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June 23, 2007

"Starsky & Hutch" Premiere

Deborah Norville Tonight March 3, 2004

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MSN-NBC Announcer: Up next, this show went off the air in 1979. Now it's back on the big screen. So where are the original Starsky and Hutch?

(Video clips shown)
Starsky: Wait a minute. I'm not through yet.
(Video clip ends)

MSN-NBC Announcer: Right here when DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT returns.

(Video clip shown)

DAVID SOUL AUDIO CLIP: (singing): Don?t give up on us, baby. We're still worth one more try.
(Video clip ends)

Deborah: Would you like us to speed it up, gentlemen? That 1997 chart-topping hit, "Don't Give Up on Us", was recorded by a young heartthrob named David Soul. But it was his day job, playing the laid-back Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson, along with his co-star, Paul Michael Glaser, as the intense David Starsky on "Starsky & Hutch". They were household names. It was a humongous hit, ran from 1975 to 1979, the epitome of '70s cool. The mismatched duo became the prototype of the...oh, look at the clips... aren't they cute?.... the unorthodox buddy cops television franchise.
(Video clip of "A Coffin For Starsky" begins)

Starsky: Which one of these guys are you calling stupid?

Hutch: The creepy looking one.

Starsky: You've got to be more specific.

Hutch: Oh, it's the guy that never picks on anybody his own size, because he likes young girls and old women.

(Video clip ends)

Deborah: I forget how funny that show was. Now the Ford Gran Torino, also known as the striped tomato, is back on the streets of Bay City in the new "Starsky & Hutch" feature film. The torch has been passed to Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. They've got the title roles of Starsky and Hutch. But forget about them! We wanted to check in with the originals, Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul. It's so funny to see those clips.
(cross talking)

PAUL MICHAEL GLASER: Boy, it sure is. You ought to be seeing it over here and looking at them.

DAVID SOUL: You looked pretty good in those days.

PAUL: Thank you. You did, too.

DAVID: You don't look so bad now, Paul.

PAUL: Oh, thank you
(cross talking)

Deborah: Did you guys like go to the same, like, jacket store to buy your wardrobe tonight?

DAVID: Oh well..

PAUL: You know, only a woman would ask that question.

Deborah: A woman would ask that question.

PAUL: If you hadn't brought it up, nobody would.....
(cross talking)

DAVID: If I had been wearing that sweater, how would you have felt?

Deborah: I would feel like you were really getting back into that '70s cool thing. I'm not sure it works on a guy these days.
(everyone starts to laugh)

PAUL: Yes, really.

Deborah: It's really interesting how so many 1970s TV shows are turning back into movies. And now they've done the movie treatment to "Starsky & Hutch."

PAUL: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Deborah: This was something they talked about for a long time. Did you ever think that they would go that route?

PAUL: Well,ah, ah, you know in the beginning, no. But as the years wore on, it became, you know, clear that the ah, the public really seemed to like the show and it seemed to have a lot of longevity, even though we only shot the it for four years. So, I guess you could say that, youk now, we started to feel like it was in the offering. And then about a year I hear something in my ear?

Deborah: Yah, you hear you. Wielding guns not very safely, I would say.

DAVID: Ah, well, I don't remember that scene, particularly. I probably held it quite safely in other cases.

Deborah: I'm sure you did.
(everyone laughs)

Deborah: One of the things that was really cool about this show back then was that you guys were the epitome of cool and hip, running all over town, saving lives, catching criminals, and looking good while doing it. How big was the wardrobe and the hair as part of the whole package back then? I know how big your hair was.

PAUL: The hair was,ah, the hair was, ah, a little out of control for me. But the wardrobe basically for me was what's comfortable. He was the clothes horse.

DAVID: Yes. I look back now, seeing what I am today, and I'm very grateful that I had the experience with hair. It was nice.

Deborah: What was it like working, because the two of you do have,... David, a cameo role in the new "Starsky & Hutch" film . Um, and we've got a clip, so we're going to roll that as we talk about what the experience was life being back on the set together, working with your old TV partner. What was that like?

DAVID: Well, I mean, ah, it, it's always a pleasure to walk on a set with this guy. And I think it was doubly the pleasure, I mean we walked on and we got a reception, ah, that, you know, normally is left for people ah, of some repute. And , ah, they gave us a hand when we walked on the set.

