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Interview von Dennis Miller mit Stephen King
(ausgestrahlt am 03.04.1998)

Dennis Miller: Tonight's guest has actually penned more books than I've read. Please welcome Stephen King, ladies and gentlemen. Steve.


Stephen King: How ya doing?

Dennis Miller: Thanks for coming on. I know you are afraid of flying so why are you out here? How did you get out here?


Stephen King: Well, I got out here on a United Airlines flight. And, ah, flew first class because I feel like if there is going to be an accident I want to be first to the crash sight. And ah...


Dennis Miller: Stake out your position


Stephen King: ...well, you don't have to linger in a burn ward, you know, if you're in the last row, that can happen. You know, so...


Dennis Miller: That's how I want Stephen King thinking!


Stephen King: Well, you know it goes with the territory I guess. But, ah, I don't think that my heartbeat ever got over 150 on this particular flight what happens is ill be going along 90 beats a minute, they close that door...


Dennis Miller: Right.


Stephen King: The minute that they close that door you're there. Forget it. Whatever happens is what happens.


Dennis Miller: Right. Well, that's I sometimes can sum it up in that Zen understanding but most of the time I hear the door shut I think, open the fucking door.


Stephen King: Open the fucking door. But you have to go and, ah, you know, the thing is you do what I do and you get used to imagining the worst. That's, ah, that's part of what I do you know.


Dennis Miller: Yeah, I'll say


Stephen King: And, ah, you really hit it on the head. I'll end up sitting next to somebody who'll say "where do you get your ideas?" And I'll say "Jesus Christ, I've never heard that one before, where do I get my..." But if you're at 40,00 feet and there's turbulence you know the last thing you want to be doing is answering that question again, when when the plane goes down. I was ok until I was about 28 and I looked out one day and I saw there was no break-down lanes out there. You're just you're there and if you come down...


Dennis Miller: How petrified are you though is like. Like I'm kinda petrified but I can always force myself. You're like that too, right?


Stephen King: I'm out here


Dennis Miller: Yeah


Stephen King: I'm out here and I'm supposed to go back on, ah, on Monday. And I think...


Dennis Miller: Live here with us!


Stephen King: Well, you know, you can always rent a car too, you get that one way rate. But, ah, one of these days it's going to be over.


Dennis Miller: Yeah you need the rate.


Stephen King: I'm gonna get in the jet-way and I'm gonna get halfway down there and I'm gonna fucking freeze. That's it, that's gonna be the end of it.


Dennis Miller: You'll be there forever.


Stephen King: The worst one...


Dennis Miller: What's your worst scenario? What's your worst flight scenario?


Stephen King: Oh, jeez


Dennis Miller: What's the worst thing you can imagine, you're gong down and they tell you to duck and cover, and cover your head with a Clive Barker novel or something.


Stephen King: The worst, the worst scenario is when you look out the window and you see that little gremlin from the Twilight Zone pulling at the engine cowling, but.


Dennis Miller: You know that gremlin was looking in the window going "I'm so scared, it's Schatner's toupee".


Stephen King: Right. No about 10 years ago American Airlines used to have in first class, they used to have a monitor so you could watch the plane take off...


Dennis Miller: Oh, I hated that too


Stephen King: ...and you could watch the plane come down. You didn't want to watch that. You didn't watch it, I didn't watch it. But there was a plane that crashed in Chicago. Now can you imagine watching yourself crash? That's the worst scenario as far as I'm concerned, "oh, were going down, look what a point of view" you know


Dennis Miller: You know and I'm so compulsive I'm sure I would have been clicking to the next channel.


Stephen King: Absolutely, absolutely.


Dennis Miller: Hey look Flintstones


Stephen King: Give them that Michael Bolton soundtrack to go with it. Bette Middler, "The Wind Beneath My Wings".


Dennis Miller: Have you ever seen a therapist about it or discussed it with a support group or anything?


Stephen King: I went to a therapist and the therapist said, "You have to imagine your fear as a ball that you can close up in your fist" and the first thing I'm thinking is this lady doesn't know how much fear I've got. I can maybe get it down to the size of like a soccer ball, but fear is my living I can only get it so small. But it actually worked for awhile and I would take off, you know, and this is a physiological thing, I'm terrified of flying and I get up there and, ah, but for awhile I able to hold that thing in there. And then I was descending into Bahmingdale airport in a Lear 35 and we hit clear air turbulence and it was like hitting a rock wall in the sky. I thought that we were dead. I thought it was over. The oxygen mask came out. You never want to see an oxygen mask...


Dennis Miller: Ah


Stephen King: ...except on that that film at the beginning. The seats flew out. I had on my seat belt but it would have broken my neck. The catering everywhere. I had grapes in my underwear when this thing was over. And is..


Dennis Miller: Fruit of the Loom


Stephen King: Yeah, fruit of the Loom, that's right.


