|Tom Snyder with guest, Kate Mulgrew, February 16, 1996
Transcribed by Saffron - October 1998
Screen captures by: Totally Kate!
Notes and Disclaimer: I transcribed this, but I don't own
the copyright. didn't quite catch this interview at the very beginning, and missed a
couple of words. No infringement intended. Please do not post or distribute. Thanks!
Tom: ...and the enormously
popular Star Trek: Voyager. Welcome back to our stage. Happy Valentine's day...
Kate: Thank you.
Tom: ...a few days late.
Kate: Thank you.
Tom: Was it a romantic time you this time?
Kate: I must say, I had a divine evening.
Tom: Did you really?
Kate: ...and how was yours?
Tom: Couldn't have been better, thank you.
Kate: Did you send a multitude of flowers to a very lucky
Tom: Yes I did.
Kate: Mine was not only romantic, but mysterious.
Tom: Really? Would you care to share just a few details
with us before we start?
Kate: I will. I was told to be dressed up and ready by
6:30 promptly, at which time, I was picked up by my inamorata, who took me back to his house...
Tom: My which?
Kate: My inamorata.
Tom: You know what, I used the word companion. Can I
borrow that...the 'inermerata'?
Kate: You may not only borrow that, you may have it.
Tom: Thank you. [laughing]
Kate: So back we went to his house and I thought, 'Well,
this is alright, this is acceptable, we're gonna have a little champagne...he's a
guy...'...We walked in, table is beautifully laid, five minutes later, a woman arrived,
she said nothing, she finished setting the table, she cooked us a 3-course Italian meal,
which was absolutely glorious, he poured an exquisite bottle of champagne, there were red
roses on the table...
Tom: How wonderful.
Kate: ...and at my place, in fact, was this locket...
Tom: Oh, a little bauble.
Kate: ...which is Victorian, and I think...terribly
Kate: So it was superb.
Tom: And then...
Kate: And then? And then?
[Tom & crew laughing as well]
Tom: Speaking of guys, now you have got two sons, the last
time we talked they were 10 and 11. They probably...
Kate: [laughing] Have they stayed exactly the sameage? No,
Tom, because testosteroni is at work. They are now 11 and 12.
Kate: ...and their mother is ready to slip into a coma.
Tom: Why? I guess it's difficult as puberty
approaches...and as Art Linkletter called the male hormone, 'testosteroni', takes over
these young bodies, it becomes a tough go.
Kate: I am allegedly a woman, right? So I am looking at
creatures and I haven't a clue as to what...something's exploding, constantly.
I mean from one minute to the next, the change can be diabolical. From joy to rage to
sadness to steadiness, I don't understand it.
Tom: You know when I was that age, I was always asking my
mom and my dad, ya know, you're a single mom, but I would always ask them questions about
girls and guys and stuff like that...
Kate: We talk...
Tom: ...and they would try to answer as best they could...
Tom: ...although, in the 50s, that kind of dialog between
parent and child was rare. What are your kids asking you about these days?
Kate: They're very straightforward...
Kate: ...extremely frank...
Tom: So's their mom by the way...
Kate: Most of the conversation is...although, I wonder at
this point, a part of me is hesitant and I don't want it to be...part of me is hesitant
because of taboo. I know that I have to be vigilant about taboo and I really don't know
what the parameters of taboo are. How far can a mother carry a conversation about
sex...with a 12-year-old boy? Who first of all, has never had it, who's watching all this
stuff on television, he's being fed from sources that are not real and not true.
Tom: ...and you know, it's the typical conversation in the
schoolyard, the classroom, the telephone.
Kate: All the time...but his body is giving him a real
message...which is, things are growing, developing, and changing...
Tom: And let's go.
Kate: ...'and let's go' but he appeals to me for a
knowledge that I'm not sure I can give because I am his mother.
Tom: Yeah, but that's precisely the reason why you have to
give him some information.
Kate: Well, I can give him the basics, but I can't tell
him...I think what a young man really wants to know is, what's it gonna feel like, what's
it gonna be like, how's she gonna react...am I gonna be a slob, a jerk, a hero...ya know?
Tom: By the way, all of those things the first time; a
slob a jerk and a hero.
Kate: [laughing] I sorta thought that's the way...
Tom: I mean, when you think back to your own, and I'm not
looking for you to....
