about Broadway, I absolutely adore the Broadway community. You know, so many people, I think Broadway is the most talented group
of people in the world, by far, in any context. So, to be around these
amazing, talented people all the time, it’s just a thrill. It’s an honor. – So let’s go back to “True Love” is the name of the album, 13 songs. Did you take in a lot of songs or was it just sort of like gut things, like, I know I love that song? – It started like that but, you know, if somebody says, “What’s your
favorite Cole Porter song?”, you kinda draw a blank. So, I went and just got huge books of information about what songs he wrote going back to when he was at Yale, college fight songs and stuff. And I looked through, you know.. – Deep dive. – A real deep, like I
wanted to do “True Love.” I wanted to do “Just One of Those Things.” But there was some other songs, like, “Mind If I Make
Love to You,” which I.. – Great title, by the way. – [Harry] Oh, it’s amazing. – “Mind If I Make Love to You.” (chuckles) – We could do a whole show just on that and why I think that’s an
important title right now. It’s incredibly timely. But, that was a song that I had heard because I had seen “High Society,” but I didn’t know it. And nobody knows that tune. I mean, nobody meaning
99% of the population doesn’t know it.
– Yeah. I had to remind myself
where that one came from. – Yeah, yeah. And so it was songs like that though. One of ’em is “I Am Loved,”
which isn’t on the album but that we recorded,
which was another tune that’s not as popular. So, it was really fun to
kinda find these tunes, deconstruct ’em and come up
with new arrangements for ’em. – [Paul] Yeah, you did a beautiful job. – Thank you. – [Paul] I’ve been
listening to it non-stop. – Thanks, man. – Some of the songs
originated on Broadway. – Yes. – Some of them Frank
Sinatra introduced, right? – [Harry] That’s right. – That one, and you’ve had
the Frank Sinatra thing. When you first started people were like, – It’s an incredible compliment. – Frank Sinatra guy. – So you know what’s really funny is that I’m friends with Tina and
Nancy, Frank’s daughters, and I sent them a copy of the album, just cause I love ’em and
I think about ’em a lot, and Tina wrote back and said,
“Oh, I can’t wait to hear “your version of ‘Mind
If I Make Love to You'” and I’m thinking to myself, why that one? And then I realized, oh, Cole
Porter wrote it for her dad. (Paul chuckles) It’s just one degree of
separation from that, so that was kinda cool. – Yeah, so, what’s your goal
with creating a show out of it. – I’ve done a million
concerts and I love performing and the thing about my concerts, we don’t really plan ’em. There’s a million songs to choose from, we change it up every night, there’s no script, there’s no patter, there’s nothing. Go out and play the first couple of songs and then kinda see where it goes. It’s not a jukebox
musical in that the songs aren’t really driving the plot, ’cause there isn’t a plot, but I think, if I’m successful, you’ll hear and see the
songs in a different way. I think this show showcases them in a way that hasn’t been done before. Hopefully. – Wow, I love that. So you talk a little
bit about his life and, you have very different backgrounds, you and Cole Porter. – Yeah, we do. You know, he had a fascinating life, you know, a tragic life
really if you look at, sort of the last third of it, or maybe a little bit more. And my heart really breaks for him. First and foremost being a gay man in a world where you just
couldn’t talk about that. – Right, right. – Is heart-breaking enough,
but then you look at, he got into this terrible
horse-riding accident. He couldn’t use his legs, eventually he had to get one amputated and everything I’ve
read, if it’s accurate, just shows him becoming
kinda sad and bitter over the rest of his life, to the point where he didn’t really
wanna create anymore. I think about him a lot. I think about, what was he like and what would it have
been like to be around him and to tell him how much
I love him, you know. – Yeah, but his songs bring such joy and the emotions in those. – They’re amazing. And when you look at some of these songs, like, “All of You,” and
you listen to the lyrics, you can feel people in
the audience saying, “Did he just sing that?” And this is in 2019 when
you can turn on the radio and hear any kind of profanity
and suggestive lyrics that you want. People think that this
generation is the first one to discover those things. (Paul chuckles) – Sex and.. But, it’s been around forever and the way Cole Porter talks about it is so elegant and so careful that, there’s double entendres
all over the place and that’s the beauty of his music. He was just as passionate
and sensual as anyone, but he was just incredibly
witty and elegant in the way he presented it. – Yeah, fantastic. I can’t wait to sit there
and have you sing to me for a couple hours. – I can’t wait for you to come. – Okay, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be back with more Harry Connick Jr. (upbeat jazz music) (upbeat jazz music) We are back with Mr. Harry Connick Jr at the Nederlander what,
through December 29th. – That’s correct. – Cool. It’s the holidays on Broadway. – I know, it couldn’t be cooler, like, being in New York
at this time of year is just the best. – Yeah, it’s a great theater too. It’s intimate. – I love it.
