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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  December 25, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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it was another lively debate. and i hope we can do it again in six months. >> thank you. appreciate it very much. >> nice to see you. >> great being with you. thanks, victoria. that's all for us tonight. -- captions by vitac -- there's absolutely no point in telling whoopi goldberg to bite her tongue. she's given a piece of her mind to presidents, politicians, and even her "view" co-stars. and tonight i've got that sinking feeling she's going to have a few choice words for me. >> you're not suckering me that way. i was not born yesterday, fool. >> she's an oscar winner, comedienne, talk show host, broadway producer. is there anything this woman can't do? >> i don't generally talk about the trapeze in my room, but that's a whole other thing. >> tonight, one on one with whoopi goldberg. you really can't wait, can you. i love this. >> i thought you knew this. >> i didn't know how weird you were.
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this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening. whoopi goldberg is a gift that keeps on giving. smart, opinionated, very, very funny. one of my favorite interviews of the year. things got interesting very quickly. here it is. >> how are you? >> i'm good. i'm fascinated by my own image. >> your wall of shame we have here. hall of fame or whatever you want to call it. >> i think it's fame. i'm never ashamed. >> really? >> no. >> you've never been ashamed about anything you've ever done? >> no, i don't think i've ever done anything shameful. >> that in itself is shameful. >> why? >> isn't it? >> i don't think so. >> shouldn't you have done some things in your life that are utterly shameful? >> publicly or privately? >> let's go private. something we don't know about. >> i'm sure something would have been shameful or ways that i've did things. >> feel free to share. >> well, no. i don't generally talk about the trapeze in my room, but that's a whole other thing. >> what about the public things we know about you? any of those when you look back, do you have regrets? i've never thought of you as
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somebody who overregrets things in life. >> no. i only have really one major regret. and it was i had the opportunity to spend a birthday with sammy davis jr. and i didn't. >> why? >> because i -- well, because i was young and dumb. and he passed, like, a couple of weeks later. and it devastated me. because i thought, you know what? that's what you get. >> what were you doing that was more important than sammy davis jr.'s birthday party? >> i don't know. it would have been my family. it could have been anything. i don't actually remember. i just remember he'd been so good to me and we were really, you know, good friends. and i -- i should have gone. i feel like i should have gone. that's the only -- that's the biggest regret. because he was an amazing performer. i mean, amazing. he could do everything. >> was he the greatest all-around entertainer that we've seen, do you think? >> i don't know.
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i mean, there are -- sinatra was a great all-around entertainer. judy garland. >> the thing about sammy davis, he could do almost everything. >> depends on what you see. you see certain movies, and you see -- you see sinatra dancing with gene kelly. >> it's more like -- >> no, no, darling. >> granddad at christmas party. >> no, no. >> sammy was a proper dancer. >> sammy was extraordinary. michael was extraordinary. there are maybe three or four in my lifetime that were extraordinary dancers and singers and actors and performers. so i -- i think there are probably three or four. and i knew two of them very well. and both are gone. >> my grandmother always said to me, the worst thing about getting old, by old she meant anywhere after 40. >> right. >> is that you start to just lose a lot of people that mean things to you.
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she was so right. whether it's family, whether it's people that you worked with, whatever it is, the death count goes up. >> well, you know, probably when she said that, that was correct. but if you are 40? are you about that age? >> you're flattering me, whoopi. >> may i ask? >> i just turned 46, but i'll take the first guess. >> people my age, you know, we came through a period where we suddenly saw lots of young people dying at huge, you know, amounts because we come from the time of aids. and for us, i think for people in that age range, our age range, that changed all of that because before they were able to sort of extend people's lives with quality, and people were going like this, dancers, singers, children. i mean, it was extraordinary. but now, you know, death seems to have been sort of pushed back a little bit.
