Joe Queenan Actor/Filmaker
Kevin Nealon Actor
Daryl Gates Former L.A.P.D. Police
Kate Mulgrew Actress
Bill Maher: Welcome to the show.
Let's meet our panel. Oh, I have a book to plug here. Sorry.
He's a writer and now movie director who's latest book is The Unkindest
Cut, Joe Queenan. Our pal, Joe, how are you? Good to see you
out here on the west coast.
He was the longest running cast member in
the history of Saturday Night Live and was seen most recently on ABC's
Champs, Kevin Nealon. How are you? Thanks for coming by.
All right. The retired Chief of Police
of the L.A.P.D. and creator of an interactive computer game called SWAT,
Daryl Gates. Good to see you.
And finally, she plays Captain Kathryn Janeway,
first female captain of the starship U.S.S. Voyager on Star Trek Voyager,
Mondays at eight on UPN. Kate Mulgrew. Captain, thank you for
(handshakes and ribbing about welcoming Captain
Janeway to earth)
in California a couple of days ago, the assembly passes a thing saying
that you could have concealed weapons now, which is a big thing in about
twenty-six states. I know Texas; its God's law down there. What this
says basically, is you can have a concealed weapon on you. You don't have
to show it. I guess that was the old thing; you have a rifle showing
in the back of the car. The NRA always says an armed society is a
polite society. Isn't that what the NRA says?
Daryl Gates: That's what they say.
Kate Mulgrew: Caesar said that as well.
Bill Maher: And looked what happened
Bill Maher: He got stabbed and then
an awful salad.
Joe Queenan: I'd like to see the hardware
out because when you're in a bar, you know whether or not to continue the
argument about whether DiMagio or the Tory(?) brothers hit the most home
runs. If a guy doesn't have a gun out, you'll proceed. If a
guy has a gun, okay,whatever, you say, DiMagio, Tory(?), Covington, I don't
Kevin Nealon: But don't you always assume
that somebody has a gun?
Kate Mulgrew: Of course not.
Daryl Gates: That's a good assumption
because so many people have guns now and I think that's one of the feelings
out there that almost anywhere you go, you're worried about somebody having
a gun and holding you up.
Kate Mulgrew: But that doesn't justify
carrying a gun.
Daryl Gates: And people want to be protected.
Mulgrew: I think if you are carrying a concealed weapon, it's motivational.
You'll use it, and you will regret it.
Joe Queenan: Why will you regret it?
Kate Mulgrew: I'll tell you this, in
hindsight, in retrospect, you will regret it if you are a human being with
any compassion. Well, I would.
Joe Queenan: Why in retrospect will
you regret it?
Kate Mulgrew: I was attacked once in
New York, very badly, right? Really severely. If I had had a gun,
I would have blown the guy away. I am very glad I did not.
Joe Queenan: You married to the guy now or
Kate Mulgrew: (laughs) We were
married, of course. We've since divorced.
Kevin Nealon: I don't think a right
to carry law will create a polite society. I think it will create
a wise guy society. You'll have a lot of guys walking around saying
is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me.
Joe Queenan: A wise guy society would
still be a better society than this one.
Kevin Nealon: I think they should pass
a right to be happy to see me law.
Bill Maher: But I don't agree with what
you said about you assume everyone has a gun. I never think someone
has a gun, living here in California, but in Texas I would assume that.
I would not start a fight. I wouldn't try to start a fight here,
but I might. But in Texas, I would be much more afraid. I don't
think there should be guns, but as long as there are guns - the NRA statistics
and the FBI statistics on this say that any state that has this concealed
weapon law, the crime statistic goes down.
Daryl Gates: They certainly don't go
up and not only that, but our problem is we have so much crime, so much
violence, that people have gotten to the point where they say, hey, why
can't I protect myself? Being a cop, I'm not interested in seeing more
guns on the street. I'm really not. But I will tell you this,
I think people do have a right to protect themselves and they are not being
protected by the justice system.
Bill Maher: So you are for these concealed
Daryl Gates: No, I'm not for it, but
I think that it's something that until we do something about crime and
violence in this nation, better face up to it that people want to be protected.