Kate: I've never had sex.
[Tom, Kate & crew laughing]
Tom: I knew there was a reason you talked so quickly...
Kate: That's why you invite me back here so often...
[Tom & Kate still laughing]
Kate: ...never had it....
Tom: But if you think back...
Kate: It's different for a girl...
Tom: Oh, I know that, but for guys...we're buffoons, we're
idiots, we're slobs, ya know...and we're wonderful.
Kate: Something takes over the male, doesn't it? Something
incredible happens to male that does not happen to the female. The female is praying to
the Virgin Mary...trust me, every second of the way, but I think the male is saying
Tom: We don't even think of her at that point....
Kate: You lose all religion at that point, don't you?
Tom: We lose all religion, yes, yes...There is a moment in
maledom when there is absolutely no conscience operating whatsoever, absolutely no
Kate: When is that moment? When is that moment NOT
existing in the male life?
Tom: Uh...afterwards [laughing]
Kate: Right, right, right...
Tom: So, you being a female, there would be nothing in
your experience with your own parents, your mother or your father to help you with the
mothering of these two young men, these two boys...
Kate: Oh, of course there is...oh, come on... I had, ya
know, significant and steady enough parenting to allow me to be skilled enough, but I'm
talking about the mystery between a mother and her pubescent sons...which don't think is
often discussed. Every mother on the block says 'I can handle my kid, he's 12,
he's..." I don't know...I don't know. So when we have these conversations, which we
do daily, at dinner, 'cause you know I'm a great proponent of dinner.
Tom: Yes I know.
Kate: I sit, I light the candles, and I think, 'Oh this'll
be lovely, they're gonna eat my spaghetti, I'm gonna drink wine'......and then it starts,
Hey Mom, and the voice goes down. 'There's was this girl today, I wanted
to'...what is the expression they use in the school yard...[turns to crew at her left] Do
any of you guys know when....
Tom: Well, these guys wouldn't know....we're all a little
beyond school yard.
Kate: [laughing] They're all sitting there....with the
male face.... Yeah...what's she gonna say.....
Tom: What is it they say...
Kate: He has an urge to do something physical to a
girl...but it's aggressive, it's violent. I say it's sex, right?
Kate: He wants to pull down her pants, he wants to knock
her on the back. He wants to do something. He is instantly charged by anything she says
that could be considered even remotely negative. Like "you pig" or "you
suck" or whatever they talk about. So I was called...[whispers] oh, I hope my
children aren't watching this program. I doubt it......and indeed this altercation took
place in the schoolyard...
Tom: Would there be any information, just to help you over
the hill for tomorrow nights dinner when you light the candles, is there any topic on the
table right now that's especially pressing that I, as a guy, could give you an answer to
for these kids. K
Kate: You can help me...and I'm serious about this...
Kate: The emotion...do you think it's possible...this is a
ridiculous analogy, that perhaps it's like an injection for a woman, a huge injection of
hormones that from the morning at eight o'clock to the after noon at 4 this kid can change
so wildly emotionally...that's the difficult thing. I don't...
Tom: And you think you didn't when you were that age...in
different ways to be sure, but I had a daughter 12 years old and between 12 & 13 she
ran the gambit between high and low, up and down, happy, sad, laughing, crying...
Tom: 24 hours a day it went back & forth
Kate: I hear this is true of daughters...
Tom: But you know what's interesting to me...is...ya know,
they talk about the bond between husband and wife, the bond between father and daughter,
the bond between grandparent & grandchild, but the strongest bond of all, the one you
can never, ever, ever, ever get in the way of is the bond between mother and son, from
cradle to grave.
Kate: [Looks into camera] I love you, my sons....
Kate: I think it's true...it's deep it's very, very deep.
Tom: Anyway, let's get back to your own childhood here and
it's come to an end, and you're leaving Dubuque and....and here come the feet again...
Kate: [laughing] You always go back to my childhood...
Tom: ...and you're leaving to go to New York,...as we
talked the last time, you lived at the Barbizon hotel
Kate: Yes, but only very, very briefly.
Tom: I know, but you were looking to become an actress in
New York and become the queen of Broadway. But in the meantime, you musta had to do
something to keep yourself going.