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and people are no longer sort of falling out the way they were. >> people are living a very long time now. >> very long time. >> particularly with hiv. >> yes. >> they seem to have got it under some form of control now. >> yeah. it doesn't mean that one should explore dumb behavior like, you know, sex without a condom. but, you know, we're not under the same time threat as we were in the beginning stages of aids in the '80s. >> do you ever fear death yourself? >> well, i think i must, you know. i didn't get on a plane. >> you are, you're terrified of flying, aren't you? >> well, i don't like it. i understand the premise of the bumblebee, but i don't feel like a bumblebee. i feel like i shouldn't be flying. i should be rolling in my bus. >> was there something that sparked it? >> yeah. there was a midair collision years -- almost 30 years ago
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when i was living in san diego which, you know, if you've ever been in san diego, you know, if you stand on a balcony anywhere in the city, you can see everything. and we happened to be on the balcony. >> you saw it? >> yeah, we saw it happen. my little one was very little at the time, so she doesn't have a memory of it. and it was -- it's still hard. just hard. just hard. >> why is it so hard? >> well, because what they discovered later on is that the people on the plane were aware that they were in some danger, but i think the person who was in the smaller plane had had a heart attack. so the bigger plane, really there was no way to really figure out where to go.
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and i just feel for folks in a situation like that. who see something that they're not sure they're going to be able to live through. and so i just -- that's what stayed in my mind. because i'm a visualist. so if i see it, it lives in my brain. so i always see it. so i get on a plane. you know, things have changed, i must say, in the 30 years. >> how many planes have you actually caught in that period since then? >> since? well, it's hard to say. now i'm flying like a nun, you know, because -- >> you had a course, didn't you? >> i had a course from the folks at virgin. and they do a course where if you're really afraid of flying, they can really help you through it. and they did. and also, it helps that, you know, when i'm going to europe, i'm using my boss's plane to get there because he knows i'm, you know -- >> but for a long time you were getting on a bus to l.a. >> yes.
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>> for a 50-hour journey. >> piers, you have to travel with me, honey. 23 hours. >> that's quick. >> very fast. i could get on a train, but it's harder to take the bus to, say, london. >> it's tricky. >> well, if you go on the qe2, you could put down the big thing down at the bottom but, you know. i find that, you know, i'm able to fly better. it has been a little dicey recently because, you know, people have fallen asleep in towers. >> my mother's the same as you. >> yeah. >> she has a complete phobia of flying. >> yeah. >> she can't do it. and i would imagine the worst thing is whenever these incidents happen -- >> yeah. >> -- to me, i can brush them off. i catch a plane like a bus. i never even think about being in the air. but for you when you see an air traffic controller asleep, it must just go -- >> some people are meant to fly, you know. some people are meant to fly. and i don't know if i was meant to fly. but i do it now.
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you know, it's like i have to chuckle under my breath and go, okay, okay, thank god the drugs are there. >> are you a phobic generally? do you have other things you worry about? >> no. no. i'm just, you know, i don't like certain food. i don't like anything that has a weird consistency. i don't like anything that could be hiding something. like creamed corn. i don't understand the point. >> creamed corn? you're allergic to creamed corn? >> no. i'm not allergic. i'm not allergic to anything but milk. >> you're allergic to milk? really? >> mm-hmm. >> you can't drink milk and eat creamed corn. >> i can eat creamed corn. but i don't because i don't know what's in there. >> cream and corn. >> that's what you say. >> that's what it is. >> how do you know that? >> that's what it's called. >> that doesn't mean anything. >> why are you picking on creamed corn. >> i'm not. i want to be clear. i love corn. i love people who grow corn. i love people who can corn. but you know what it is, it's so -- it's like sauce.
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i don't understand sauce. because you could hide stuff in sauce. like, i like my food naked. if it's the wrong color, you know, i don't like green stuff. >> spinach? >> please, no. >> what? >> i hate spinach. >> you hate spinach? >> again, i appreciate the people who grow it. the people who -- >> you can't eat any creams, anything green. >> right. >> what are we left with? what do you eat? >> what do i eat? i love potato chips. those make me happy. >> so you just live off fries? >> no. potato chips from the bag. crisps. it takes too long to say crisps. it's like crispses. >> can you eat meat? >> some meat. >> you're really quite weird, aren't you? >> yeah. i thought you knew this. >> i didn't know how weird you were. you told me you were a bit odd. but this is crazy. >> very crazy. >> interview has gone completely off track to creamed corn is going to kill me. >> no. don't get me in trouble.
