Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda
Learn to connect better with others in every area of your life. Immerse yourself in spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country. You’ll know many of the people in these conversations – they are luminaries in our culture. Some you may not know. But what links them all is their powerful ability to relate and communicate. It’s something we need now more than ever.

Frans de Waal on What Chimps Can Teach Us About Ourselves
Jul 15 • 45 min
In this episode, Frans de Waal shares with Alan Alda his insights about animal emotions and what they tell us about ourselves.
Adam Driver on How Theatre Can Help Heal Some Wounds of War
Jul 8 • 44 min
Alan Alda talks with Adam about his work in bringing together the world of civilians and the world of the military through powerful, shared experiences in the arts.
Hope Jahren on How It Actually Seems Possible to Have Empathy for Plants
Jul 1 • 46 min
Hope Jahren, author of the bestselling book, Lab Girl, has been fascinated by plants her whole life and in this episode she speaks with Alan Alda about whether or not we can experience empathy with plants and vice-versa.
Who Cares What Science Says? Chris Volpe on Why Some of Us Care and Some Don’t
Jun 24 • 35 min
In this episode, Alan Alda talks with Chris Volpe, who heads the non-profit Science Counts, about how to make science more relatable and understandable.
How Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor Create One of the World’s Most Fascinating Podcasts
Jun 17 • 47 min
In this episode, Alan sits down with Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor to talk about how stories are made and, as importantly, how they get out.
Carol Burnett: A Life of Comedy, Characters, and Connection
Jun 10 • 48 min
In this endearing episode Alan Alda and Carol Burnett talk about her life of comedy, characters, and connection.
Madeleine Albright on the Uses and Abuses of Empathy and Power
Jun 3 • 44 min
Empathy is a powerful tool and, when mixed with politics, it can be used to help the greater good, but it also has a dark side, and in this episode Alan Alda speaks with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about the uses and abuses of empathy and…
Official Trailer: Exclusive Sneak Peak of Season 4
May 27 • 19 min
Season 4 of Clear+Vivid® with Alan Alda starts on Tuesday, June 4th - listen to the official trailer to meet some of Alan’s next guests — including Madeleine Albright, Carol Burnett, Adam Driver, Katie Couric, and many more!
Tribalism: How we overcome the “Us” vs. “Them” Mentality
May 20 • 19 min
This episode explores some of Alan’s favorite guest insights about we can overcome the “Us” vs. “Them” mentality of tribalism.
Empathy: What good is it anyway?
May 13 • 30 min
Regular listeners to Clear+Vivid know that we have a thing for empathy, as do many of our guests, but exactly what empathy is isn’t always obvious – nor is it obvious that it’s always a good thing.
Our Favorite Answers By Listeners to the 7 Questions
May 6 • 32 min
We love hearing from our listeners — through social media and email, you’ve been sending us your own answers to “Alan’s 7 Questions” and we’ve been having a great time reading through all your witty, smart, and often poignant responses — so, in this…
The Best Guest Answers to Alan’s 7 Questions
Apr 29 • 14 min
Our guests have hilarious, thoughtful, and heartwarming answers to Alan Alda’s “7 Questions” — in this episode, we bring you all of our favorites.
Alan Alda and Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast
Apr 22 • 104 min
Gilbert Gottfried, along with co-host and fellow pop culture fanatic Frank Santopadre, sit down with Alan for a candid and spirited conversation, as Alan takes an affectionate look back at his life in theatre, television, and film.
David Flink on How We Can All Think Differently About Learning
Apr 15 • 45 min
David Flink was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD in grade school, but that didn’t stop him — he learned to think differently about learning and now he teaches others.
Pardis Sabeti on How Science Can Be Infectious
Apr 8 • 44 min
In this episode, Pardis Sabeti and Alan Alda talk about her scientific work, as they discover that the best way to tackle any challenge is with empathy, humanity, and a whole lot of fun.
Steven Johnson on the Importance of Play and the Decisions We Make
Apr 1 • 46 min
Steven Johnson has written a dozen books about how we come up with ideas and how we make decisions — in this playful episode, Steven and Alan Alda talk about the transformative nature of ideas and what sort of environments best give rise to creativity.
Steven Strogatz Bonus - What to Do When Things Keep Changing!
Mar 25 • 17 min
Alan and Steven Strogatz continue their conversation with this special bonus feature about a math problem that Alan doesn’t quite understand - yet.
Steven Strogatz Says You Can Understand Math
Mar 25 • 45 min
Alan Alda and leading mathematician, Steven Strogatz, take you on a guided journey through the beautiful world of numbers, helping you see the world through the window of mathematics.
Jonathan Haidt on Why We’re So Divided and What to Do About It
Mar 18 • 46 min
Alan Alda asks Jonathan Haidt about his research into the moral foundation of our politics —- they delve into understanding what makes us happy and how we can overcome our natural tendency toward self-righteousness, in order to learn from those whose…
Michael Tomasello On the Surprising Origins of Communication and Cooperation
Mar 11 • 37 min
Alan Alda talks with famed researcher and author, Michael Tomasello, about something we don’t think about much, but that may be at the very heart of relating and communicating: shared attention.