Kate: I worked...I labored...My
daily life was so rigorous, you wouldn't believe it [laughing]. I did, I worked in every
bar and restaurant ...uh...upper east side, Friar Tuck's Inn, I got fired from Friar
Tuck's Inn, dumped a plate of spaghetti in a guy's lap...I really wasn't in the mood to
hear it that day. I, uh, was a cocktail waitress at night, waited tables during the day,
ran to school, was in a 5-floor walk-up, was hard...
Tom: Yeah, tough. Did you go to school at all in New York?
Kate: Tom...my father may be watching. Of course I went to
school. You know I went to [winking] New..York..University..
Tom: Why are you givin' me the old wink...?
Kate: Because...[laughing] I'm having that spasm problem I
have whenever I come on your program. I went to New York University...
Tom: Anyway...we'll probe more deeply into this mystery of
school in New York.
Tom: NYU, wasn't it?
Kate: Yes, it was...
Tom: For years & years & years on end...
Tom: Kate Mulgrew is the guest, the program is Star Trek
Voyager. There's an episode coming up which has an incredible dialogue about mortality vs.
Kate: That's right..
Tom: We will talk about her schooling and then on to
immortality, here on the highway of life. ...You know the segment we're gonna do next
week, when we do the world's...Do you have cat's at home..
Kate: No cats, dog.
Tom: We don't have the world's self-cleaning dog box, but
we'll do a earthquake update with our friend from Caltech....
Tom: Now these messages.......
Tom: We are with Kate Mulgrew...so what was your degree in
Kate: And you call yourself, however lapsed, a Roman
Kate: I defected, and I admit to it now, but I could not
then say this to my father who felt that he was subsidizing my education
Tom: ... and the tuition checks kept arriving
Kate: Daddy, Daddy...forgive me. I can't actually remember
when I quit. I think I quit at the end of my sophomore year, but it could have been at the
end of my junior year, it's all a blur in my hot focused drive to become an actress. I
don't remember very much except that I forgot to tell him that I had left school. So he
found out years later.
Tom: Why did you want to be an actress? Did something
happen to you in Dubuque...
Tom: ...that you said, "This is what I wanna
Kate: Have you been to Dubuque?
[Tom, Kate, and crew laugh]
Tom: As a matter of fact, I was once. My dad was a
traveling salesman and in the summer time he'd make these trips to sell stuff and he would
take me or my brother every now and again for a trip and we spent one night in Dubuque,
Kate: And what are your memories...what are your memories,
[Tom starts to laugh]
Kate: [laughing] Tell me now...why are you...get this man
something to drink. I went to a Catholic school, of course there's nothing else in
Dubuque, Iowa, called "Resurrection", which was dotted with nuns...the
presentation order, as I recall, which is quite an extraordinary habit. They were rather
dower ladies, most of them were probably farmer's daughters, very serious, very simple.
I'm sure, very lovely at heart, but hard to crack. No laughs, no jokes and not a lot of
soul going on...
Kate: Except for my fifth grade teacher Sister Benedict
said to me, "You write wonderful poetry. I encourage you to write. I think you have
the gift." I said, " Well, I'm not so sure I have the gift of poetry, I'm a
little florid, it's a little over the top." She said, "well why don't we find
out? READ some of your poetry..."
Tom: Recite your poetry...
Kate: "...to the school". All the nuns and all
the kids. So I went home and said to my mother, you're not gonna believe it...she said
"Your NOT reading your own poetry, it's so horrible. Read "The White
Cliffs" by Alice Duer Miller. It's a killer love poem, right? About the First World
War, which I did. And I remember, I finished it, of course I was quite nervous...long poem
and I looked down and I saw an entire row of nuns in tears. I said [snaps fingers] 'That's
it'. This is for me...I mean, thats quite a moment.
Tom: Make a nun cry, you got it made, huh?
Kate: That's right. That's it...on my tombstone.
Tom: She made the nuns cry.
Tom: We have a caller from Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Caller: Hi Tom. How ya doin', I love your show.
Tom: I thank you. How's everything in Asbury Park tonight?
Caller: It's snowing out here. We have about 8 inches of
Tom: Well, get the blowers ready in the morning. Do they
still have the National College Queen Pageant in Asbury Park, New Jersey?
Caller: No...Asbury Park has really gone down hill over
Tom: I'm sorry to hear that.
