The Joel Stein Interview- Girl to Mom

Heidi Ferrer Joel Stein

Me and Joel Stein

First, Joel Stein, famed columnist from “Time” Magazine and all around cute, tall, good guy, promised me he’d drive closer to my side of town than the first time we met.

I ended up still driving 45 minutes from my house to a rapist coffee place. I didn’t get raped, but I felt like I might, the vibe was not 100% unrape.

For this reason, I parked my car in the valet parking inside the building, which cost me $16.00. I sure hope my husband doesn’t read that.

Joel was late, upping the rape possibility factor.

When he got there, I asked him if we could go somewhere where Jodie Foster’s character in “The Accused” would not have to lawyer up. He said “yes” and we walked next door to a waffle place where I put away my Barbie mace and Hello Kitty pink tazer gun.

I ordered a fruit plate with a side of bacon and a latte, but I quickly asked Joel if it was okay if I got bacon. He asked me if he was the first Jewish person I’d ever met. I said no, I sleep with a half Jewish husband every night, but I didn’t know if he ate pork and I didn’t want to gross him out.

Joel said “Bacon is delicious. Everybody eats bacon.”

Joel ordered iced tea and a red velvet waffle with cream cheese frosting on it. This is 10am and no, we were not high on ganja. This was Joel’s real, grown-up order.

And his gentle palate can’t handle coffee, he only drinks tea. Did I mention he’s writing a book on becoming a man?

Here were my interview questions and Joel’s answers (paraphrased because I didn’t have a recording device. Just weapons.)

Heidi Ferrer: What is the title of your upcoming book?

Joel Stein: “Man Made.”

Me: What is it about? Is is humor writing?

Joel: It’s stupid adventures of me trying to become a man. The kind of stuff I write.

Me: If I ever get a book published…I mean when, will you blurb me?

Joel: Yes.

Me: Yay. Has having a young son (Lazlo, age 2 with wife Cassandra Barry) helped you on your quest to become a man?

Joel: That’s in the book, because I was freaked out by having a boy.

Me: Really? Why?

Joel: I didn’t know what to do with a boy, how to raise one. I wasn’t good at traditional boy things growing up…sports, camping…those “boy” things were difficult for me.

Me: Do you consider yourself a writer or a journalist or both?

Joel: Both.

Me: Was your book your idea? Did you get offered the job, or did you have to pitch it to sell it to a publisher?

Joel: I pitched it in New York to 9 editors in one day. I started at 7am.

It was set up, my people set it up like a silent auction, they all had to bid by the next day, but couldn’t know what the others bid. One bid was way higher.

Me: I heard a rumor that you’re going to replace Andy Rooney on “60 Minutes” now that he’s retiring. Is that true?

Joel: No, my parents would like me to. I don’t know if “60 Minutes” is going to replace Andy Rooney’s job at all.

Me: So it would have to be a write-in campaign for you to get it?

Joel: (Laughs) Yes, a write-in campaign of just me and my parents.

Me: I think you’d be good in that job. Do you have a 5 year plan for your career?

Joel: No, I don’t know if magazines will exist in five years.

Me: So, no five year plan?

Joel: I guess you could say I don’t believe in them.

Me: Have you ever been yelled at or assaulted for something you’ve written?

Joel: Not hit. Being yelled at is assault.

Me: True, it’s verbal assault.

Joel: Never physically assaulted. I have been yelled at a lot for stuff I’ve written.

Me: Would you ever take your son Lazlo to Hooters?

Joel: No.

Me: But the chicken wings…never mind. Would you ever take your son to a strip club?

Joel: No. Well, I thought it would be funny to take him when he was a baby, because that was his food (i.e. milk). But they probably wouldn’t let a baby in there, would they?

Me: How am I supposed to know, Joel? (*voice inside my head: It’s not like I just wrote a blog about falling in love with a stripper named Yanna!*)

No, they don’t allow a baby in a bar.

Would you encourage Lazlo to become a writer, someday? If not, what would you encourage him to do?

Joel: He can decide to do whatever he wants.