Sarah Vowell on Writing with Clarity (and Shenanigans)
Mar 4 • 46 min
Sarah Vowell is a true American satirist who writes about history from all sorts of strange and interesting angles — in this conversation, Alan Alda and Sarah explore the intricacies of writing for all sorts of media and how to think, with clarity, about…
Sherry Turkle on How We’re Losing Touch With One Another and What We Can Do About It
Feb 25 • 46 min
MIT professor, author, and clinical psychologist, Sherry Turkle, speaks with Alan Alda about how our constant connectedness isn’t always the best thing for us — and what we can do to disconnect from our technology to reconnect with our humanity.
Stephen Fry On How Our Myths Help Us Know Who We Are
Feb 18 • 44 min
In this conversation with Alan Alda, Stephen talks about his latest books about Greek mythology and how these ancient myths help us know and understand our modern selves.
Dr. Ruth on Communicating Under the Covers and Above
Feb 11 • 45 min
In this special Valentine’s Day special, Dr. Ruth and Alan Alda talk about sex and how to communicate with your partner below and above the covers!
The Actors from M*A*S*H — On How M*A*S*H Changed Our Lives
Feb 4 • 68 min
M*A*S*H is back for a one-time, exclusive episode with all your familiar friends — join Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, and Gary Burghoff for an intimate and candid conversation about their personal experiences of being part of one of…
Sheila Nevins on Age, Sex, Love, Life, and Everything Else
Jan 28 • 42 min
In this delightful episode, Alan Alda talks with Sheila Nevins about her life, how she feels about aging, the #MeToo movement, sex, divorce, documentaries, storytelling, and just about everything else!
Official Trailer - The Actors from M*A*S*H — On How M*A*S*H Changed Our Lives
Jan 26 • 0 min
The M*A*S*H episode you’ve all been waiting for is almost here! Coming February 5th to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. Subscribe and listen for free at
Senator Bill Bradley on How We Can All Do Better
Jan 21 • 38 min
Alan Alda speaks with Senator Bill Bradley about his amazing life and career — from Gold medal Olympian to the United States Senate.
Christian Picciolini on Escaping the Neo-Nazi Movement and Helping Others Leave It Behind
Jan 14 • 47 min
In this emotionally riveting episode, Alan Alda speaks with former Neo-Nazi leader, Christian Picciolini, about his descent into the Neo-Nazi movement - and how he got out.
Jaron Lanier on Why You Should Delete Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Jan 7 • 46 min
Jaron Lanier speaks with Alan Alda about the many reasons why you should delete your social media accounts right now.
Rachael Ray on Communicating Through the Medium of Food
Dec 17, 2018 • 42 min
Rachael Ray and Alan Alda sit down at the kitchen table for a conversation about connecting and relating over food, just in time for the holidays!
W. Kamau Bell on How He Communicates with Racists
Dec 10, 2018 • 51 min
W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s “United Shades of America,”speaks with Alan Alda about how to communicate with racists.
How the Alda Center Teaches Empathy in Science, and Medicine (Part 3)
Dec 7, 2018 • 41 min
In this last episode in our 3-part series on medical communication we speak with Dr. Susmita Pati and Dr. Laura Lindenfeld who are pioneering the medical communication program at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.
Dr. Karl VanDevender: Empathy and the Doctor-Patient Relationship (Part 2)
Dec 5, 2018 • 35 min
Alan Alda speaks with Dr. Karl VanDevender who has been practicing medicine for 40 years and, in that time, Dr. VanDevender has learned the secrets to empathic communication in medicine and how to build the best relationships with his patients.
Dr. Helen Riess on Empathy and the Science of Emotion (Part 1 of 3)
Dec 3, 2018 • 46 min
Dr. Helen Riess and Alan Alda discuss empathy and the science of emotion in this 3-part series on medical communication.
Marc Maron on What Podcasting Has Taught Him About Relating
Nov 26, 2018 • 44 min
Marc Maron, stand-up legend and host of the WTF Podcast, speaks with Alan Alda about what podcasting has taught him about relating and how to be a better communicator.
Neil deGrasse Tyson on Communicating Science So We Actually Get It
Nov 19, 2018 • 46 min
Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Alda talk about everything from the science of football to the newly proposed Space Force
Michael J. Fox: How to Keep Going When Life Gives You Speed Bumps
Nov 12, 2018 • 43 min
In this exclusive interview, Alan Alda talks with Michael J. Fox about their shared experiences living with Parkinson’s Disease. This episode is sponsored by Undeniably Dairy. To hear more stories about dairy farmers, visit
Behind the Scenes Table Talk with Alan Alda and the Production Team
Nov 5, 2018 • 26 min
Exclusive behind the scenes conversation with Alan Alda and the production team for Clear+Vivid.
Katie Couric and Sheryl Sandberg Take Over the Pod
Oct 29, 2018 • 61 min
While Alan Alda is on vacation, he’s invited his friend Katie Couric to take over the pod with some of her favorite episodes!
Katie Couric and Bryan Stevenson Take Over the Pod
Oct 22, 2018 • 50 min
Alan is on vacation (literally). So, he asked his friend Katie Couric if she’d lend him a couple of episodes of her podcast.