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creamed corn is not going to kill me. >> i'd like to take a quick break so we can both reflect on what's just happened here. then we'll come back and talk to you about your love life. >> my who? all right. if you can find it, we can talk about it. [ sniffling ] [ male announcer ] all stuffed up? simple relief is here. introducing robitussin® nasal relief pills. the right relief for nasal a pill. ♪ new from robitussin®. relief made simple. [ younger brother ] oh, do you want it? yeah. ok, we'll split it. [ female announcer ] made fresh, so light... ...buttery and flaky... this is half. that is not half. guys i have more. [ female announcer ] do you have enough crescents?
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now, whoopi, i want to turn from creamed corn to your relationship history. >> all right. >> you've had three marriages. >> yeah. >> the first one lasted six years. >> yeah. >> the second one lasted two years. >> yeah. >> and the last one lasted a year. so i think i know why you haven't got remarried. you wouldn't have enough time to actually get divorced. >> oh, i see. >> they're lasting shorter periods. >> well, i suppose that, you
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know, you have to actually be in love with the person that you marry. you have to really be committed to them. and i just -- i don't have that commitment. i'm committed to my family, you know. and so henceforth that relationship has lasted, you know, the longest. >> do you think you were in love with all your husbands? >> no. >> any of them? >> no, i don't think so. >> really? >> mm-hmm. >> that's an amazing thing to say, isn't it? >> but it's the truth. >> it's still amazing. >> oh, well, all right. >> did you have church weddings? >> no. let me see. i think there's a vegas and maybe one was a church and one was a house wedding. >> why did you do it if you weren't in love with them? >> because i wanted to feel normal. and it seemed to me that if i was married, i'd have a much normal -- more normal life. but clearly that's not the case. that's not a good reason to get married. you have to actually want a life with someone through ups and downs.
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and i just discovered that wasn't for me. >> how many times have you been in love? >> once. >> who with? >> a man. >> go on. >> i've gone as far as i'm going. >> can i chuck a name? >> you could chuck a name. >> ted? >> are you asking me if i was in love with ted? is that the man i'm talking about? >> yes. >> no. >> really? >> mm-hmm. >> would we know who the person is? >> no. and that's the beauty of it. >> wow, that's amazing. >> yes, i know. >> this is bombshell time. >> not real bombshell, but i snuck a couple in on y'all, and nobody knew. >> the one person you probably loved is someone we don't know about? >> yeah. and that's okay. >> is this a recent thing? >> no. no, no. it was a long time ago. >> you wish you had married that person? >> no. >> why? >> because what i know now is i don't want to live with -- i don't want to live with anyone. >> you've chosen the wrong guys.
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>> no, no. i think i tried it with probably the right guys for other people. but it wasn't them, it was me because i actually like living on my own. i like being able to go up and down my stairs farting like a queen and not having to explain. i like being able to smoke all over my house and not have someone go -- you know. i like my privacy. i like it. >> didn't you like being in love? >> i don't know if i did. because the hardest thing, if you already have a family, being in love with someone is very difficult. because you want them to know that you also love them. and you want your family to know that you love them. and it's a very difficult choice to have to make. you know. it's a difficult choice to have to make. and once you realize that it's one or the other, you say, oh, okay. >> do you think that guy knows that he's the only man you've ever loved? >> yes, yes. >> you still talk to him? >> yeah. we talk all the time.
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he's got two great kids and a great wife. >> so he's married? >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. >> i feel quite sad for you. >> why? >> i don't know. i just feel like -- >> you know, people say that all the time. people always say, you know, i'm going to fix you up with somebody. i go no, no, no! >> i just feel sad that this guy that you loved ended up with somebody else and it didn't work out for you. >> you know, lots of other things did, so i didn't do too badly. not too badly at all. >> are you on the dating scene? >> no. please, honey. oh, my god. could you imagine? >> not really. >> me sitting in a bar. hey. in the bar? no, no. i never was much of a dater. i'm not a real go out kind of person. though in the last couple of months, lots of my friends are on stage now, so i'm getting to go see lots of shows. but i was never a real dater. i either meet somebody and we hang out and whatever happens happens. but i'm really a singular person. >> do you get lonely?