PAUL: It was very nice.

DAVID: It was very nice.

PAUL: It was very nice.

(Video clip of "STARSKY & HUTCH" begins..scene where Paul is telling Ben about the care of the car.)

"STARSKY: With this transmission, you really don't want to jump the clutch."
(video clip ends)

Deborah: And there you are giving the instructions on how to treat the car.

PAUL: Don't jump the clutch.

Deborah: Don't jump the clutch.

PAUL: Yah.
(cross talking and laughter)

Deborah: How do you feel Owen did as you and Ben did as you? Because the two characters have very different personalities.

PAUL: I think Ben did ...Ben, you know, really studied this and he was a fan. And he did a good job, did a really good job.

Deborah: He said, when he was a kid, he used to be you. He used to watch "Starsky & Hutch".

PAUL: Ya, I think he mentioned that, ya, ya. I said, how did you do that? I was a kid, too?
(everyone laughs)

DAVID: I thought Owen was terrific. He marches to his own drummer. He's got his own sort of style. And ah, that's a compliment to a guy. He didn't try to do me, you know, which I appreciate.

Deborah: He brought his own...

DAVID: He brought his own sort of personality, his own way of doing it. And I think that's proper if you're going to take up a character that has a kind of identification, um, that David Soul had as Hutch and make it your own. And so, ah, I applaud him for that. I thought he did a very good job.

Deborah: And how important is chemistry? Because one of the things when you guys were on the show that people talked about then and continued to talk about when you read the write-ups that were later on was just how well you worked on the set together, the two of ya playing off one another. It just worked.

DAVID: Well, look at him. I feel sorry for them.

PAUL: The show was about friendship. That's why.

Deborah: It was a buddy film.

PAUL: It was about friendship. It was, ah, I mean, after all is said and done, that's really what it was about. And to whatever extent that David and I were playing cops and tried to give, ah, cops a more humanistic portrayal than they had received up to that point, you know, that we filled that world with as much humanity as we could. But it was about friendship. It was about...

DAVID: Ya, very much so.

PAUL: ... how we cared about each other.

DAVID: You have to go back into the '70s, you know? This was not a glitzy, technological age. You know, there were only three channels. And when shows were built, they were built probably right from the top on all the way down on a much more human, human level.This, granted, it was a formula to begin with. And we kind of, you know... there were certain connect the dots....

Deborah: That you had to do?

DAVID:... that had to be done. But within the framework and outside that frame work, the relationship Paul and I developed really expanded that. And, and, so we could've played on many different levels, you know, comic and farce and drama and tragedy, action.

Deborah: It was all there.


Deborah: You hear a lot of people say, you know, they just don't make shows today like they used to. And in a lot of respects, they don't.

DAVID: Um hmm, that's true.

Deborah: You know, your show lives on in reruns and has fans today who are the same age that Ben and Owen were when they were kids watching you guys in the '70s. What is it that's not happening in television now that happened when this show was so popular?

PAUL: Well, you know, I think that, ah, first of all, to put some perspective on it, when we were doing "Starsky & Hutch", I'm sure there was a whole bunch of people who were saying, you know, they don't make shows quite like they used to.
(everyone laughs)

DAVID: Right.

Deborah: A look at the two of you guys is proof positive of that.

PAUL: So,so, you know, ah, I think what happens is that they call it the writing. They say the writing changes. But I think that the audience also becomes much more sophisticated in the terms of the amount of time it takes them to absorb the information. So they can go from A to point B and proceed much faster in a more sophisticated way.

Deborah: Yah. Yah.

PAUL: So it becomes more difficult to tell a story in-depth while you have the facility to make it look so shiny and, you know, full of, ah, you know, ah, ah, full of ginger.

Deborah: The glitz and glamour.

PAUL: The glitz and glamour.

Deborah: Well, "Starsky & Hutch" was a hilarious TV show, as we are reminded by seeing these clips. And it's a fun movie. And it's great to see the both of you back together again.

PAUL: Thank you.

Deborah: Thank you for coming.

PAUL: Thanks very much.
(cross talking)

Deborah: We'll see you at the theater.

DAVID: You bet!

Deborah: And in fact, we will see you at the theater, because "Starsky & Hutch" the movie opens on Friday. You can also check out the complete first season of these gentlemen in "Starsky & Hutch" the television series, because it's now out there on DVD .

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