– Yeah, it’s beautiful. – I don’t know if you know this but James Nederlander presented me at that Lunt-Fontanne show. – Uh ha. – So now Jimmy, you know,
who’s a dear friend. – Oh wow. – It’s just, we have a lot of history with the Nederlander’s
and they’re amazing. When I went and told
Jimmy about this show. I said, “Look, I wanna do
this show that I’ve written. “I wanna direct it, about Cole Porter.” I mean, I couldn’t even
finish the sentence. He says, “I’m in”. – Yeah. – It’s just an incredible
luxury to have a guy like that on your side. – Yeah, I think that’s
how audiences feel too. They’re like, “I’m in. I’m in. “Harry Connick, Broadway,
Cole Porter, I’m in. “I’m there.”
– That’s awesome. – [Paul] You’ve talked a
lot about your childhood in New Orleans. It sounds like such a
fascinating childhood. It almost seems like it
would be a great TV show. – Yeah, looking back it kinda was. At the time it just was normal. But my father was the District Attorney of New Orleans. My mother was a judge. My sister, who’s this full
bird Colonel in the Army is a Psychiatrist and an Internist, and I was just this lover of music and we lived in a town where
you could drive 10 minutes and go here, some of
the great jazz musicians of all time playing at
2:00 in the afternoon. – Right. – So, being around things like Mardi Gras and all of that jazz,
seemed like what every kid did on the weekends. But I realize now how fortunate I was. – Because your dad was
sort of out at night, on the streets, working
on fixing the city, you were able to be,
at night, in the clubs. So, wasn’t that weird, as a young kid? – Yeah, so, that particular story, it was, I think, if I’m
not misrepresenting it, there was a big heroine ring
going in the French Corridor. And my dad, being the DA, was down there and I was 14 and I was playing at a club called The Famous Door, and I remember, because I knew all of his investigators and the police officers and stuff ’cause that’s the people I grew up around. So I remember them kinda, seeing them out, you know, as I was playing I could see them out on the street. My dad wasn’t there every night but I remember him, like he used to come and pick me up at 3:00 in the morning. It sounds kinda crazy but, you know, looking back it was just the way it was. – It was life. – That’s right. – And you were in the clubs even younger and I just feel like you must have seen so much humanity at such an early age and sort of, seeing adults
in very adult situations. – Right. – And I just wonder, what kind of effect that has on you? – Huge, because I spent my time around people who were more experienced and people who I could learn from. And there was so much diversity. Not only people’s skin
color but their sexuality, their religion, I saw everything, and it wasn’t until I
moved out of New Orleans that I realized that, “Oh, wait a minute, “people aren’t as color
blind as we are down there.” Not to say that, for
example, racism doesn’t exist in New Orleans, ’cause it
does and it’s horrible. But, the way I grew up as an artist was to love everyone. My mother and father just, we loved and respected everyone. And, I’m so thankful for that because it did have a
profound impact on me. – You became, sort of a, piano virtuoso. – Well, that word it
gets thrown around a lot. (Paul chuckles) But, I love playing. Like, I played classical music so, when I was performing with
the symphony when I was a kid, like 10 or whatever, I
was making albums as.. – [Paul] Yeah, you have
one when you were 11. – [Harry] I had one when I was
nine and one when I was 11. – [Paul] Wow, wow. – And, there’s another crazy story ’cause when you go into the studio and I’m not talking like some local guys gettin’ together to make an album, I talkin’ about people that were around when this music was invented. – [Paul] Right. – Incredible jazz musicians
and I was nine years old and it was like okay, let’s play this song and this song and they were
incredibly helpful to me and that’s just, we
didn’t have the internet or anything like that. So, this was hanging out
with these men and women and learning from them which
was an amazing opportunity. – Right. You lost our mom when you were like 13? – 13, that’s right. – And I know you dedicated a few of your early albums to her. – I dedicate all of ’em, go to her. – All the albums. How do you think that sort
of changed your teen years? I just wonder what that.. – Well, I think one of the obvious, I’m not a therapist but
