The old adage stating that it “takes one to know one” is true in so many areas of life. It always seems that those who are closest to an area of focus or who are even working within a field are the people that truly know the space. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the entertainment industry. To showcase this, we’ve taken a look at the recent work of one of Hollywood’s most seasoned insiders — Ryan Seacrest. Read on for a look at some of the perspective he’s brought us of late of entertainment professionals in their work, life, and beyond.
Honoring Regis Philbin
It was with a heavy heart that the world learned of the recent passing of Regis Philbin. Perhaps the prototypical Hollywood insider, no one can claim to hold the visibility that Philbin has had over the years. In fact, he now holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S. television. His fans knew him in a wide range of roles including talk show host, actor, game show host, and much more. He’s well-known through a variety of enduring programs such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee (later Live! with Regis and Kelly).
Due to his ubiquity on the air — he was often referred to as “the hardest working man in television” — people around the world knew him well by face and name. He was a fixture of U.S. television for decades and became a trusted presenter and host for generations of loyal fans. His versatility in captaining a number of different programs helped earn his reputation as a talented television personality and also helped endear him to a disparate group of television watchers. His panache for style and charisma stayed with him throughout his life and helped him stay in the hearts and minds of the general public even after his final television appearance.
As news of Philbin’s passing spread, tributes from the many people he had touched over the years came pouring in. One of special note came from Ryan Seacrest himself, who has drawn comparisons to the late television personality over the years. Not only has the radio and television host earned his own reputation for his tireless work ethic, he’s also visible on a wide range of television programs himself. He also, notably, has been the successor to Philbin on Live!, now known as Live! With Kelly and Ryan.
In an emotional on-air tribute to Philbin, the radio host highlighted the impact the recent news had on him. “We lost a legend, an icon, a national treasure,” said Seacrest. “Before the news was public I got a text and I actually didn’t believe it, I thought this can’t be true, it’s got to be a rumor,” the radio host added. “Regis, he created the notion of being one’s best friend through the screen.” The radio host went on to note that Philbin “was the master of telling great stories and making you feel so good in the morning.”
The radio host also noted the ways in which Philbin’s career in entertainment motivated his own efforts in the industry. He recalled watching Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee early in life and being mesmerized by the host’s abilities. He noted that he would make sure to watch the show after swim practice and would even time his breakfast so that he could eat while seated in front of the television watching the show. Clearly, the experience made an impact as the trajectory of his career has shown many similarities to the television host he so looked up to.
During his on-air tribute to Philbin, Ryan Seacrest even noted how he was inspired by the television personality and would wonder aloud how it might feel to follow in his footsteps. “Even as a child, I just felt that connection,” said the radio host. “I will tell you this, I actually remember thinking to myself, ‘Gosh, what would it be like to sit in that chair? What would it be like?’ No one can replace this man, no one will ever replace this man, but what would it be like to have that?”
It seems fate has a funny way of working out since, in many ways, the successful radio and television host has now had a good taste of what that life entails. Having succeeded Philbin in many ways, the radio host is now helping to pay tribute to the man who helped inspire his own career. Though visions of success danced in his head even as a young child watching television over breakfast, one has to wonder if he ever imagined just how much his own life’s arc would be altered by the motivation he drew from that early exposure to entertainment.
From his place as an insider helping to serve up some of the most relevant news in the entertainment industry, Ryan Seacrest doesn’t only provide news himself, he also brings people on his shows who are also sources of news. Such was the case when the radio host recently had Rob Lowe on his broadcast to talk about his latest endeavors.
On that interview, Lowe noted that, like many of us, he’s been searching for ways to stay busy while staying at home. For him, part of that pursuit has involved his beloved pastime of baseball. The actor confessed that he is a huge fan of the sport and was eager to talk shop with the radio host at the start of the interview. Lowe joked that, while watching the Dodgers’ first game, he was pleased to note the placement of his cardboard fan cutout.
The cutouts, for those not in the know, are sponsored by fans and carry the image of a fan on cardboard that is then placed in the stands to simulate a crowd. The new fixtures help to create a more familiar appearance to the stadiums and are even accompanied by artificial crowd noise. When commenting on that, Lowe joked that the fan noise had become the “laugh track” of professional sports. Ultimately, the actor stated that he was “shocked at how quickly he adjusted to watching the game without fans.”
But Lowe wasn’t on the radio show merely to talk sports. Perhaps his biggest endeavor to keep himself busy during quarantine has been the creation of a new podcast. Much like the work engaged in by Seacrest himself, the actor’s new podcast focuses on intimate talks between himself and entertainment professionals. Part of the goal of the work is to bring fans conversations that might be otherwise hard to find — conversations consisting of just two entertainment professionals speaking about a range of topics related to their industry and otherwise.
When speaking on the project, Lowe noted he felt like it was a natural progression for him. “I was like, ‘Well, Ryan’s got every job already so I’m not going to get any of Ryan’s jobs,” joked Lowe. “So what can I do in my own little home? And it’s been awesome. The guests have been great. The stories have been great. It’s been as much fun just for me.”
The actor also spoke about the nature of the relationships he shares with the people he brings on his show. For some of his guests, he’s known them for years. Such was the case with one of his first invitees — Chris Pratt — with whom Lowe co-starred on the hit comedy Parks and Recreation. This level of familiarity has allowed episodes of the podcast to feel like what they are — a deep conversation between friends.