Tom: If there's anything I can do to help, let me know,
Caller: [chuckles] Sure..
Tom: Say hi to Kate...
Kate: [laughing] I think [he's] is on to you...I can tell.
Caller: Hi Kate.
Tom: Honey, theyre on to me [laughing] That's the
beauty of this. They all know, there he is, ya know, more tough talk from Tom.
Kate: [Caller], yes, you were...
Caller: Yes, I love the Star Trek series, yours, and the
other ones. Is there going to be sequel to the original series involving the original
Kate: The original original? I don't think so. I
don't think there are any plans for that, unfortunately because they were splendid, but
Caller: They're not gonna maybe adapt other characters,
maybe substitute 'em...that type of thing?
Kate: I wouldn't think so. I think that newness is a big
part of this game and actually part of its success, however, you should never quote me
because I'm usually wrong, but uh, I don't think it's very likely that any of the
characters or any of the series would be repeated.
Tom: In other words, put it out of your mind, you know
what I mean?
Caller: Oh, ok.
[Tom & Caller have a brief conversation about Automatic
Litter Box Systems]
Kate: [laughing] I can't believe this conversation...
Tom: That's what fire this program is discussions of good
ideas to come. Anybody can put Tony Bennett out here to sing love songs, but give me a cat
box that cleans itself, and I've saved America for C****** sake. Don't get me goin'
Caller: We have a tasteful video of about a dozen cats
Kate: A tasteful video? By all means, send it to Mr.
Snyder. [Kate & Tom laughing] I haven't seen him this animated in a few years...
Tom: The more the merrier, OK?
Caller: Ok...who would I send it to?
Tom: You send it to me. [relates address]
Caller: OK, great...Thanks, Tom. Thanks, Kate.
Kate: Thank you.
Caller: Great, bye-bye now.
Kate: I cannot believe...
Tom: We're into information here, we're into new
Kate: You are...the highway to something...
Tom: Uh, right...[laughs]
Kate: It is amazing...
Tom: We have seen the future here and it works...[both
laugh] Anyway, coming up now...this new episode...I gotta do this little break here and
then it's mortality vs. immortality in the forthcoming episode of Star Trek: Voyager, with
the commander, Kate Mulgrew. We will be back after these messages.
Tom: Alright now, let's get to this episode here which is
Kate: I can't talk about "Death Wish" after
this. Tell the people what we talk about when we're not on the air...
Tom: No, you tell them
Kate: Computerized kitty litter, right That's 3 hours, and
now we just talked for 2 hours about...sex and how men love sex.
Tom: And how often we think about it...
Kate: And they think about sex...every second
Tom: ...and what did what say about how often women think
about sex...how often do you think about sex?
Kate: Well...it depends on your circumstances, doesn't it?
How often do I consciously think about sex? Maybe once a day...
Kate: ...maybe twice.
Tom: No kidding...
Kate: I certainly don't think about as much as I think any
Tom: Every second of every day...what women don't
Kate: Are you thinking of sex the
same time you're thinking about the kitty litter, that's the question.
Tom: It's in the same general area, isn't it?
[Kate & crew laugh]
Tom: One is very close, right? Like you
probably...Valentine's night you had a wonderful meal with your inamorata, inamorato...and
you were satisfied, you didn't wish anymore food or drink at the end of the meal. right?
Kate: No, I did not.
Tom: Ok. But I'll bet the next evening at dinner time, you
were as hungry at that meal as you were for the one that had taken place the night before.
You have any idea where I'm going with this?
Kate: I think I do, Tom. I think everybody in this
room...probably...[Tom & crew laugh] but please go.
Tom: So you see, to a guy, like, you have the greatest
sexual experience of your life on a Monday and by Tuesday...
Kate: ...you're bereft.
Tom: Exactly....you've got it! [Tom & crew laugh] Can
you understand that at all?
Kate: I can understand it.
Tom: But you are not bereft at all...
Kate: No, we are not.
Tom: But why is that?
Kate: I would say, even slightly depressed.
[Tom, Kate and crew laugh]
Tom: Anyway, on to Caller in Hollywood, California and I
hope we get to this episode of immortality vs. mortality, 'cause you're killin' me...
Kate: I hope so too.
Tom: Hi Caller, welcome to the show.
Caller: Good evening Tom, Good evening Kate.