one of the obvious things that it did was it made
me realize how much a brilliant woman in my life was missed. And it made me sort of
hyper-aware of women and why I needed to be around them to learn from them, to
try to understand them, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I ended up marrying
my best friend, my hero. We’ve been together 30 years. We have three daughters. My manager’s an incredible
Harvard-educated lawyer from, she’s from Jamaica. I think about these
incredible women in my life, and not that I was consciously
going out to fill this void but I think when you lose your mom at 13, you see the world in a different way and I needed to heal. And I think I was probably hyper-sensitive to the fact that I needed these
incredible women in my life. – Right, wow. But she got to see sort
of the path you were on. – Oh, she knew it. She was trying to get me piano lessons when I was three, four years old. – Wow. – Nobody would teach me then. But, oh yeah man, she was all over it. She was from New York City,
Jewish woman from New York, she wanted her son to follow his passion just like my sister, and
did everything she could to facilitate that. Like when Eubie Blake came to town, I got a chance to play with him, or Buddy Rich or George Sheering or, whoever was there, I means, she was, I look back at how dedicated
both my parents were to me and my sister. It was another great opportunity. – And then you moved to New
York when you were like 18? – 18. – Is that partly because
your mom, sort of, do think that you kinda knew that.. – No, no, I wanted.. So, my mother’s brother
lived in New York City, my uncle Joe. Ever since I started coming up
here when I was a little kid I really wanted to be here. When I started to
understand what New York was and the kind of Jazz scene they had here, I wanted to move to
New York when I was 14. My dad says, “You gotta wait,
go to a semester of college,” which was like pulling teeth ’cause I just wanted to get out. January the first of
1986, I moved to New York. I lived at the Jewish Y up on 92nd Street. – How was that? – It was awesome. I mean, I couldn’t believe it. I was living in New York. And I tried every day to get a record deal and would go up and down the avenues looking for places with pianos, the Empire Diner or a
church here or whatever. And you get 10, 20 dollars
and I was the happiest guy in the world. – You played the Empire Diner, you would literally play piano? – Every Saturday night, 10 to three, right by the bathroom. – You should do a return
engagement at the Empire Diner. Pack it in.
– That would be awesome. I love it ’cause they
would give me free food. I mean, when you have no money, and they give you a
milkshake and a cheeseburger, it was the, I mean, I couldn’t believe that I was in New York City, you know. I was making a way for myself. And that was just, I still get chills. I get chills now. I saw my face on the
marquee of the Nederlander and it was like, you
know, I Facetimed my dad, like dad, look at this. I don’t take that stuff lightly. – Yeah, I first found you because of “When Harry Met Sally,”
that movie was incredible and just sort of like, right at a time where I was looking for a
romantic New York movie, right? And your songs were
such a big part of that. I remember getting the album and seeing that guy in the camel coat that little picture of
you in the camel coat with the slicked back hair. I was like, “He looks cool”. I mean, we’re celebrating
the 30th anniversary of that, right, this year? – I know. – [Paul] What was that like? – Can’t even explain it. – Were you ready for that much attention? – Well, I wanted it, because of, as a sort of extroverted performer, somebody who wants to make
career in this business, the idea of it was very appealing. But you never know with any specificity what is gonna happen. So, I was ready for it
but I was blown away by the process. No, that album came out, ’cause I was only supposed to sing one or two songs. – Right, I heard that, that they couldn’t get the rights to the original song, so. – Exactly. So, Frank Sinatra’s song got cut out. Ray Charles’s song got cut out. Ella Fitzgerald. – Like this guy can do ’em. – Well yeah, and so I did the whole album. So I didn’t really do the soundtrack but I sang songs that
they used in the movie. – [Paul] Yeah. – And went from selling 10, 20,000 albums, which was a big deal for me, to millions of albums. – And winning a Grammy right? – I think so, yeah. I think so.