They want to feel that they can protect themselves.
Bill Maher: Are you running for office,
because I can't get a straight answer out of you.
Kate Mulgrew: I want to know what kind
of danger we're in.
Bill Maher: I don't know where you stand
Daryl Gates: The cop in me says, hey
there's so many guns out there. I hate to see more. On the
other hand, the person who believes that people have a right to protect
themselves because the justice has failed them so badly says, hey yeah,
Bill Maher: Well, which one of these
personalities is prevalent right now? We should have Roseanne on
this show and we could hear all her points of view.
Kate Mulgrew: You do subscribe to it?
Daryl Gates: I carry one.
Mulgrew: You carry one. Now if I were to carry one, might I
ask you this then, what kind of danger am I protecting myself from?
Just give me a scenario in my daily life in California which is a nice,
middle class existence. I do not present myself to dangerous situations---
Daryl Gates: Do you drive down the freeway?
Kate Mulgrew: I do.
Daryl Gates: Have you ever heard of
car-jacking? It happens all the time.
Kate Mulgrew: So he pulls out the gun
and I pull out mine and it's good luck. I pull out my phaser and
then it's really...
Bill Maher: We were talking about defending
ourselves in this violent society we live in. What about guardian
angels? What about those kinds of groups? Those vigilante groups.
I know when I see them, I feel better.
Kate Mulgrew: You do?
Kevin Nealon: As long as they're concealed,
it's all right.
Kate Mulgrew: You are speaking --- that's
specifically on the subway in New York, right?
Bill Maher: No, they perform a lot of
places, not just New York.
Kate Mulgrew: I feel good there.
If I saw them here, I don't think I'd feel ---
Kevin Nealon: And they don't carry guns,
Daryl Gates: No they don't carry guns.
Bill Maher: They don't carry guns.
Kevin Nealon: But they have those red
Bill Maher: It's actually a raspberry
Kate Mulgrew: It's a French beret, yes.
Kevin Nealon: I think that carrying
guns doesn't solve the problem.
Joe Queenan: Using guns solves them.
Kevin Nealon: As long as they don't
pass the right to kill law, then we're okay. But they should have
stiffer penalties and tougher laws because I don't think you are going
to solve the problem carrying guns.
Daryl Gates: Have to convict them first.
Joe Queenan: Here's what bothers me,
and we know there's been problems convicting people guilty of crimes in
Los Angeles recently. Here's what bothers me, you are in Texas.
You are in some bar. You are arguing with a guy. Arguing about
who hit the most home runs---
Mulgrew: You are always in this bar.
Joe Queenan: I spend a lot of time in
bars in Texas. He's got a gun. He's got a shotgun, so you figure,
okay, I get ahold of the shotgun and we can continue the argument.
With the concealed gun law, he's got the visible gun here, he's got a concealed
weapon as well. It should be one or the other. We're either a no
gun state or a concealed gun state or a visible gun state. But you
can't have all three, because you don't want to go into any bars in Texas.
It gets too confusing.
Daryl Gates: They have to leave their
Kevin Nealon: Let's say you are a car-jacker,
you get a two for one deal. You get the car and you get the gun in
the glove compartment.
Kate Mulgrew: I just want to get an
answer out of Mr. Gates about this.
Daryl Gates: You'll never get it out
in time. That is as big a violation of the law as if you carry it
on your person. Can't conceal a gun in California.
Bill Maher: But usually police are against
any sort of self defense and the people say look, we would love to have
the police do this for us, but Dominos comes faster than 911. Sometimes
we think it is just the police's ego saying we can do the job, but if you
can't, you should let us do it.
Daryl Gates: Once again, Bill, that's
what I'm saying. Until we get the system so it works, the justice
system including the police, to protect people, crime continues to go up.
Violence continues to go up. It's very hard for me to say to people, hey
no, you should not arm yourself. I am opposed to more guns on the
street. I'd like to see more guns taken off the street. I'd
like to see them taken away from the criminals. But I'd hate to see law
abiding people not have the opportunity to protect themselves.