Dennis Miller: But


Stephen King: And the fear just kinda squirted out of my hand like snot it was everywhere. That was the end of my fear ball. I've never been able to get it back.


Dennis Miller: There's a novel: Death of the Fear Ball.


Stephen King: That's great.


Dennis Miller: Now, ah, what do you think is the psychology behind the fears, are you afraid of dying? Is that it or what?


Stephen King: Ah, I think that it's the the period between... you know, the pilots all have this Southern voice like Wally Sherod, they sound like an astronaut, you know and it's kinda like ah, "You know folks, we got a little problem here... We're gonna fucking die." You know. But it seems to me.


Dennis Miller: Like Chuck.


Stephen King: It seems to me that... Yeah right like Chuck. 40,000 feet, you might have 72, 73 seconds between the start of the descent and the actual pow. That's the part I'm afraid of. Yeah, trying to get it all together in period of time.


Dennis Miller: Christ, now you could knock off two books in that time.


Stephen King: Not, not in that state. But see, the thing is, I would fly in a plane with you because there have to be a few of us on every flight.


Dennis Miller: Oh there are


Stephen King: We hold it up. Ok, The flight you have to be afraid of is the flight where there's nobody on who's afraid of flying. Those are the flights that crash. Trust me on this. You have three or four people who are terrified right out of their minds. We hold it up.


Dennis Miller: Right, the degree of rigidity in our body keeps the wings up.


Stephen King: No, it's some kind of a psychic thing because, OK, this shouldn't work anyway. Anybody with half a brain knows that it shouldn't work. You see these diagrams and there's like arrows going over the ring, you know the wings, you've seen this right and somebody help me here please. It's arrows and arrows underneath the wing but you' never looked out the window and saw an arrow in your life. OK, so it's basically I think it's psychic force and if you don't have enough of that.


Dennis Miller: Yeah, what about the thing they always say it's supposed to calm you down but they always say it's safer than driving on the road. Do you buy that or is that just...?


Stephen King: Well, they also say that one in fifty drivers that you pass is drunk, OK, and they're. Think how many there are. Of course it's safer because there. We probably passed more cars on Sunset Boulevard coming here than there are over L.A. tonight, so. Speaking, I think they're cooking with the numbers. It's a mathematical thing. But basically you know, you've got all these pilots up there in the peak of physical condition, ah, they're sober.


Dennis Miller: Ah, some of them are peaked.


Stephen King: Well some of them are peaked, but, ah, yeah, I think that, when they say it's more likely that you get hit by lightening, man I just don't buy that.


Dennis Miller: What about The Langoliers? Does this come from your fear of flying? Inspired by that?


Stephen King: Yeah, you know, ah, I kept thinking that I would be great if you could knock yourself out while you where flying. That would be the ideal.


Dennis Miller: That was the point of departure.


Stephen King: Yeah, yeah. So I was flying with some guys who had a small jet and I said, ah, this would be really great if only you didn't, ah, have to be aware through the whole thing. If you could just get on and there'd be a black place in you mind. And the guy says to me well we can lower the oxygen back there and you'd go right out. And I said do it. And they wouldn't do it but... but I got a story out of it.


Dennis Miller: Yeah, see. Everybody likes to get freaky when they're with you because they think you're freaky. But I...


Stephen King: Yes they do.


Dennis Miller: ...remember years ago and I can't tell if this is a pockrafou in my own mind or not. But I have a memory that I was in Pittsburgh and I was working on a kids show. And that you were there and you went out to a gravesite late at night one night and told Halloween stories. We taped you for this kid's show I was doing and you sat on a tombstone and told stories. Do you remember that or am I making that up in my head?


Stephen King: You're full of shit.


Dennis Miller: Yeah? I swear. Remember it was a guy named Arthur Greenwald. It was a show called Punchline and your little boy was there. Wasn't he an extra in the movie Creepshow?


Stephen King: Actually, he was the little boy at the beginning of the...


Dennis Miller: In Creepshow.


Stephen King: Yeah.


Dennis Miller: And I remember him coming past. I do remember. He was tell you about. You said how was the movie today he said well I had worms crawling out you know and it was like you guys were talking about a little league game. And I thought, see, weird in a loving way is just like baseball, you know, because oh yeah then they put the nail in his head.


Stephen King: Ah, Joe in that, Joe was ten years old and, ah, he played, ah, the child of an abusive father and he's getting knocked around in the movie and he had this makeup on and after one of those nights when he worked we went through a McDonald's Drive Thru and he hadn't taken the makeup off. So the big guy's driving the car. I had a beard at that time and I looked pretty degenerate and he got the little guy he's got the makeup all over his face, the bruises. And the next thing you know the cops have got us in the back of the cruiser and Joe's eating his fries and saying it's just a movie and I'm going that's right just a movie officers.


Dennis Miller: Yeah, at close range. Hey I gotta do the news. Can you stick around?


Stephen King: Yeah, sure


Dennis Miller: Stephen King ladies and gentlemen.

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