– I think so. – You know, that was like,
really, really changed my life. – Yeah. And suddenly people recognized you. – Yeah, you’re walking down the street in another country or,
and people would say, “Oh, are you the singer?” I’m like, wow. – And you were young? – Yeah, I was 21. – You kept your head on straight. – Well, I tried too. My family doesn’t really play that. So, you know, I always
think what would my dad do, what my mom do. And if you start acting,
they’ll call you on it. They’ll say, “I saw you on TV, you know, “that was inappropriate.” – Still? – Oh my dad still, It’s to like that’s
something he enjoys doing but if I do something, he’ll say son, “Here’s what I liked about it “but I also think you need to think about “this, this, and this.” – Wow. – And he’s invariably right. I mean, he’s 92 years old, 93 years old. And, I have a lot to learn, so, yeah, oh, they’ll call you on it. – Yeah, that’s amazing. And of course, and actually Marc Shaiman, Broadway’s Marc Shaiman, didn’t he, he came up with that big sound? I mean, the “When Harry Met Sally” album was sort of a big sound explosion for you. – That’s right. I had never played with a big band. People think like I came out of the womb with a big band. That was the first time, well
I had done it a little bit, that was the first time
that I really came out. So when I went on tour, I had
to put a big band together and that’s when I started writing because I needed charts. I only had a few of them from the album. I had two, three hours
to fill up on stage, so I started writing all my own stuff. – Yeah, I feel like Broadway, if you think of Broadway as a person, I’m gonna think of it as a person, they looked at that guy, they went, that guy looks interesting to us. He sings the songs we like. First he does a concert on Broadway. Then, let’s get him to write a show. Let’s get him to be in a show. You know what I mean,
there was just sort of like a clear path. – It felt right. You know, when I worked with
Stro for “Thou Shalt Not,” I remember when she called
me, it just felt like, oh my gosh, I really wanna do this and I’ve continued to wanna do more and hopefully I will, and then, I remember when “The Pajama Game” came up, I would sit in the
audiences at Broadway shows and think, “As terrific
as that performer is, “I would love to do that”. I have my own philosophy
about how that would work and I’ve had the chance to do that. I love that too. – Yeah, okay, we’re gonna talk more about Harry and Broadway after this break. We’ll be right back. (upbeat jazz music) (upbeat jazz music) We’re back with Harry Connick Jr. Tony-nominated song
writer and Broadway star. Actually, you won a
Audience Choice Award for “The Pajama Game.” – It’s so cool. – Yeah, you were the fans choice. – That’s really nice. – You were incredible. That was such a big moment for you. – It was so fun. I have such memories,
just about the whole show and I made some amazing friends. First and foremost, Kelli
O’Hara, who continues to be.. – [Paul] Tony winner, Kelli O’Hara. – Yeah man, she is my hero. I love her. My family loves her. I used to stand backstage
and watch her sing every night and just
watch her body movements as she sang, just because she’s such an, well forget how passionate
and talented she is, but she’s such an incredible craftsmen. She really knows what she’s doing and it was an honor to
be on stage with her. – You know, I have a theory, so, you did “Pajama” Game with Kelli and then you did “On a Clear
Day You Can See Forever” with this unknown upstart named
Jessie Mueller from Chicago, and both of these ladies
are now Tony-winning, Broadway, leading lady institutions, so I have a theory that you
had something to do with that. – I had nothing to do with it. – Maybe there’s some magic in starring opposite Harry Connick Jr. – Nothing at all. You know, you’re talking
about two of the greatest performers on the planet. I remember when Jessie came in and auditioned for “On a Clear Day,” she was among about nine women who were mind-blowingly great. I mean, talk about triple threats. And then Jessie came in and, she was the last one of the day and I just told the team I said, “If you want my vote, she’s incredible.” Just incredible as you know. So, I’ve been really lucky to