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>> i don't think so. i keep trying to. you know. i keep trying to go, oh, oh. boy, i really want someone in my life. but i don't. you know, because the greatest thing is that there are people in my life that i love and adore. some of them are married. some of them are not. but i don't have to -- i don't have to do any more than love them. i don't have to do any more than that. and i actually like that. because i love some of these folks that i know. i mean, with all my heart. but boy, do i want them coming to live with me? hell, no. hell, no. >> what's been good about you? one of the many good things about you, but your big campaign about gay marriage, i think won you a lot of support from a lot of people in america. contentious thing to do. are you disappointed that president obama, who i know you're a massive fan of and
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supported, hasn't really done that much for gay marriage? >> well, you know, i'm not surprised by it. because, you know, very few presidents can go on and make the change they want to make. and he was very clear that he was conflicted about it. and once he made his decision, he talked to everybody and said, look, i'm going to go for it. you know, the guy's got cojones, i have to say. we're going to the generals and we're going to do this. we're going to pass the law getting rid of don't ask, don't tell. we're doing it. because it's hurtful to our citizens. now, what does he feel in his heart? he has no problem with gay folks. he has a problem with gay marriage. i suggest he never marry a gay person. then he'll always know that his heart is good. but he's looking out for gay people in the way that he can. and in this country, it's huge that anything got done. at all. at all. >> do you think we're getting there, perhaps? >> well, listen. we didn't tip over the edge. in spite of the fact that
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everybody's saying oh, he hasn't done anything. you know, we didn't go over the edge. he pulled us back. and has he spent a lot of money? probably. but there was a lot of money spent before. i'm sick of it. i'm sick of endless taxes by telephone companies and, you know, people telling me that i can't have a hamburger from mcdonald's because i should know that it's going to make me obese. no! no, no, no! get off my back. get off my -- you want me to stop smoking cigarettes? stop selling them. right? >> right. >> because they're making money from the taxes, they don't mind that. but we're concerned about your health. cigarettes cost, in some states, $13. a pack. see, and until they stop selling them, i'm going to -- i'm going to smoke. >> good for you. >> i think so. >> why shouldn't you do whatever you want to do? >> wl, not whatever i want to do because i would not smoke without saying, does this bother you? if it does, i won't do it.
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because i'm very -- i'm aware that other people may not feel the same way. but i do think that i was raised well. you were raised well by intelligent people for the most part, both of us. and that we know how to say to someone, would this bother you if i did that? >> let's take a little break. now that you're nicely fired up. >> i'm not fired up. >> when we come back, i want to know what you really think of the ladies of "the view." >> if anything was going to put me back in my shell, you just did. ♪ making your way in the world today ♪
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♪ takes everything you've got ♪ wouldn't you like to get away? ♪ ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪ ♪ you want to be where you can see ♪ ♪ our troubles are all the same ♪ ♪ you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪
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shoot. >> "newsweek" magazine recently said that you were the most popular host of "the view" and that you're even more liked than your friend oprah. what do you say to that? >> okay. i don't know. i don't know. you know. >> no denial, i notice. >> you know, i mean, i'm thankful. i'm grateful. but i don't know really what it means. i don't know what it means. >> are you friends with the other co-stars of "the view"? >> yeah. other co-workers that you have to get on with? >> no, no, no. i don't have the patience for. i don't have the patience. >> you look like you haven't got the patience when you're out there with them. >> not with them. sometimes when we're talking about things -- there are things that i really don't care about. and i'm supposed to.