Kate Mulgrew: But Mr. Gates, may I ask
you this question because you are very qualified to answer it. Who
is qualified to have a gun? Certainly not Kate Mulgrew.
Daryl Gates: I think if we are going
to pass the legislation, we have to build into that training so that the
person is qualified to handle a gun, because there that is---
Kate Mulgrew: Training to what extent
because fear will always trigger panic. That's what we are talking
about in the final analysis. You see a gun, I don't care if you've
had months of training.
Daryl Gates: That could happen.
And you'd better know what the law is because you can get yourself in deep,
deep trouble with any kind of weapon, but particularly with a gun.
Bill Maher: But I think she's saying
the criminals, they are good at guns because that's their job. And
we're bad at guns.
Kate Mulgrew: At any rate, these guys
in this bar in Texas. They're marvelous with these guns.
Kevin Nealon: Which bar is this?
Kate Mulgrew: Yeah, what is this bar
Joe Queenan: It's a bar filled with
the kinds of guys who attacked this woman fifteen years ago and if she'd
shot them, they wouldn't be there and I could have my drink in peace.
Nealon: Bill, we have the right to carry a cellular phone now and
look how out of control that's gotten. If you do the gun thing, people
are going to be standing on corners using the phone, the gun, you know.
Shoot who? Okay. I think that covers it all.
Bill Maher: We were talking about crime,
but enough about crime. Crime's a downer. Now let's talk about baby
boomers. I've read certainly a lot of articles --- eight by you,
Joe --- in the last year. They've turned fifty. This to me is the
most disgusting --- usually I try to conceal what I think, not very well
--- but this just blows my mind. There's an article here in Newsweek
called "Need a Life? Get a Coach." There are people now...listen
to this, 'Coaches, an entirely new and distinctly 90's profession.
Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend.
For fees ranging from $150.00 to $500.00 a month for a weekly half hour
phone session they will give you advice on everything from shopping to
selling a business to shopping for snow tires. It's like having a
friend to bounce things off of.'
Kate Mulgrew: And what do they charge?
What's the fee?
Bill Maher: I doesn't matter.
What about a friend to bounce things off of?
Kevin Nealon: Is there a phone number
Bill Maher: People have coaches in their
Kevin Nealon: Why not just move back
in with your mother?
Joe Queenan: But this is an example
of a baby boomer phenomenon. I think it's safe to say most generations
hate the next generation. Or a generation hates the previous generation,
but baby boomers are sort of unique in that the people who fought in the
second world war hate us. Twenty year olds hate us and we hate us too.
It really is the most appalling generation because it is the first generation
where people buy hand crafted, hand tooled German dollies for their kids.
And where every restaurant has to be named tratoria and where you can never
order anything on the menu and you use words like shitaki all the time.
the worst generation ever since like the
Mongols. It's just horrible. Nothing can be simple. Everything
has to be like this.
Kate Mulgrew: Bill---
Joe Queenan: I wonder who Hillary's
coach is too.
Mulgrew: You said you are forty. I'm forty. Do we qualify
as baby boomers?
Bill Maher: We're right smack in the
Kate Mulgrew: We are in the middle?
Bill Maher: The oldest ones have just
Joe Queenan: Which means you are just
as appalling as me.
Kate Mulgrew: I don't consider myself
a baby boomer. I really don't consider myself a baby boomer, but
it's generational. I can't help it.
Bill Maher: Yes. You are right
in the middle. There is no one more boomer than you. The oldest
ones are fifty. The youngest are thirty-one.
Kevin Nealon: I just came in under the
Joe Queenan: If you know who Jethro
Tull is, you're a boomer and you should have to pay for it.
Kate Mulgrew: I do, yes.
Joe Queenan: And you do.
Kate Mulgrew: Yeah.
Bill Maher: But can I get an acclimation.
Is this not of all the things the most disgusting part if this generation?
A coach in life.
People they call for $500.00. For a
half hour to call up to some guy. And it says here---there's a picture
of this guy sitting with a laptop and he's got a cell phone. He's
probably in Saint Tropez giving bad advice for $500.00---
Kate Mulgrew: But this is exactly what
Joe's saying. It's a natural by product of being such a passionless
group of people. Is that not what you're saying?
