A Nuclear Treaty and Michael Moore Singing ‘The Sound of Music’: Rachel Maddow Live at the 92Y

By Alex Weprin Comment

Tuesday evening, TVNewser attended the live telecast of the “Rachel Maddow Show” from the 92nd Street Y. The program featured Maddow discussing the passage of the START Treaty, as well as guests Andrea Mitchell, former George W. Bush advisor Nicole Wallace and filmmaker Michael Moore, who led the audience in a rousing song from The Sound of Music during a commercial break:

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“I’m just going to pretend this is my living room,” Maddow said during another commercial break, before sitting down in a wooden chair to speak to Mitchell.

According to “Maddow” executive producer Bill Wolff, the idea to partner with the Y on the program came from the top:

“It was [MSNBC president] Phil Griffin, and that is not just all suck-uppery,” Wolff said. “Phil had the idea a year ago, that the 92nd street Y has a certain aura, and a brand, that we envy. It is a place where big important thinkers go to present their ideas on stage.”

Wolff says the original concept was a larger, more complicated one:

“The form of what it would be took several different iterations,” he said. “First it was going to be all of the MSNBC talent on 5 consecutive nights. We had to get it all right. Ultimately, it came down to it would be Rachel, it would be this week, and this is how it would go.”

As for Moore’s impromptu musical performance:

“Believe it or not, we hadn’t planned on that, we sorta didn’t know that was going to happen.”