“Talk Big” Reviews

“These are based on John Kerwin’s own rocky start in the industry, as well as the experiences of other interviewers. They range from identifying and addressing self-doubt which tinges interview questions to understanding distinctly different styles of approaching the interview, and how to choose the right one for a given situation.

But, how does a bare-bones beginner start out interviewing celebrities and honing skills? How does a newbie even access a celebrity? Kerwin doesn’t assume prior connections or knowledge at any point of the process, which makes his book very accessible to beginners.

Celebrities can be contacted via autograph shows, for one example: “Throughout the year, there are autograph shows in most large cities. They’re a low-pressure way for public figures to meet their fans while making money. Usually, each celebrity will rent a small area in a convention center or hotel ballroom. When I was new to the business, I’d go to these shows and meet fifty to a hundred celebrities in one day. I’d prepare interview questions beforehand for all the celebrities who were scheduled to appear. For just a relatively small entry fee, I’d get to practice interviewing celebrities, which helped build my confidence.”

The meat of Talk Big lies in its author’s experiences and his candid assessments of how he built his interviewing skills. His revelations about different approaches, experiences, and how he revised his interviews based on the celebrity and underlying purpose of the questions makes for powerful insights: “I once had the good fortune of interviewing two-time Oscar-nominated and Cannes Best Actor award winner Bruce Dern. I asked simple questions and Bruce gave fantastic answers. I followed up with another simple question or moved on to another topic. Each time he had wonderful answers and anecdotes. As the interview was ending, I could feel my stomach turn. I realized that I didn’t get any laughs or add any interesting comments during our conversation.”

Talk Big is a practical, powerful examination of the various processes an interview can incorporate to expand the effectiveness and end results of a celebrity interview. It should also be noted that ‘celebrity’ here is defined as not only lying in the entertainment industry, but politicians and other famous personalities. Many of the same rules of a superior interview apply: “Despite the glaring differences between a politician and a comedian, an interview with either one can fail for the same reason. A politician may be looking to sway voters with his rhetoric, and no matter what question you ask, they’ll go into a prepared speech. A comedian may be so locked into their material that they’ll use your interview to do a stand-up set. Neither are what you and viewers want.”

Talk Big is a ‘must’ for anyone interested in superior celebrity interview results. More so than any other book on the subject, it embraces a series of specific steps any newcomer (or experienced professional) can easily absorb to make their own process more effective and valuable.”

– D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“John Kerwin’s book is essential for podcasters and hosts on the how-to’s on interviewing big shots. Don’t get nervous, get this book.”

Judy Carter, author of The Message of You, The New Comedy Bible

Talk Big is a fun, compulsive read packed with interesting–and often hilarious–tips about how to interview famous people. But it’s so much more than that. At its heart, this book is about character, confidence, and courage. It’s about letting yourself off the hook for dreaming big, and it’s about having the guts to pursue what might seem out of your reach. Do yourself a favor and settle into John Kerwin’s head for a little while. You’ll come out a better person.”

Patrick Ryan, author of The Dream Life of Astronauts

“What I’ve concluded is that John has what is so necessary to be a good interviewer and that is, supreme confidence. What it also shows, which is another thing a good interviewer can use, is the man’s got chutzpah. Without confidence, chutzpah, and preparation, you’re just spinning your wheels. And John Kerwin is, as indicated in Talk Big, prepared to meet these celebrities head on.”

Lawrence Grobel, The Art of the Interview, and You, Talking to Me

Testimonials for John Kerwin

“John was so bright and witty, that I was quite surprised. And he made the entire show so fun that I watched it from the audience.”

Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple)

“He’s fresh and new and fun and delightful.  Amazingly sexy!  Watch out Conan!”

Cloris Leachman: (Academy award-winning and 9-time Emmy award- winning actress) 

“I had a thoroughly enjoyable time.  I think John is very good at this, he’s very funny, and he has a nice sense of how to play with the conventions of the talk show.”

Tom Bergeron (host of Dancing with the Stars, America’s Funniest Videos)

“John is a good host…very personable, and interested. He is not trying to be interesting…he’s genuinely interested.  He’s funny….charming.”

Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson on The Simpsons)

“I thought the show was great.  I was really surprised with how intimate it was.”

Brian McKnight. (16-time Grammy-nominated musician)

“John is a great host…he made me feel listened to instead of just wanting to get to the next question. I felt very comfortable. I had a wonderful time… I would do the show again.”