Joe Queenan: Except that a previous
group of people had personal coaches and they were all named Sigmund and
they were called psychiatrists. You could get wisdom from a guy named
Sigmund, but all these coaches are named Kip and you shouldn't call anyone
in the middle of the night and pay $500.00 to get personal coaching from
a guy named Kip.
Kevin Nealon: This is how it started.
You said there's a guy at his computer. He called some guy to help
him with his computer. The guy helped him He said can I get
you some coffee while you are trying to figure out the word processor?
Sure. I'll get him some coffee. There's a phone call for you.
Would you get it for me? It just started snow balling and now the
guy hires him for $500.00 a week.
Bill Maher: And it's supposedly going
to explode, they say here, 'I think in the next five years people are going
to say who is your coach, not what is a coach.'
Joe Queenan: What we need is---
Bill Maher: Joe, who is your coach?
Some guy in a Texas bar.
Joe Queenan: You need to get four people
on this program. If O. J. had had a coach that night and somebody
had said, no don't do it. If poor people could just have coaches
to call in the middle of the night who'd say, no, don't, it won't be a
good idea, leave the gun at home. Don't do the crack. Don't
kill your wife. The problem is that the coaching market is directed
at the wrong people. It's directed at people like us who have the
Mulgrew: We're having an awfully violent reaction for a group of
people whom I'm sure are coached on many levels. We've got lawyers,
right? Agents, managers, bankers. So the guy gets smart.
He says what am I paying all these people for. I'll get economic.
Bill Maher: That is a very good point.
Daryl Gates: Actors have used coaches
for a long, long period of time. Industry has used them. Business
industry has used them, but they've used them in a group. This personal
coach thing is different. We used to call our sergeants coaches.
We'd say hey, don't be a supervisor, be a coach. Inspire your people.
Get more work out of them. Get them to do the right thing.
Get them to be on time. Get them to answer that 911 call on time.
Kevin Nealon: You need better coaches.
Daryl Gates: That's kind of a philosophy
that's been developed. The personal coach is really different.
Although you are right, we have lawyers. Unfortunately too many lawyers
Bill Maher: People, especially in show
business have an accountant, they have a business manager. I mean,
Kevin, am I right? You have a manager. You have people who
do your life for you.
Kevin Nealon: I also have a personal
coach, and her name is Heidi.
Bill Maher: Back to this coach thing.
Do you think there is a connection between this and shows like Friends?
People somehow, in our society don't feel like they have real friends and
they have to find some sort of substitute. Is that why they watch
Kate Mulgrew: You hit it remarkably.
That's it exactly. That's it.
Bill Maher: You think that's it?
Kate Mulgrew: Because they really don't
have an intimate connection that they trust.
Kevin Nealon: I don't know. I
just think they are very busy and it's such a fast paced life now.
We have so many conveniences and so many ways of getting places, you just
need someone to help you out.
Joe Queenan: I think it's a great excuse
to tell your wife. When you get calls in the middle of the night
and you just say my coach and I have to leave now. I'll be back in
three hours and I'll be a little disheveled.
Mulgrew: It's a wonderful excuse under any circumstances. It's
my coach. Right? Gotta fly.
Bill Maher: But there is a big trend.
It started with Cheers. Cheers was the first show where it was set
in a bar. I mean they never used to be able to do something like
that, a show in a bar.
Kevin Nealon: And there was a guy on
there named Coach. I see where you're going. I see where you're
going on this.
Bill Maher: And that spawned --- and
then Seinfield and then Friends. And then there's forty-two shows like
that where people say, oh yeah, those are my friends. Yeah, I'm kinda
like them. Sort of.
Mulgrew: Generic friends. Nothing more specific any more.
Bill Maher: For a half hour a week,
they're just like me.
Kevin Nealon: If it wasn't so expensive,
I think it would be great. But you know it's a personal coach. Maybe
if you just got a group coach, you found people that had the same needs
as you and then your hired a group coach.
Joe Queenan: If you could have three
women from Friends as your coach. Five hundred bucks, fine.