Dennis Miller joins Bill O'Reilly for a live show at Mohegan Sun
It's a match made in pundit/talking-head heaven. Bill O'Reilly, he of Fox News fame (or, depending on your political leanings, infamy), has brought comedian Dennis Miller onboard for the latest live gig. This "Bolder & Fresher Tour" is a follow-up to O'Reilly's mini-tour with Glenn Beck last year.
Miller, of course, is a Wednesday-night regular on O'Reilly's show. He took time to chat a few weeks before his and O'Reilly's scheduled appearance Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Here's what the former "Saturday Night Live-r" had to say.
What to expect from the live show: "I come out and do 35 minutes. I'm a standup. Bill comes out and does 35 minutes, and he's a communicator. Then, after a slight break, we do 35 minutes together, sort of querying each other about issues."
About the Miller-O'Reilly chemistry: "I do know we make each other laugh - I guess people like that. I think the world's so serious anyway, and Wednesdays, while we do talk about issues, we get each other laughing."
The duo will be playing the huge 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena, but that won't change the way Miller approaches a show: "Honest to God, once the lights go down, you could see the first row. You could be in the L.A. Coliseum or you could be in a coffee house. You see one row. I remember once I did a gig at this thing called Gator Growl in Florida, at the University of Florida at Gainesville. It was 85,000 people in a football stadium. Garry Shandling and I performed. I remember we were backstage. We were both nervous. I said, 'God, what is this going to be like?' He said, 'I don't know. You go first.' I walked out ... and I said, Oh, it's kind of just like a club, except you've got to wait for a second for the laughs to come back over you like the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail logo. That's what I remember it felt like to me. It had to hit the back wall, then splash back over you. For you to hear the laughs, you had to take a pause."
Articles about Miller tend to portray him as a liberal who morphed into a conservative, but he sees it differently: "I don't think I've ever been liberal about certain things. And I think to this day I've been liberal about other things. Listen, it's the Hatfield-McCoys out there now. People make flash judgments on you. I'm glad anyone gives a ---- either way. If they hate me or love me, at least they notice me. But I can tell you this: my politics are pretty divergent. I'm socially liberal and, as far as other issues - like I think you should kill bad guys before they kill you, and I think you should get to keep one out of two bucks you make for a living. I guess that paints me as an ultra-right wing, but it seems like pragmatics to me."
Miller? Not an Obama fan: "I look at Obama, and I know people on the left who think he's brilliant and this is great what's happening. I guess it puts me in the crosshairs if I just say he looks reasonably inept to me. Forget agenda-driven - I'm just saying, really? This is this huge change people were telling me about? This seems like, if I were running a general store, I'd be saying, this is not working that well. ... I'm glad for one thing. They're all warmongers now. I'm glad to have them on our side. For years, I would say, 'No, I think we have to fight this war against terror.' They said, 'No, no!' Now that he's bloodthirsty, they are too. So I welcome that change."
Miller has spoken against what he sees as politicians taking motivation out of Americans: "I like the hustle. I like that Aaron Copland working-class thing where you get up and hear that music and go for your dream. ... I remember when O'Reilly was interviewing Obama at the Super Bowl. He said, 'What do you think?' I said, 'I would ask him, at the end of this game, would you tell the winner to take the proper amount of points and give it to the loser so it was a tie?' I just don't like that whole feel. ... If we're going to be socialists, I would at least throw this in at the end: can't we all be rich? Do we have to all be poor together? Really? if we're going to be the same, can't we all be loaded?"
Bill O'Reilly & Dennis Miller's Bolder & Fresher Tour 2011, 8 p.m. Saturday, Mohegan Sun Arena; $45-$125; mohegansun.com.