92Y: Arts and Entertainment

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Lucy, I'm Home! Trick-or-Treating with Lucille Ball

Actress Lucie Arnaz describes how she, her mother (Lucille Ball), and her brother (Desi Arnaz, Jr.) pranked trick-or-treaters at their Beverly Hills home during one memorable Halloween.

Nichelle Nichols Remembers MLK, Star Trek's Biggest Fan

Nichelle Nichols, cast member of the original Star Trek series, recalls a surprise visit from her biggest fan, Martin Luther King Jr. She describes how Dr. King approached her when she was considering leaving the cast of Star Trek and convinced her to stay on the show because she represented a positive portrayal of African Americans on TV.

Franco: Onscreen Frustration in '127 Hours' Was Authentic

Actor James Franco explains how the unique filming conditions employed in 127 Hours contributed to his Oscar-nominated performance. He explains that in addition to not having any other actors to play off, he physically acted out many of the scenes. "I didn't have to think about the performance, I just had to think about purely doing the activities," he says. "And in that way, it was that much more authentic."

Hitchens on Compelling Arguments for the Existence of God

Author and atheist Christopher Hitchens remains unconvinced of the value of religion. Hitchens mockingly describes his favorite pro-religion argument saying, "The big bang is so amazing it must have been God after all." The best arguments in favor of the existence of God, he explains, are those that have "annexed" scientific theories and thus present more of a challenge for debate.

Growing Up As Johnny Cash's Daughter

Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash describes what it was like growing up as the daughter of Johnny Cash. "I realized he was on this Earth for a bigger mission than just to be somebody’s dad and that I was going to have to be magnanimous about it," says Cash.

Adam Carolla: Tea Party Just the 'Movement Du Jour'

Adam Carolla, radio personality and self-professed "angry middle-aged white guy," weighs in on the political atmosphere in America and dismisses the Tea Party as simply the "movement du jour."

'Idiot' to 'Breakdown': Green Day on American Politics

Billie Joe Armstrong discusses his inspiration for Green Day's latest albums. He explains that the American Idiot album was written in response to the fear and confusion in America post-9/11. The latest album, 21st Century Breakdown is also inspired by current American politics.

"It's the end of a lousy era," says Armstrong. "It's that defining moment where you have to destroy something to make something new happen."

Gladwell & Gopnik on Texting: The Death Knell of Culture?

Writers Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Gopnik ponder if texting and other new forms of communication technology are a genuine threat to the culture of reading amongst young people. Are unlimited texting plans and IM clients the death knell of a cultured civilization?

Duvall on Coppola and Horseplay on 'The Godfather' Set

Actor Robert Duvall gives praise to Francis Ford Coppola's relaxed directing style and describes the playful atmosphere on the film set of The Godfather. "In this day and age I think the directors want to turn it around and see what you do," says Duvall. "And Coppola was one of the first of those big time directors that would do that."

Franco on Juggling Acting Career While Attending College

Academy Award nominee James Franco shares his view on going to school while being a professional actor. "It's taken a lot of pressure off of acting," he says. Franco explains that unlike the collaborative process of filmmaking, academic work offers "its own little set of private rewards."

Rushdie and Hitchens Playfully Alter Classic Literature

Authors Salman Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens play a parlor game, altering the titles of classic works of literature, such as Toby Dick and Good Expectations. The works of Shakespeare take on a different tone when re-titled in the style of Robert Ludlum novels.

Adam Carolla on Making Money in Podcasts

Comedian Adam Carolla discusses the profitability of his homegrown podcast. He explains that many advertisers are embracing podcasts and choosing to reach consumers via the medium. Carolla says that in the end, the amount of money you make comes down to the number of "ears" you attract.

Gladwell and Gopnik: The iPad's Not Really That Magical

Writers Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Gopnik discuss the various merits and shortcomings of Apple's iPad. Gopnik argues that the iPad actually seems like a precursor to the phone, with Gladwell likening it to battery-powered watches, which he suggests are less convenient than mechanical ones.

Broadway Goes Punk: 'American Idiot' Draws Diverse Crowd

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong talks with famed theater director Michael Mayer about the appeal of the musical "American Idiot" to two very distinct audiences. There haven't been any fistfights between theater and rock fans yet, jokes Armstrong.

Mayer explains that the fans may be from different eras, but a musical employing rock music is actually a return to form for Broadway.

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About this series

Warm, witty, wild and wildly entertaining, 92Y’s lectures feature an irresistible mix of world-renowned celebrities, artists and authors. These candid conversations—including Lucie Arnaz, James Franco, Angie Dickinson and Christopher Hitchens—offer a revealing look into the lives of some of the most intriguing personalities of our time.

About 92nd Street Y

92nd Street Y’s unique fusion of community and culture makes it the only place of its kind in the world. 92Y is a nonprofit community center, performance stage and lecture hall; a literary salon and home for artists; a school, outreach organization and summer camp; a gym, a residence and more. 92nd Street Y, a proudly Jewish institution since its inception in 1874, has become a community of communities, welcoming people of all ages, races, faiths and backgrounds. Now serving more than 300,000 people each year in its New York facilities, 92Y also reaches millions of “virtual” guests around the world through its website, satellite broadcasts and other electronic media. Committed to making its programs available to everyone, 92nd Street Y awards nearly $1 million in scholarships annually and reaches about 7500 public school children through subsidized arts and science education programs. For more information, please visit www.92Y.org.