work with some good people. – Yeah, I don’t know. I think the next leading lady who gets to be opposite of you, she’s gonna go to super stardom. – That sounds like a plan. I just keep surrounding myself with these incredible women I’ll be fine. – They’re also great people, right? – Amazing people. – Yeah, I wanna talk about
“Thou Shalt Not” a little bit. I remember “Thou Shalt Not” vividly. I saw it multiple times. You wrote the whole
score, a beautiful score and got a Tony nomination for it and, of course, it was
reported, multiple times, right? The original cast did it. – Yes. – You sang it with Kelli too. – That’s right. – An obviously, it’s set in New Orleans so it was sort of a great in for you to sort of bring that sound to Broadway, but the show was tricky,
because it was a brand new show and it was based on very dark material. – That’s right. – It was very adult and it was, I remember the poster came out, it was super sexy with that
sexy shot on the poster. And it didn’t run that long. – No. – How do you look back on that experience? What was it like for you sort of entering Broadway with that? – It was a different time in my life before I had gained some of the experience that I have now. So, I was a little bit more hot headed. I wanted to be in it. Stro wouldn’t let me be in it. – Oh that’s interesting, ’cause I remember the
whole time, we’re like, “Why isn’t Harry Connick in this?” – I really wanted to
and she wouldn’t let me. I respect her. I love her to death and so
I was happy to acquiesce to that, but one of the things I learned was I was trying to write songs that were standalone songs, selfishly, that I could sing. It was very hard for me to write a song that was so plot-specific that I couldn’t do it outside of the show. And I just, I learned about that. I learned about collaboration. I learned about throwing
away your best work. You know, when a song just doesn’t work you just can’t think twice about it, you just get rid of it
and write another one. And, it opened on Broadway. I think there was some thought
about doing it out of town and I’m like, I was gung
ho, but you learn a lot. – Yeah and then that Norbert
Leo Butz stole the second act. – [Harry] He’s just, yeah. – [Paul] That guy. – And you know what, I’ll be honest, I loved Craig Bierko, he was amazing, but to sit in that house
during those rehearsals and not be on the stage
was driving me insane. – That was driving me
insane when I saw previews. I was like, “Why isn’t
Harry Connick Jr. in this?” – Yeah, and that’s not to
disparage Craig at all. He did a terrific job and it was hard. The music was hard. But, I had a great time doing the show and I’m proud of it. – Yeah, you should be. Would you ever write another? – Oh yeah. No, I plan on it. In fact, I got a bunch of
stuff in my head right now that, as you know,
getting a Broadway musical on stage is really a miracle. It really, really is. There are so many things that
have to go the right way. So, hopefully, I have a bunch of ideas, at least one of ’em will come to fruition. – Good, I was afraid you were gonna say, “Never again”. I’m looking forward to it. – Oh god no. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. I love everything about it. I love the stage hands. I love the theaters. I love the small dressing rooms. (Paul chuckles) I love the smell of it. I love the people more than anything. – And you wanna keep
acting on Broadway too? – Oh yeah. It’s just, you can’t
get that anywhere else. I mean, you can do films,
television, concerts, but what you get on a Broadway stage is something you can only
get on a Broadway stage and it feels like a family
that has welcomed me and I will protect that fiercely ’cause I love these people. – I remember on opening
night of “Pajama Game” you actually told us, you said, “I thought it would be boring “to do the same thing eight times a week.” I love it. – I was nervous, I was nervous. I remember being somewhere
and I asked Glenn Close, who I had done a film with
so I know her really well, so I said, “Glenn.. – “South Pacific.” – Yeah, you’re amazing. You know more about me than me. (Paul chuckles) I said, “Man, I’m a little nervous about” ’cause I really do not plan my shows, I said, “What do you do eight
times a week the same show?” She goes, “It is not the same
show eight times a week.” And, I didn’t know what
that meant until I did it and I’m like, “Wow”. And one of the cool things
is not letting the characters become a caricature as