Me: How long do you get to write your columns in “Time?”

Joel: As long as I want. I have a column every other week, but I can basically do it on my own timeline.

Me: Are the ideas for your columns yours, or do you get an assignment?

Joel: The ideas are mine. That’s part of the job. But I do have to run it by my editor.

Me: Do you mind if I ask how much you’re paid for it?

Joel: No, you can ask me anything. That depends. I’m paid by the word.

Me: Seriously? Who decides how many words are in each column?

Joel: They decide how many words they want in advance.

Me: So you agree to terms before you do the work? It’s like being a hooker!

Joel: (laughs) It’s exactly like that.

Me: Do they reject your ideas sometimes?

Joel: Yes. Sometimes they reject a whole column and I have to re-write it. They give me ideas. There are really three editors. And the copy desk.

Me: Do they ever make it funnier?

Joel: No. It’s not that kind of a magazine.

Me: Did you really appear on “Hot Hot Hottest Hotties” on VH1?

Joel: It’s not called that, it’s those “I Love the 80’s” shows, I’m a talking head.

Me: Yeah, I know those, where you make fun of Heidi Montag or reality people.

Joel: (nods) I still do them.

Me: You still do them? Why?

Joel: Because I show up for an hour and they pay me $1,000.

Me: Oh, that’s good. Sure, why not? Do you drink sweet drinks like what you’re eating? (red velvet waffle) Things with little umbrellas in them?

Joel: No, I don’t like sweet drinks, but I do have the palette of a six year old.

Me: What do you drink, “manly man” drinks like whiskey?

Joel: I like wine, but for my book, the Macallan guy came to my house.

Me: In a Scottish kilt?

Joel: Yes. He gave a tasting to my friends.

Me: I’ve seen that guy at the Playboy Mansion once for a tasting with my friends. He’s good. We took a bus. Did you pass out?

Joel: Yes. Before my friends left. Luckily, I was already at home.

Me: Nice. I understand you taught a humor writing class at Princeton. How did you get that job?

Joel: Someone suggested I apply for it and then they rejected me a few times. But then I did it and it was awesome.

Me: What did you teach the young students?

Joel: About Life. And Love.

Me: *snorts coffee through my nose laughing*

Am I doing anything right as far as humor writing on my blog?

Joel: You’re doing all of it right. You would get an “A.”

Me: Can we be BFFs?

Joel: Yes.

I paid the check. Thank you, Mr. Joel Stein, for being the first official interview subject on Girl to Mom EVER! How did I do?

Now, pretty please, tweet this today with something funny and a tiny url?

Joel Stein Heidi FerrerXOXO- Your pal,

~ Heidi

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20 Responses to The Joel Stein Interview- Girl to Mom

  1. Taren says:

    I thought you did great. Although how can we really trust this is what happened since you didn’t record it? Just kidding.

  2. Britt Morrow says:

    Heidi, Joel looked so handsome. I am going to stalk him on the social media….when I have something to say!
    I have a question for Joel … ” was Heidi the nicest interviewer you have ever had or ever will have ?” Me thinks so.

    Heidi, I have 2 recorders you can take on your next interview!!!! :-)

  3. Hope says:

    Awesome! Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Frosting almost gave me the big O. I had to take a few minutes to recover after that. Great interview.

  4. Ya know what would have made Joels waffles better?? Crumbled bacon. I wonder if you’re the first “coffee through the nose” snorting interviewer he ever had? Nicely done!

  5. Stacy says:

    Love Joel Stein. Good interview :) And bacon is awesome. (and yes, I’m Jewish as well)

  6. Dani says:

    He looks concerned… I feel like he’s sending me a message with his eyes…

    “Dani… save me from this blonde amazon… I much prefer small, dark, older women with equally bodacious tatas…”

    Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s it.


  7. This was hysterical. I read it out loud to my sister. I heart Joel, but you got it goin’ on with your Barbie mace!

  8. Pingback: Joel Stein’s Book- Man Made | Girl to Mom…trying to become a grown up before my kid does.

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