Tom & Kate: Hello.
Caller: Kate, I was a big fan of Ryan's Hope for 15 years
from start to finish, and you were the best thing in it...
Kate: Thank you very much.
Caller: Excuse me?
Kate: I said Thank you very much.
Caller: You're very welcome. What was the most difficult
about doing a soap opera day after day and when did you know it was time to leave?
Kate: I was only on the soap opera very briefly. Everybody
thinks I was on for a long time, but it was actually only a year and a half, maybe two.
And there was nothing difficult about it, I found it to be quite easy work . In fact, if I
were to say anything about it, not challenging enough.
Kate: But this soap opera, Ryan's Hope, was written and
created and produced by my dear friend, Claire Labine and I think it stood alone in it's
original flavor. I think it, in its message and it's writing, everything about it was
superior so I was extremely fortunate to have had that experience.
Tom: Can I ask you a question, [Caller]?
Tom: Since this program seen in the Los Angeles area for 3
more hours, how come you're calling us now?
Caller: The things I do to speak to Kate Mulgrew.
Kate: Aww, how nice.
Tom: Good answer.
Caller: Can I ask one quick question about Trek, since it
hasn't come up yet?
Tom & Kate: Sure.
Caller: Besides the episode airing on Monday, which
episode would you pick as an example of your best work.
Kate: [without hesitating] Resistance, which aired earlier
in the season, with Joel Gray and directed by Rick Kolbe. I think, uh, that exemplifies
the best possible Janeway, to date.
Caller: Thank you very much, both of you.
Tom: Thank you and watch the show later & see
Caller: Can't wait.
Tom: Now let's get to this...the dialogue as it takes
place in this episode, mortality vs. immortality and the argument that has gone on through
the centuries amongst men and women of intellect, and not, as to whether mortality is
Kate: Yeah, you know that this is a real 'Q' classic
problem, I suspect. He is omnipotent, this character called Q. Splendidly played by John
DeLancie who is one of my best friends, so you can imagine what a gift this was. The
dilemma in this show was there is....for lack of a better word, I'll say...an alternate Q,
a second Q, who presents himself to me.
Tom: A pseudo Q...
Kate: No, another Q.
Tom: An alternate Q.
Kate: A real Q. So we've got Q-1, John DeLancie,
Q-2, also beautifully played by Garrett Graham, and we have Captain Janeway and the rest
of my crew, and the 2 Qs appear and Q #2, played by Garrett Graham, says 'My problem is, I
don't want to be immortal. I want to be mortalized so that I may commit suicide and I want
you to have a hearing on the ship to decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.'
So that is the episode, whether we should allow him to go back to the continuum into an
incarceration, which is what he considers immortality to be or by allowing him to live I
know that what I'm really doing is, I suppose, is advocating his own suicide. It's a real
dilemma for Janeway.
Tom: Compelling television on the air this coming Monday
Kate: It is. It is. It is. It's great.
Tom: Has there been any, ya know, we've spent this whole
evening talking about matters sexual. Has there been any sexual frivolity on the Starship?
Kate: Not a lot.
Kate: We're gonna talk about sex in space now, aren't we?
Tom: No we aren't.
Kate: You came up to me earlier,
you said did you....
Tom: Well, I remarked to you that I'd once inter....
Kate: I think its a fascinating idea. What do you think?
Tom: I think it'd be wonderful, considering the loss of
gravity and all that that implies. It allows the imagination to wander....
Kate: Ooo...[laughing] Come back here, you devil!
[Tom & crew laughing as well]
Tom: On that note, young lady. You know I think the world
Kate: ...and me you...
Tom: ...and I love having you and I hope that you come
back and visit us often...and with your sons, trust me, it gonna be ok. You'll muddle
through and they're gonna turn out to be fine upstanding young guys and your gonna be
proud of them and love 'em for the rest of their lives.
Kate: Alright. From your mouth to God's ears.
Tom: Yeah. Any trouble, call me.
Tom: I'll be right over.
Kate: I will.
Tom: Kate Mulgrew is the
guest, Star Trek Voyager is the program on the air on, I believe Monday nights.
Kate: Monday nights at 8.
Tom: OK, well, check your
local listings in your area. We'll be back with Dean Koontz, the author of the
best-selling book in America today, after these messages.