Mark Caro is author of the award-winning nonfiction book The Foie Gras Wars (Simon & Schuster) and co-author of Take It to the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside You (GIA). He created and hosts the popular “Is It Still Funny?” film series, frequently guest-hosts on WGN Radio and writes about culture for The New York Times, Chicago magazine and other outlets. He was a Chicago Tribune writer/reporter for more than 25 years.
1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
Unfinished business, in many forms. (See question 3.) Also the standard fears for our democracy, civilized society and the future of carbon-based life forms.
2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
Music and movies play such a huge role in my life and keep me sane; I loved seeing the Flat Five at the Hideout and Spoon at the Chicago Theatre, and I’m pulling for Laurie Metcalf to win an Oscar for Lady Bird. Most notably, though, my 13-year-old daughter recently built a Kitty Condo, a two-story duplex with lounging space for each of our cats. It’s awesome.
3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
I’m in the middle of three different book projects: a non-fiction collaboration, a “polish” on someone else’s novel and revisions on my own novel, which has been in the works for years. I’m also looking to expand my “Is It Still Funny?” series, which is about to get a new cinematic home; to arrange more songwriting events with Steve Dawson, the wonderful musician and my co-author on Take It to the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside You; and to finish my third annual Oscar quiz for the New York Times (after I wrote 25 of them for the Chicago Tribune).
4. If you could add anyone, dead or alive to your team, who would it be?
First of all, my mom, Ruth Caro, because she has missed too much already, and I’d bring back my friend Jimmy Guterman because I have too many stupid jokes that no one else gets. Then John Lennon gets a call, I pair him with Sir Paul (finally), throw in Richard Thompson on lead guitar, Stevie Wonder on clavichord, Mavis Staples on vocals and spiritual guidance, and Pete Thomas on drums, add Michael Palin (my fellow birthday boy) for smart laughs, and I’ve finally got my supergroup.
5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?