Other conversations, Lowe said, are people that he’s wanted to meet for some time but has never been able to do so. These guests are people that he’s long admired and had a professional curiosity about their work. By bringing them on the new podcast, he’s able to ask of them the questions he’s always had and to quench his own curiosity as to what they’re like in person.
On that last topic, Lowe notes that, during these interviews, he lets his inner fan come out. Speaking to Seacrest on this topic, he said “I think when you’re in the business as long as you and I both have been it’s easy to get jaded. We’ve talked to everybody, we’ve seen everybody, and I think the battle — and this is the same for anyone in any walk of life — is to stay curious,” He went on to note that the whole process is “authentic” and that he is “legitimately interested” in the guests he has on his show.
Other news sources
Though entertainment news is often a focus of the radio and television host’s broadcasts, he also engages in extensive coverage of news from a variety of other parts of modern life. To this end, he’ll often have people on his shows who engage in this type of broader reporting. This point was illustrated through a recent interview he conducted with Don Lemon, an American television journalist currently broadcasting on CNN.
Lemon was on the show to speak on a variety of topics, including his new podcast Silence is Not an Option. The new show broaches the subject of the current crisis in America centering around issues of race, class, and other civil rights struggles. The effort maintains a particular focus on keeping an open line of communication between individuals and helps to provide information as to what people can do to help. This information often centers on the ways in which dialogues between activists, artists, and thought leaders can help to push the state of equality forward in the country.
Like others, Lemon spoke favorably about the manner in which the podcast format allows him to dive deeper into topics of importance. “I wanted to dig deeper on these issues especially because we’re sitting at home,” said Lemon. “We’re seeing all these things happen, especially when it comes to race and people are open and they’re vulnerable and they’re saying, ‘Hey, what can I do?’” The journalist noted that the topics he covers on the podcast are done so in a manner that “you can’t necessarily do on TV.”
Another type of news for which fans turn to Ryan Seacrest is information on the releases of their favorite artists. A great example of this has emerged recently as the radio and television host helped to inform listeners of the newest release from Beyonce. That release is a visual album that has been hotly anticipated by the star’s droves of fans.
Speaking on the release, Seacrest relayed that “[Black is King] was originally supposed to serve merely as a companion piece to the live-action adaptation of The Lion King she starred in last year but it slowly morphed into something far more meaningful for her and audiences worldwide.” The new album is now a feature-length film in its own right that the artist has worked on extensively over the past year.
The artist’s work on the album includes a wide number of different roles, making the project a true expression of her present artistic sensibilities and goals. The piece is a celebration of black excellence and history and adds an important voice to the current global discussion surrounding racial equality.
The star shared the album’s release in a lengthy social media post in which she chronicled how important the project was to her. She discussed how the album has been a passion project for her that she has been working on day and night through filming, researching, and editing efforts. She also noted that recent events have made the film’s message more relevant than ever and that she now hopes her hard work will go on to serve a greater purpose than she had first imagined.
In discussing the album, the international star highlighted that the film touches on themes of generational wealth, richness of soul, and the history of black stories across the world. She also spoke on some of her motivation for the project, saying that she wanted to present elements of black history and African tradition with a modern twist. Ultimately, she hopes that the message can be viewed as universal and can help people discover what it truly means to find one’s self-identity and build a legacy. She signed off the emotional post with the hope that fans would watch it with their families and that it would help them find a sense of pride.
A new pop king?
In other entertainment news, another popular musical artist has reached a major milestone. As noted on the radio host’s broadcast, the artist has now become the person with the most top 10 entries on Billboard’s Hot 100. The honor comes as a result of the star’s collaboration with DJ Khaled, with the duo’s new collaborations, “Popstar” and “Greece”, debuting at #3 and #8 on the chart respectively.
The new hits put the artist’s total top-10 entries at 40, helping him to surpass the previous title-holder, Madonna, who has 38. The next highest total belongs to The Beatles with 34. To say that this puts Drake in rare company is an understatement and gives the artist a significant claim to being at the head of his industry by some measures. Fans may argue over the significance of the new record and where it places the musician in the pantheon of other great performers, however, it’s clear that the milestone has broken new ground that has never been surpassed in history. With no end in sight to his storied career, it’s reasonable to believe that Drake’s hold on the title will only be further cemented as he continues to release music.
Stars influencing stars
We’ll close out this overview with a touching story that came to light as Katy Perry was discussing her own career and the path she took to get where she is. Ryan Seacrest highlighted her revelations on a recent broadcast, helping to illustrate how the twists and turns of the entertainment industry can play out.
The revelation centered around David Guetta’s international hit “Titanium” which debuted in 2011. Though Sia was already an established singer at that time, especially in Australia, she had yet to achieve widespread international notoriety. The duo had cut a demo of “Titanium”, which they co-wrote, simply to show to other artists.
One of those artists happened to be Katy Perry. Though it was presented to her as a potential song for her to perform on, Perry knew upon hearing it that Sia should stay on the track. “I remember specifically listening to it on a plane and thinking, ‘Oh my God, this song is so good,” said Perry. “I wrote back an email saying, ‘You’re crazy. I don’t need to be on this. Keep Sia on the record.’”
Ultimately the duo agreed with Perry and the song was released with Sia performing vocals on the track. The song became a huge international hit and played a major role in advancing Sia’s career and helping her to achieve the high level of success she currently enjoys. Through this story, we can see how Katy Perry played her own part in helping that success along. The story helps to remind us how small the entertainment industry truly is and how everyday decisions can play a major role in the lives of entertainment professionals.