ArtsArts Interview

Interviewing the Interviewer: Richard Wilmore


The San Antoni0 talk show host Richard Wilmore is returning for Season Five of The Richard Wilmore Show. After spending last season broadcasting virtually due to COVID-19, he’s back in a new studio and is now welcoming in-person audiences to attend the show.

On Oct. 1, Mr. Wilmore recently chatted with ArtScene SA about the history of the show and this season’s offerings.

You just did the first show of the new season in the new digs, right?

We start on Monday, October 4th. But I have done some pre-interviews, so we have started filming in the new studio, which is really fun. We’ve had musicians and filmmakers. We’ve had authors already. It’s going to be a really fun season.

Tell us a bit about the guests that are coming up.

Sure. In the season premiere that’s coming up on Monday, we have one virtual interview with a comedian who’s going to be at the LOL Comedy Club on the 12th of October. He had a viral video in 2017. He’s a teacher, and he had this April Fool’s Day prank video that he did with his students. He ended up on Ellen, and his video has something like 12 million views. So he came on.

And then we have a filmmaker also on Monday. Authors are coming up. We have quite a few people coming up. We’re going to play some games. Very excited to be back in the studio. With people!

No kidding. How large an audience can the studio hold?

That’s a great question. We have about 10 people coming. It depends on what we’re doing. If it’s just an interview, we can fit more people. But if we’re doing a performance that takes up more space, it’s obviously fewer people. Not a huge audience, but enough to make it fun.

Tell us briefly about the origins of the show.

I wanted to be a talk show host since I was ten years old. I saw Rosie O’Donnell and I loved how she seemed to connect with everyone in America. It was fun and you could laugh. It was like a safe space. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted people to come and be themselves — and just celebrate humanity, really.

The Richard Wilmore Show‘s first studio in San Antonio, set up in a spare bedroom.

So I thought that I’d go to school for theater (I was a theater major in college), and I’ll get famous. And I’ll have a talk show just like she did. Then it turns out that’s not how you do it. I did a show in Milwaukee when I lived there.

I did a show in Maryland in a little TV studio with audience members. Bands would come in. I would go through the events listings on Craigslist back then and would say, “You’ve got something coming up. Would you like to be on my show?” That’s pretty much how it all started.

It’s been done in comedy clubs, in bedrooms and living rooms — and now here we are in the new studio.

You’re doing a podcast as well, right?

Yes, with an arts and health nonprofit called “Hearts Need Art.” We produce a weekly podcast called Arts for the Health of It. For a few months now, I’ve been able to talk to people all over the world about the impact the arts have on our health, which is really exciting.

How does somebody make reservations to attend?

Go to the website, and there’s a button to get free tickets, and you can pick which day you want to come. Every time a guest gets booked, you can choose which show you want to come to.

If you’re a local actor or someone else working in the arts in San Antonio, how do you go about requesting an interview?

Same thing. I’m easily accessible. You can Facebook message me. You can Instagram, DM, email. That’s what my show is all about. I wouldn’t have a show without the great entertainers in this city.

So if you have something cool coming up, or you’re releasing new music or a book, this is how you do it.

What formats is the show available on?

It’s on Apple TV and Amazon Fire. It’s also and iTunes and Google podcasts.

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