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you know, i have to try a little harder. but there are just things i'm never going to understand the fascination. >> like what? >> like "dancing with the stars," you know, or charlie sheen's thing or, you know, any of it. >> you had a problem with drugs, didn't you? is it true that when you were -- won the oscar, you were actually high as a kite? >> no. >> please tell me it's true. >> well, no. i mean, could be. i could have smoked a joint, i don't know. >> you can't remember if you smoked a joint when you won an oscar? >> how long ago do you think that was? that was in 1990. i probably did smoke a joint. but, you know, again, to explain what you did -- 1990 buzz how long ago? i'm straight as an arrow now, and i can't even tell you how long ago it was. but, you know, what you did ten years or 15 years ago or 20 years, you grow up. would i smoke a joint now before i went to work? no.
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>> do you ever? >> no. god, no. >> really? >> number one, you can smell it on people. so why would i put myself in that position? >> you've become quite squeaky clean, haven't you? >> well, i still smoke cigarettes, so i'm not that squeaky clean. and i don't have a boyfriend. >> i want to play your little clip of some of the men that you've gone after on "the view." >> that i've gone after? >> that you've gone after, yeah. i think you'll enjoy this. >> all right. >> you're accusing me of lying. >> what do you mean, i'm accusing you? you sat there and you're a lying sack of dog mess. you lie. do i think that's the biggest pile of dog mess i've heard in ages. >> i do like the word. i love the word "dog mess."
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they won't let me say the real word. >> what's the real world? >> that's bull [ bleep ] but i can't say bull [ bleep ] on network television. >> really? >> 11:00 in the morning. apparently not. you cannot say bull [ bleep ]. >> don't you think it's ridiculous? >> yes, i do. >> i find it absurd, those fake morality plays. >> we have to adhere to them. >> tell me about what "the view" does for you. you obviously have this stunning career in many different fields. and you've ended up as this kind of voice of america. >> did you say ended up? is this it? am i done? >> i didn't mean in a bad way. you've become -- by the way, voice of america is a very important role. and it's a role that you seem incredibly perfectly capable of filling. but did you ever think you'd be this? did you ever think you'd be on tv every day giving your opinion? >> no, no, no. i never did. you know, i still do one-woman shows, one-person shows where i talk about all kinds of different issues.
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but no, i don't think of myself as a voice of america, but i do think that sometimes i see things from a different perspective. sometimes because of my race, sometimes because of my gender, sometimes because of my experiences. but -- and so i don't -- i'm in a safe place where i can say, well, no, here's what i know. here's my experience with something like this. and it feels okay. >> when you hear donald trump go after barack obama for where he was born, what do you think about it? >> it makes me really, really angry. it makes me angry because the facts are there. and you're refusing -- you're pissing in the face of facts. facts are facts. you know, there are a whole line of people whose job it is to make sure that the president of the united states is an america
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citizen. so if all of those people are in on some conspiracy to get some black terrorists in the white house, it's like, really? really? really? and, you know, he's on his thing about it. and it just makes me sad because it means facts don't mean anything. >> do you think a lot of people will believe it anyway? >> yes, they do. >> if you shout it loudly enough? >> yes, they do. >> is that the danger of that kind of politics? >> well, you know, it's not just the politics, you know. you know this. as a journalist, you know, 20 years ago, you had to back up what you said. you had to back up. you had to have facts. you couldn't just write something and just leave it. now because we have
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blogosphobic -- blogesphere -- blogospeople, you know, and we have the internet which goes around and around and around, you know, in infinity, people can throw out anything as fact, and they don't have to check it. no one has to check. no one has to prove anything. and this, to me, is a terrible disservice to the american people and to the internet. >> how do you think you would have fared as a young celebrity when you first hit the big-time if the internet had been around? >> oh, my gosh. no. no, no, no, no. i don't think i would have fared as well. but, you know, it took everybody a little while to get used to me. it took everybody a little while to get used to how i looked and how i was because i wasn't, like, femi girl, you know. i wasn't considered, you know, beautiful. so people had to get over the hair. so, you know, anything i was doing back then would have been
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compounded by "and look at her. look at her." >> i've always thought you were pretty sexy. >> thank you, piers. you are in a minority, honey. >> i don't think i am. >> well, oh, yeah. >> i think you'd be surprised. >> oh, i don't think you would be. >> no, you would be. you clearly would be because you're surprised. >> that's because you're a younger man. >> we'll take another little break. when we come back, i want to talk to you about your defense of many celebrities who fall by the wayside a bit. it's interesting. >> yes. [ female announcer ] we were flattered when regenerist beat a $100 cream. flabbergasted when we creamed a $500 cream. for about $30 regenerist micro-sculpting cream hydrates better than over 20 of america's most expensive luxury creams. fantastic. phenomenal. regenerist.
