The Bat Segundo Show

The Bat Segundo Show

"The Bat Segundo Show" is a podcast based in New York run by writer and literary critic Edward Champion.

The program features comprehensive interviews with prominent figures in arts and culture, with a special focus on literature. Past guests have included David Lynch, Amy Sedaris, Nora Ephron, John Updike, Errol Morris, Nicholson Baker and others. It was one of the first in-depth literary podcasts created exclusively for the Internet. The program was singled out by the Washington Times in 2007 [ [ "Bloggers' new chapters in books,"] Washington Times, August 10, 2007] and The Los Angeles Times in 2008 [ [ "The Other Bat man,"] Carolyn Kellogg, The Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2008] .


"The Bat Segundo Show" started in 2004, as a "shameless excuse to interview David Mitchell." Needing an introduction, Champion took the name of "Bat Segundo" from Mitchell's first novel, Ghostwritten, (later obtaining Mitchell's permission) and created "a deliberately unappealing and grating character" to introduce each segment. [ [ Champion interview with Bibliophile Stalker] , April 8, 2008] Bat Segundo is "a former radio DJ" who is "believed to be 49 years old." He spends "most of his time living in a Motel 6 room and is very fond of tequila." A Spanish-speaking character named "Jorge," described as "a key component to getting Mr. Segundo recording his introductions" and "also instrumental in getting the listener excited about the program" soon followed. [ [ About the Bat Segundo Show] ]

Other characters who have appeared are the Three Cheap Tenors, who sing songs for particular guests, and Doris Segundo, an ex-wife of Bat Segundo who regularly demands alimony.

The interviews are conducted by "Our Young, Roving Correspondent," a stand-in for Champion. The questions asked are often tough and quite detailed, sometimes surprising the authors themselves. Champion prepares "by reading an author's most recent book, and sometimes additional volumes in the backlist." He then tries "to determine what questions have been asked of an author and strikes these angles off my list, if at all possible." [ [ Champion interview with Bibliophile Stalker] , April 8, 2008]

Bat Segundo was killed off on Show #199, the victim of an apparent shooting. But there have been some suggestions in later introductions that Mr. Segundo is not dead. Nevertheless, the program's introductions after Show #200 have not yet included an appearance from Mr. Segundo.


Champion's provocative interviewing style has resulted in some of his guests taking offense. Writing on his blog on May 3, 2007, Champion described a failed interview with the novelist Marisha Pessl, writing, "Maybe it's because my interviewing style is less rapid-fire Q&A and more conversational and idiosyncratic. Maybe it's because I don't like to ask questions that everybody else asks." [Edward Champion, [ Confessions of a Failed Interviewer] , May 3, 2007]

On September 21, 2007, Champion described a post-interview confrontation with Danica McKellar, in which McKellar reportedly said to him, "That should have been my first warning. When you said, I'll give you a softball question, like, there's going to be a hardball? But what?" [Edward Champion, [ Tough Questions, Journalistic Truth, and Danica McKellar] , September 21, 2007]

On April 30, 2008, after a bad experience interviewing actors Linus Roache, Jennifer Ehle, and Rahul Bose, Champion vowed in a heated post that he would "never do a junket interview again. And, at least for the time being, I do not want to talk with actors." [Edward Champion, [ Junkets] , April 30, 2008]


External links

* [ Official website]

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