The Unique Chicagoans On This Season of 'The Interview Show'

Daniel Hautzinger
Mark Bazer

The Interview Show with Mark Bazer airs Thursdays at 10:00 pm and is available to stream.

Mark Bazer talks to the most fascinating people. Winners of Nobel Prizes, James Beard Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur "genius" grants; Poet Laureates, young rappers and screenwriters, and Food Network stars; and that's all just in the previous season of The Interview Show with Mark Bazer. Take a look at some of the unique guests Mark will talk to in the fourth season of The Interview Show, which premieres Thursday, January 10 at 10:00 pm.

Michael Wilbon

Interview airs and is available to stream January 10

Wilbon is an ESPN stalwart who has co-hosted the channel's debate/analysis show Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser since 2001. Before that, he and Kornheiser were both writers for The Washington Post. How did he ascend to such lofty journalistic heights? A stellar education in his home city of Chicago, in part: he has a degree from Northwestern University's renowned Medill School of Journalism, and attended Saint Ignatius College Prep on the city's near West Side. 

Makaya McCraven

Interview airs and is available to stream January 10

Even though he's still young, McCraven is already a big deal in the jazz world, using electronic samples and loops into his performances and recordings to create a sound that wouldn't be out of place on some hip-hop songs. The son of musicians, he was born in France and raised in Massachusetts but cut his chops among Chicago's jazz musicians (he moved here in 2007), and both his most recent album, Universal Beings, and breakthrough, In the Moment, have received wide acclaim.

Eve Ewing

Interview airs and is available to stream January 17

What doesn't Eve Ewing do? She's a sociologist of education and author of Ghosts in the Schoolyard, an important book on the role race played in the closure of a number of Chicago Public Schools in 2013. She's an assistant professor at the University of Chicago and the writer behind the Marvel comic series Ironheart. She hosts a podcast delving into the Studs Terkel Radio ArchiveBughouse Square with Eve Ewing and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and more. 

Get a taste of what she's like in an interview in this segment from Chicago Tonight:

Ethan Hawke

Interview airs and is available to stream January 17

Ever since his appearance in Dead Poets Society in 1989, Hawke has been discussed as one of his generation's most talented actors. Four Academy Awards nominations later, he has also written novels, been praised for stage appearances, and directed plays, a documentary, and films, including last year's Blaze. Hear him discuss his early career with Christiane Amanpour on Amanpour and Company:

Laura Jane Grace

Interview airs and is available to stream January 24

Laura Jane Grace is the singer in the punk band Against Me!, but for the past several years a lot of attention has been focused more on her biography (albeit in large part as expressed in her songs) than her music. In 2012, she came out as transgender, and has since bravely explicated her complex feelings and the changes she has experienced in Against Me!'s two most recent albums (Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Shape Shift With Me), a memoir (Tranny), and a web series, True Trans with Laura Jane Grace. But last year the Chicago resident put out an album on Chicago-based label Bloodshot Records as Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers. A highlight of that record: "I Hate Chicago," which insults by name many of Chicago's beloved institutions, tongue-in-cheek.

Renato Mariotti

Interview airs and is available to stream January 24

You might recall Mariotti from the Democratic primary race for Illinois Attorney General early last year, when he was one of eight candidates. A former federal prosecutor, Mariotti has since become a trusted legal analyst who disentangles the complex ramifications of prosecutions and investigations for CNN and as a frequent guest on Chicago Tonight, as well as his On Topic podcast and his Twitter profile. Most recently he discussed federal charges against Chicago Alderman Ed Burke on Chicago Tonight

Erling Wu-Bower

Interview airs and is available to stream January 24

Wu-Bower had a big year in 2018, opening one of the most lauded restaurants of the year: River North's Pacific Standard Time, which serves bright food inspired by California. He was previously the chef at Nico Osteria and received several James Beard Award nominations while there. He spoke with former Check, Please! host Catherine De Orio in 2016, and appeared on The Interview Show with his friend and fellow-chef Cosmo Goss in 2017. (Goss was a partner in Pacific Standard Time until he dropped out after being fired from his former job at One Off Hospitality for mishandling an allegation of sexual harassment.)

Gillian Flynn

Interview airs and is available to stream January 31

Flynn is best known for the popular thriller Gone Girl, which was made into a film by David Fincher. Flynn wrote the screenplay for that adaptation, and has since moved more and more into television and film: she co-wrote the screenplay for Steve McQueen's 2018 Chicago-set thriller Widows, while HBO made her debut novel Sharp Objects into a miniseries starring Amy Adams last year, which she discussed on Chicago Tonight. She has talked to Mark Bazer before, back when she gave him a tour of Logan Square and Humboldt Park with her husband on My Chicago:

Daniel Kraus

Interview airs and is available to stream January 31

Like Flynn, Kraus is an author who is also involved in film. He co-authored the novelization of 2017's Oscar-sweeping The Shape of Water with the film's director Guillermo del Toro, and the idea for the movie came out of conversations between him and del Toro. He and del Toro also wrote Trollhunters together, which became an animated Netflix series. And he himself has made several documentaries, including one, Sheriff, that was shown on PBS's Independent Lens.

Sam Trump

Interview airs and is available to stream January 31

Trump is a young, multitalented musician who moved to Chicago in 2009 to get a degree from Columbia College. He's still early in his career, but his debut album Purple Skies came out in 2018, and there's sure to be more to come.