Melissa Manchester (Grammy Award-winning singer of hits such as:  Midnight Blue and Don’t Cry Out Loud)

“He’s nice and funny, usually I’m nervous about these things but I was comfortable once it started.”

Michael Dorn (Worf in the Star Trek franchise)

“It was a great deal of fun. John is very relaxed, free and easy. A very funny, decent, likeable guy.”

Michael Gross (Family Ties, Tremors)

“John is not your ordinary John. He’s an extraordinary Kerwin! I will come back for another interview whenever he wants”

Eric Roberts (Star 80, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Runaway Train)

“I think he was very generous and lovely.  He let me shoot my mouth off and he didn’t snap me into “his mode”; he allowed me free reign.  He trusted me enough and gave me great respect.”

Ed Asner (7-time Emmy Winner, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Pixar’s Up)

“The show was a lot of fun. John is a very funny and sweet man, just like talking to a friend.”

Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cujo, The Howling)

“It was my honor to be with the Great John Kerwin! Could not have been more fun.”

Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, The Delta Force, Breaking Bad)

“I found him very personable; very easy to talk to. He made it fun. He can draw the people in; get them interested in his guest, and him.”

Gloria Gaynor (Two-time Grammy Award-winning musician, I Will Survive)

”Pleasant!  Very pleasant, and he’s real — a lot of hosts are plastic and fake, but he’s very real.”

Sean Young (Blade Runner, Dune, Ace Ventura, Pet Detective)

“John Kerwin was terrific, very gracious and made me feel very comfortable.”

John Savage (The Deer Hunter, The Onion Field, Hair, Salvador)

“John was a great host.  I really enjoyed myself and I can see John going places.”

Louis Gossett Jr.: (Academy Award winner, An Officer and a Gentleman, Emmy Award winner, Roots)

“John is very funny, very kind and extremely charming.  I really had a good time.  He made me feel at home, and there was a good chemistry. I felt I could say or do whatever I wanted. I would like to come back because of how he made me feel.”

Bai Ling (LOST, The Crow, Red Corner, Crank:  High Voltage)

“John is very facile. He’s got a real touch and he made me feel comfortable.”

Steven Bauer (Scarface, Traffic, Primal Fear)

“He’s genuine and it really shows through. He’s accessible; he’s funny and he’s sexy.”

Alexandra Paul (Baywatch, Stephen King’s Christine)

“I’ve been interviewed by all the usual people, starting with Johnny Carson. And John Kerwin has a tremendous talent that is very rare. He’s got a gift.”

Bruce Dern (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Hateful Eight, Nebraska)

“It was a lot of fun…great experience…very professional. I would recommend it to people I know. John is very likeable, very nice and I felt very comfortable…great host…kept it moving which is what a good host should do.”

 Maz Jobrani (headlining comedian, Showtime’s Brown and Friendly, I Come in Peace)

“John is the nicest man; he’s adorable, he’s darling. You can tell that he’s an affectionate and warm-hearted person. He’s also lighthearted and allows a performer to do whatever they want. It’s a wonderful experience.”

Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider, Airport, Nashville)

“I had a great time.  John was easy to work with and is very good as a host. I have done enough of these shows, not like I’m an expert, but one thing John has is the ‘Johnny Carson’ ability to make the guest feel important and not just be part of the ‘talk show host’ act.”

Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda)

“John Kerwin is the hottest, coolest white boy on the planet.”

Tila Tequila (A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, Celebrity Big Brother)

“John was phenomenal and I enjoyed himself immensely. I would definitely come back on the show if ever asked. John was hilarious and made me feel comfortable and at ease. He really works great with the guests and is very generous.”

Antonio Sabato, Jr. (General Hospital, Melrose Place)

“I had a great time; John is very approachable and likable. He lets his guests talk without interrupting them. He doesn’t have an ego like a lot of other talk show hosts. I would definitely come back again.”

Maria Conchita Alonso (Moscow on the Hudson, The Running Man)

“John is a genuine and very warm host. He was engaged with me even during the breaks, which was very refreshing. I connected with him from the very beginning.”

Eriq La Salle (ER, Coming to America, Jacob’s Ladder) 

“I had such a great time and John was a super fun host. I was shown great hospitality from John and the whole crew from the moment I arrived, until the moment I left. The greatest show!”

