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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Surprising Celebrity Interviews

Presidents, comedians, and a sex columnist have all sat down with Tyson on StarTalk, which starts its second season this Sunday.

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A new season of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk premieres Sunday, October 25, at 11/10c on National Geographic Channel.


Can a moon rock aid political decision-making? In astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s upcoming interview with Bill Clinton, the former president suggests not only that it can, but that it did. In this clip, he says that he kept one on his desk in the Oval Office for just that purpose:

Tyson’s interview with Clinton kicks off the season premier of StarTalk this Sunday on National Geographic Channel, but Clinton isn’t the only surprising figure to talk about science and space on Tyson’s show. Here are some other unexpected guests.

Jimmy Carter

Tyson dutifully acknowledged Jimmy Carter’s “geek credentials” when he sat down with the former president, who has a graduate degree in nuclear physics. In their interview, Carter explained how his background in science influenced his political thinking.

Larry Wilmore

Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore was psyched to ask Tyson about the possibility of intelligent life on Mars. Their conversation led them to consider one of the great mysteries of space: what if there were “an alien city that evaporates when they’re done with it?”

Tyson’s interview with Wilmore will air Sunday, November 2, on National Geographic Channel.

Arianna Huffington

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington gave Tyson her perspective on meditation and technology, and Tyson laid out his issue with 12-step books.

“Nobody has 11 steps,” he lamented. “I’m so disappointed by this. Eleven is a perfectly good prime number.”

Dan Savage

Not every interview is about physics or the science of space. Sex advice columnist Dan Savage defended one-night stands as a legitimate way to start lasting relationships—including his own marriage. Tyson and Savage also discussed the negative effects of telling people that “no decent relationship can have a sleezy start.”

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