result of familiarity. Things like that. You know, still remaining
within the boundaries and we you can find ways
to bend those boundaries, it’s like walking a tightrope every night, it’s the same tightrope
but it’s still a tightrope, so you still have to get to the other side and I was completely misinformed about what I thought it was. And it turns out to be, I
mean there’s nothing like it. It’s amazing. – Do you ever just look
at what you’ve done in 30 plus years and just go “wow”? I mean, look at, and we
didn’t even talk about all the amazing film work you’ve done. Hosting a talk show, I mean, you know, and so many albums that I could literally just spend a week listening to you. – Thanks. – I mean, it’s been quite a career. – It’s been unbelievable,
it’s just a blessing. I mean, I work really,
really, really hard. You had mentioned the talk show. Like, people in this business said is it a grind to do the talk show? And I’m like, well, every
note you hear that band play, I’ve orchestrated. I watched every movie. I read every book. I went to every Broadway opening, every single one. You know how much time that takes? It takes a lot of time. And when I got out there, I knew those people so well, just like you know me, that you feel like
you’re honoring the guest and, I never said to myself, “Ugh, I gotta do this again”. Seriously, are you crazy? Like, I did a Broadway show once and there was an actor in the wings, and I could see her back there and she mouthed the words
to me, “I’m so tired,” and I got chills all over my body and what I wanted to say
was, “Go home, dude.” Like, do you know how
hard it is to get here? There’s a thousand people who would take both of our places right now. So, no, no, no, it is never a grind. Eight shows a week, bring it on. And these people are paying, they have a choice on
how to spend their money, especially around the holidays. I mean these Broadway
tickets are not cheap. Every single person in that theater needs to get a show that
I think is the best show that I ever did. Every single night, not
different on a Wednesday matinee, I mean, every time. It’s gotta be that. And for me, when you live that way, right now nothing matters to me except talking to Paul, that’s it. I gotta go to rehearsals for my show. All I care about is talking to you and for me, when you roll like that your life just becomes so much easier and more fulfilling. That’s what works for me anyway. – That’s why people love you, Harry. – Oh thanks, that’s really sweet. – I mean, you can tell
you love what you do. – Love it. – I think audiences have
always seen that about you. – That’s awesome. – Well, like, what keeps
you going to the next thing? Is it just always sort of
whatever comes your way? What gets you excited? – It’s a little bit of that. – What’s the next? – I don’t know, specifically,
what the next step is but I really have to
credit it to my family, to my wife and my daughters because, they love me so much and I love them so much that people use the expression, “Oh, my family keeps me grounded,” it’s really the antithesis of that. That’s really all that matters and it’s allowed me to become
infinitely more creative. I feel like I can go farther out into the artistic stratosphere. I can do things, anything. So in terms of the specifics
of what I wanna do, I’d love to write another Broadway show. I’d love to be in another Broadway show. A year ago I couldn’t have told you I was gonna be writing
and directing a show on Cole Porter but, here we are so. As long as, I’m gonna try
to take really good care of myself, I’m gonna focus on the things that really, really
matter, like my family, and then, if I’m lucky, I’ll
have some more opportunities to do stuff and it’s
probably gonna be a surprise. – Awesome. I love surprises. – Me too. – [Paul] Come back here, come back here. – I’d love to. – [Paul] I would love to see that. – Anytime, it’s so fun. – [Paul] Fantastic. Hey, “Harry Connick Jr. – A
Celebration of Cole Porter” is at the Nederlander Theater
through December 29th. I can’t wait to see it. You all should go see it too. – Thank you. – [Paul] Thank you Harry. Have a great holiday. – Thanks Paul. – [Paul] And I’ll see you
at the Nederlander Theater. – See you then. – Thank you for watching. See you next time. (upbeat jazz music)

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