Carmit Bachar (original member of The Pussycat Dolls) 

“John is a treat. It was a lot of fun, easy and wonderful. He made me feel very comfortable and I felt like he was genuinely interested in knowing about me and what I’m doing. Seemed to be genuinely interested in my film and my company.”

Connie Stevens (Hawaiian Eye, Rock-A-Bye Baby, Grease 2)

“I had a great time and John made him feel comfortable. He was very present, which helped me to open up and have a great time.”

Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers, Melrose Place, Days of Our Lives)

“John’s a very good host, he’s quick and has good give and take. Being on the show was very cool, I felt completely relaxed and had a lot of fun.”

Ally Walker (The Profiler, While You Were Sleeping, Universal Soldier)

“He really lets you play.  He’s fun to play with, and that makes him charming. He’s got a wonderful looseness.”

Henry Jaglom (director, Someone to Love, Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?)

“I know there’s big things in store for him – I can see myself lying in bed late at night and watching him.”

Luenell (Dolemite is My Name, Borat, Taken 2, That’s My Boy)

“He’s great.  It was a pleasure.  He’s sharp, very cordial; very easy to open up to.”

Cris Judd (Host of Dirty Dancing, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!) 

“He’s wonderful – handsome, clever and funny.”

Kelly LeBrock (Weird Science, The Woman in Red, Hard to Kill)

“John is hysterical.  And I was sad when the interview was over. I wanted to keep talking to him.”

Nikki Ziering (Austin Powers in Goldmember, American Wedding)

“It was so funny… So much fun.  Great energy… Lots of positive, great energy — I couldn’t stop laughing!  I was a giggle monster.”

Ami Dolenz (She’s Out of Control, General Hospital)

“Great!  A great and gracious host, with a warm, involved audience. I had a great time! John is really…he really talks to you, and not at you, and is able to make you relax.  You end up feeling free and able to talk.”

Robert Gossett (The Closer, Major Crimes)

“He’s very genuine; he allows you to express thoughts and ideas instead of just buzz clips. If we had a beer, it would have felt like I was hangin’ out with one of my buds.”

Zack Ward (A Christmas Story, FOX TV Series, Titus)

“I had a lot of fun. It was easy to bounce back and forth with John.”

Jayde Nicole: (The Hills, Holly’s World, Playboy’s Playmate of the Year)

“John is very funny; very easy to play with. And he was so charming.”

Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit)

“John was wonderful. He was very easy to talk to and so funny.”

Jackie Christie (Basketball Wives LA)

“John’s a great host!  He made me quite comfortable. He definitely has a feel for what’s going on – he’s a natural.”

Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model, My Fair Brady)

“He’s got the right equation to put on a great show. I believe, not only from being on the show but from watching the show – he’s got the charisma.”

Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite, Employee of the Month)

“John is a very warm person. He’s funny, and was really good to bounce off of; he knew when to lay off and let me talk. Some talk show hosts get their lines in — he had good timing. With dancing, everything is about timing — and it’s the same with interviewing.”

Corky Ballas (Dancing with the Stars)

“He wasn’t ‘trying too hard’ and he made me feel comfortable.  And while some of his questions were bold, he’s one of the few who didn’t make me feel pressured.  He made me feel like I was doing a good job.”

Amber Smith (Playboy, The Mirror Has Two Faces, American Beauty)

“So much fun.  He’s great, he’s awesome!  He’s great to talk to. He’s going to be very successful.  Good show!”

Kira Soltanovich (Girls Behaving Badly, Tonight Show correspondent)

“Incredibly fun! He’s an engaging host and I would be pleased to come back any time. He makes late night fun!”

Stefanie Schaeffer (Winner, The Apprentice)

“I enjoyed talking with him very much. And he seemed to be extremely respectful and generous to me and I appreciated that, so it was a good experience for me to share with him. (He’s) somebody I would follow.  I’m so pleased I got to know him.”

Elliott Gould (Ocean’s 11, M*A*S*H, The Long Goodbye, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice)

Awards for the John Kerwin Show

2-time Videographer Award Winner

2-time Telly Award Winner

3-time Aegis Award Winner

2-time W.A.V.E. Award Winner

Communicator Awards  –  Distinction Award Winner

The Hermes Award Winner

CINDY Awards – Silver Award Winner