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one of the more surprising things about you, whoopi, is you're quite happy to slap a politician around for bad behavior. but when it comes to celebrities -- >> who have i slapped around? >> if a politician is behaving in your view wrongly or if a right-winged cable host, someone like a bill o'reilly or glenn beck, it's like, whack, whack, whack. or somebody like -- well, let's play a clip. give you a little idea of what i'm talking about. >> see that picture? well, that picture, it looks like a racist to me. >> he said he was joking. sf sfwl. >> he doesn't lock like a racist. he looks like an idiot. i know mel and i know he's not a racist. drunks say stupid stuff to people all the time. all the time because they're drunk. they are out of control. they're not thinking.
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they are idiotic. that's why i don't like alcohol. i can't say anything about that because i know what people are like when they're drunk. this rant, i don't think he's drunk on this rant. >> you also defended michael phelps for smoking pot. >> wait, no, i didn't. i said he had the right to smoke pot. he had the right to smoke pot. >> that's defending him. >> no. that's just saying if you're going to condemn somebody for smoking weed, it seems kind of crazy if they're in their home and someone's taking a picture of them. >> even if he's a multi-olympic champion? >> yeah. >> who makes a lot of money from entodorsements on being clean? >> is that what he was making money from entorsing? no. >> that's what people buy into. >> but that's a whole other thing. that means, piers, that should you go out and have a it shall i don't know if you drink. but if you have a drunk night and you say something off color to somebody, that means that you're saying that the people who hired you for this show hired you because they thought that you were never going to
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take a drink. >> no, it's not the same. >> why not? >> because michael phelps is an olympian athlete. his endorsements are specifically based on the wholesome, healthy, vibrant olympic athlete image he probably gets. >> no, i don't. >> yes, you do. >> no, i don't. no, i don't know that's true. >> do you also believe that people -- and i've met mel gibson a few times. and i kind of share your view about him. but as a rule of thumb with this kind of thing, do you think that people, when they're drunk, always say different things to what they really think? or do you think that the drink loosens tongues, perhaps? >> i think that drunks say whatever comes into their head. i don't think their -- drunks are not smart enough to think. if they were smart enough to think, they probably wouldn't say half the stuff they say and get their behinds kicked. the thing about drunks is they just -- they don't know any better. >> do you ever get drunk? >> yeah. >> properly, you know, seeing stars.
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>> yes. oh, yeah. i did once. that's why i don't drink anymore. >> once? >> yeah, once. >> you've been drunk once in your life? >> once in my life, and i was in public. >> where was it? >> in new orleans. >> go on, tell me more. >> no, i've told you everything you asked me. >> no, i want to hear all about it. >> i know you do. but i don't want to tell them. >> how drunk were you? >> very drunk. and, you know, if you -- my belief is when you're at home, you're entitled to do whatever you want. you're in the privacy of your home. now, homes are no longer private because if you have a party, people have cameras, so snap, you're at home. it doesn't mean anything. >> do you break the law then? >> i'm saying michael phelps if he was at home and he wanted to smoke a bong, he should have had the right to smoke a bong. >> you don't think he has any responsibility as a role model -- >> he's not smoking weed out in the street. at home, no, i don't. >> really? >> yes, man. yes. because those ties are too hard for anybody to live up to. people say you are a role model for these kids, and you shouldn't be doing this, and you shouldn't be saying that you did
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this. but the truth of the matter is, i should not be your kid's role model. you should be your kid's role model. but you don't want to be your kid's role model because even you can't live up to it. so back off me. >> no famous people should ever consider themselves to be role models? >> people -- famous people should consider themselves whatever they want to consider themselves. but know that the consequence of saying i am a role model is x, y, z. i'm saying that no one should be held to your idea of what their life should be because your dream of what they should be doing, that's not -- that's not right. it's not fair. and it says that you can't have bad periods. not periods, but bad swing. you know what i mean. >> if you're a celebrity, and a few friends of yours have done this, if they sell their wedding for $1 million, are they entitled to privacy? >> i don't know. if you sell it to a magazine, i wouldn't think so.
