Ce­leste Headlee

OF ‘RETRO RE­PORT ON PBS’ ON PBS

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY GE­ORGE DICKIE

You do a lot of the then-and-now kind of po­si­tion­ing of cur­rent event sub­jects. Can you talk more about that?

Yeah. We don’t see it as a then-and-now thing. We see it as a con­nec­tive string of events. So one of the ways I like to de­scribe it is if you’ve all seen the very pop­u­lar his­to­ri­ans on Twit­ter? Ba­si­cally, what we do is you take a break­ing news story and you say – we try to say, “Wait. Be­fore you say what your opin­ion is on this, let’s take you back to where this started.” And some­times that’s two decades ago, some­times it’s 100 years ago. And then we walk you for­ward all the way through his­tory to where we are again. And by the time you get back to to­day, I’m pretty sure you might have changed your mind on what you think is re­ally go­ing on and what you think about it; that it’s a spec­trum. Not, “This hap­pened then, and it’s hap­pen­ing again.” But, “This started then, and it’s still go­ing on now.”

When did you folks start to re­al­ize that you and your col­league Andy Borowitz worked to­gether re­ally well, and you had a much nicer chem­istry than just two talk­ing heads put to­gether?

I don’t think it was five min­utes . ... Pretty im­me­di­ately, yeah. And I think, you know, at that point, we weren’t cho­sen as the hosts yet. But as soon as we fin­ished that, Kyra (Darn­ton, the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer) and Bon­nie (Ber­tram, a pro­ducer) both came up and said, “OK. So wel­come to ‘Retro Re­port.’ ”

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