Season 2 of Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda Starts Nov 13th - Official Trailer
Oct 1, 2018 • 2 min
Season 2 of Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda starts on November 13th! Listen to the official trailer to meet some of Alan’s next guests — you’re not going to want to miss the spectacular bonus episodes in the works! New episodes are available every Tuesday.…
Hostage Crisis: How to Negotiate Through the Unthinkable with Chris Voss
Oct 1, 2018 • 45 min
Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator who has used communication to save lives. Alan Alda interviews Chris about his experiences and they discuss intense situations where empathy has been successfully used as a tool to guard against the…
Father Greg Boyle on Compassion, Kinship, and Real Ways to Help Others
Sep 24, 2018 • 46 min
How do you talk to a member of a deadly gang? How do you help someone leave that life, and why did they join it in the first place? The answers are surprising. And they throw light on how to communicate with anyone. In this episode of Clear+Vivid Alan…
Isabella Rossellini on Communicating the Wonder of Nature
Sep 17, 2018 • 42 min
Isabella Rossellini is a legendary actress, iconic model, filmmaker, writer, and now - if that’s not enough - she’s working on her master’s degree in Animal Behavior. In this wildly fun conversation, Alan Alda talks with Isabella about how how animals…
The Quest to Understand Ourselves Through Art and Mind
Sep 10, 2018 • 40 min
Is a work of art complete if no one experiences it? Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel talks with Alan Alda about the vital role of the audience when we communicate through art and story And his prize-winning discoveries on memory come alive in his own…
Cheryl Strayed Shares Her Advice on How to Give Advice
Sep 3, 2018 • 45 min
Cheryl Strayed, one of the most exciting and uplifting authors of our time, is funny, down to earth, complex, and the perfect person to offer Alan Alda solid advice about how to give good advice. She’s the author of Tiny Beautiful Things and the co-host…
George Mitchell on Bringing Together Enemies - Part 2 Northern Ireland
Aug 27, 2018 • 37 min
George Mitchell helped end decades of lethal violence in Northern Ireland with the historic accord known as the Good Friday Agreement. In this episode Alan Alda talks with Sen. Mitchell about how he achieved that agreement through effective communication,…
Tina Fey and the Transformative Power of Improv
Aug 21, 2018 • 31 min
Two icons of improv and comedy together on the same podcast. Alan Alda and Tina Fey - do we need to say more? This episode was originally recorded live on stage. Tina also joined Alan in studio to answer 7 questions about herself. Her answers are profound…
Ann Patchett on Novelists and the Sources of Empathy in Story
Aug 14, 2018 • 40 min
Ann Patchett is a best selling author with an uncanny ability to write amazing characters, who capture our imagination and hold us in their emotional grip. Alan Alda talks with Ann about her approach to writing and how empathy influences both her stories…
Bringing Together Enemies - Part 1: The Middle East
Aug 6, 2018 • 41 min
Author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin reflects on the modern state of feminism and the #MeToo movement – and how she’s brought people together in the Middle East through experiences that change their understanding of one another. (In Part 2 of these…
Is Empathy Good or Bad? A Conversation with Paul Bloom
Jul 30, 2018 • 45 min
Yale Professor Paul Bloom doesn’t think empathy is such a good thing. He’s even written a book about it called, The Case Against Empathy. However, he does have an interesting theory about what he calls rational compassion. Paul and Alan Alda discuss their…
Renée Fleming and the Healing Power of Music
Jul 23, 2018 • 39 min
Surprisingly, Renée Fleming has been using her iconic voice to help scientists discover how music heals us. Alan talks with Renée about their mutual interest in science, her new starring role in Carousel, and what it’s like to really be present as a…
Judge Judy on How to Figure Out Who’s Telling the Truth
Jul 17, 2018 • 46 min
Every day, 10 million Americans watch Judge Judy on TV. Her style is direct and to the point. Her job is to know how to quickly separate fact from fiction. She talks with Alan about justice and what it’s like for a judge to have such an impact on the…
Kate Bowler and How to Handle the Worst News of All
Jul 13, 2018 • 42 min
Alan talks with Kate about the awkward, funny, and often misguided, ways people approach the subject when they know someone is seriously ill. New York Times Bestselling author and Duke University divinity professor, Kate Bowler tells Alan how stage 4…
Itzhak Perlman on the Spontaneity and Connection of Performance
Jul 9, 2018 • 44 min
In this delightful and spirited conversation, Alan Alda talks with his good friend the world-renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman. They explore the power of spontaneity in both music and acting, and what happens when a musician talks to the audience.
Sarah Silverman and the Joy of Enjoying People You Don’t Agree With
Jul 9, 2018 • 47 min
Alan Alda talks with comedian Sarah Silverman about how she befriended someone who was hateful toward her on Twitter, and how her new series on Hulu challenges her to connect with people that she doesn’t agree with. Her question to us is “Can Americans…
Clear + Vivid™ with Alan Alda - Official Trailer
May 23, 2018 • 1 min
Clear and Vivid is a series of Alan Alda’s spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country. You’ll know many of the people…