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i don't know. >> you can't be, can you? >> huh? >> you can't be. >> i don't know. you know, i've never done that. i can't really speak to it. but you can't be surprised. >> but you didn't seem to do that. >> but my attitude is you can't be surprised that, you know, people are following you around. if you call them and tell them where you are, you cannot bitch that they are there. >> i agree. we've actually reached a point of agreement. what do you want to say? >> well, i wanted to say for those of you out there who disagree with me in terms of being a role model, save your e-mails. i know you don't agree. it's okay. save the e-mails. i get it. i get it. but i have a different opinion. that's what i wanted to say. >> you're perfectly entitled to your opinion. >> thank you. >> when we come back, i want to talk to you about your work on broadway. >> thank you, piers.
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go to to learn about a free trial offer. so your contract with "the view" is coming up for renewal. >> maybe. >> are you going to be there for two more years? >> yeah, as far as i know. unless i really step in it. >> would you like to extend it further? do you love it so much you want to carry on or is there a natural shelf life? >> i don't know. i'll know in a year or two. i can't really tell. you know, i don't know. i don't know. i'm having a good time so far. >> what do you like doing most? if you could do one thing for the rest of your life? >> really?
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>> yeah. >> i'd like to sit on my porch. with my cigarettes, my potato chips and my water. a great couple of thousand books and my cat. >> seriously? >> yeah. >> for the next 20 years you'd do that? >> i could do that. >> no, you couldn't. >> i could. >> i don't believe you. >> i know. that's all right. >> i just don't believe you would do that. >> i know. and you think i need a boyfriend, too. >> no, i don't think you need a boyfriend. i regret the fact that you one guy you loved got away. that's different. >> right. but i didn't say whether i pushed him away. >> did you? >> i'm not telling you. >> why not? >> you should have asked me. >> you just raised it. >> too late. >> you can't take a camel to the oasis and say you can't have a drink. >> watch. a camel -- can we just talk about that? a camel to the oasis? >> you can't take a camel to the oasis and say you can't have a drink.
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you've led me to that story. >> the camel clearly had enough water to get there. >> you clearly wouldn't have raised the specter if you hadn't. >> or maybe, piers, i'm just that good. maybe you'll never know. you'll never know. >> what's on the horizon for you? >> oh, you know, i've got musicals opening. i have "sister act" which is opening. >> yeah, yeah. on broadway. >> which is really wonderful on broadway. we just opened another piece called "white noise" in chicago. another musical again. >> that's about white supremacists? >> yes. well, to me it's less about white supremacists than the choices we make when we chip away at integrity. the things that you say i would never do that, and then you make a little change. and then suddenly you made a little bit of inroads into doing something you didn't think you wanted to do. but it's okay because you've justified it. then another little tweak happens. so it's about when fame and fortune are being dangled. do you give up your core beliefs?
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whether the people agree with them or not? do you give them up? and then we have two sets of singing, two singing groups that have to deal with this dilemma. and so it's very interesting. and edgy. and we use all the words that have been buried and burned and, you know. >> is america more racist or less racist than, say, 20 years ago, from your experience? >> well, i don't know. you know, i thought it was slightly less racist, but now i'm not positive anymore. i'm not positive. >> why? >> because it just feels -- like questions to me, you know, i have to put in my head. when you question this president, the first president we've ever had of color and you're not sure where he was born and it continues, is that about -- what is that about, really? >> well, in donald trump's
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defense, i know him quite well. i don't think he's a racist at all. i don't think he means it in a racist context. >> but why didn't he ask about -- about george bush or bill clinton. >> i suspect it's about voting because his poll ratings, the more he hammers this point, probably an anti-obama vote catching mechanism. >> why not say he's a -- a crappy president. >> alike the fact you don't like to be seen as a successful african-american. you'd rather be seen as an american. >> yeah. you know, too many people died for that, for me to have to hyphenate my race. i'm just an american. i'm entitled to everything an american is entitled to. if that gets people pause, both black or white, people are not h sure where i'm coming from. i'm coming from the place where my mother worked her behind off,
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he worked her behind off to educate me to make me know that this was my country, good or bad, this is my country. >> your next movie's called "a little bit of heaven." when we come back after the short break, i'm going to ask you what your idea of heaven is. >> ah. act my age? -why? -why? -why? [ female announcer ] we all age differently. roc® multi-correxion 4 zone moisturizer with roc®retinol and antioxidants. lines, wrinkles, and sun damage will fade. roc multi-correxion. correct what ages you.
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your new movie's called "a little bit of heaven." what's your idea of a little bit of heaven? >> being here with you, piers. this is my little bit of heaven, damn it. sunny days with my family. you know. >> have you ever thought about what heaven might be like when you get up there? >> well, i just assume it's going to be good times with the family. people that you didn't get to meet because they were gone. >> do you believe in an afterlife? >> yeah. i like the idea of it. >> do you pray a lot? >> probably. >> probably? >> yeah. >> well, you either do or you don't. >> well, no, it depends -- what do you -- how do you describe praying? going to church and stuff? >> well, not necessarily going to church. but talking to an entity that is not physically there. asking for help. talking through issues, do you do that kind of thing? >> no, no. >> what's your idea of prayer?
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>> i could use some backup. i could use some backup. that's it pretty much. >> do you go to any church? >> no. no. i don't like being inside, you see. >> at all? >> very rarely. if it's nice weather, then i don't ever want to see the inside of my house. i just want to be in the sun. soaking up the rays. >> in "sister act" obviously you play a catholic. now, i am a catholic. so i -- >> i recognized you. >> exactly. one of those. imagine you're a catholic for a moment. confess to me your greatest sins. >> are you mad? >> it's worth a go. >> you're not suckering me that way, piers. i was not born yesterday, fool. that is not going to happen. >> got to give a little dog a bone. >> i know. that was sweet, though. >> give me a little juicy bone. >> a little juicy bone. >> if you were in the confessional now, what would you -- >> have you seen "sister act" yet? listen, father, come on over.
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yes, i'll give you two tickets. bring some of the sisters with you. tell me what you think. >> let me put a more positive -- >> okay. >> if you had five minutes to relive the greatest moment of your life, could be anything, what would it be? can't be the birth of your daughter. i mean, we've already established it won't be any of your marriages. >> right. and it can't be the birth of my kid. >> no. >> or my grandkids. >> no. >> okay. in that case i don't know the answer to that. because i don't know if i've already had it yet. the greatest moment of my life. i don't know. >> the moment when you've been -- >> if you come find -- my god. there are hundreds of times i've been the happiest. there's no one time. but again, i don't know. so if you come see me just half an hour before i die, i could probably answer that.
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winning an oscar? >> that was very, very nice. it was a lot of fun because i wanted to win. i really wanted to win. and i wanted an oscar sense i was a little kid, you know? so i got the first nomination with "color purple." and one to -- did not went but a great artist won so that was kind of okay. and then got nominated again, which you know not everybody gets. and then i won. and it was kind of great. i remember thinking, you know what? i did it. and that -- that was a great moment in my life. sidney poitier was happy i won. >> must have. a moment, sidney upon tea a. >> man, listen, he is -- and will always be -- one of those people on screen who you just want to emulate. you want to be that good. you know you want to be that good. the same for me with bette davis
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and judy holiday, you want to than good. oh, did i mention also that i'm doing a documentary? i'm sorry. >> fire away. >> it made me think about it. now do you know who moms maybelly was? >> i don't. >> she was an american comic, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, black lady who talked like this. piers, you know you so hot. but you on the cusp too old for moms. that's how she sounded. and i'm doing a documentary about her and we're going to do a play that i did many, many years ago on stage about her work, you know? her comedy. she's extraordinary. and i think you would actually -- i think you would really appreciate her. >> i will get to


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