As popular singer and actor Harry Connick Jr. begins the second season of his popular daytime talk show, Harry, he continues to profile and highlight the inspiration found in guests from all walks of life. While entertainment icons appear occasionally to talk about their latest projects—including Billy Joel who recently performed a piano duet—Connick’s focus is squarely on everyday people.
As he enjoys “the time of his life” with a one-hour party every day, Connick, who also serves as executive producer, recently took some time to speak with Charisma Newsabout what makes the show so fun, how faith is a frequent topic for his guests, and his love for gospel music.
The segments of Harry talking about real-life heroes makes the whole show more of a ‘feel good’ hour. Why is it important to profile them?
We have an hour of television every day, and I have to sit down and figure out how to spend it. You have to prioritize, because there are a lot of different pieces of my life. Music was going to be a priority and it was going to be all throughout the show anyway, so then it came to ‘What are we going to spend our time talking about?’ I love talking to people who make other people feel better. They’re everywhere. I had an interview with a guy today, Jake Olsen, who is a long snapper for [the] USC football team who’s blind. He lost his eyesight completely when he was 12 years old. I asked him, “When you were 12, you were going into this surgery knowing that you were never going to see again. What do you do when you’re down? What do you do when you feel like you can’t go on?” I can’t imagine what that must have been like. He went on to say, “Here’s what I do. I focus on the blessings that I have. If all I did was sit around thinking about what I don’t have, I would be depressed.” It makes you feel good to hear how other people navigate through life. I love doing that. I love meeting everyday folks and just spending some time with them and learning about them. It’s fulfilling to me. I sincerely enjoy it and I think, hopefully that comes through.
On a recent episode, someone was talking about faith and you mention that some people were surprised they could talk about it and you said, “Of course you can.” You’ve had Tim Tebow on the show, and you’re not afraid to spotlight faith talk. Why is that?
I think no matter what faith you’re talking about, if somebody wants to talk about their faith, it’s usually a good thing. It’s usually about how it helps them get through tough times or whatever. I just can’t believe we’ve gotten to a point where it’s a novelty to talk about it. My show isn’t a religious show, and I’m certainly not going to stand up there and preach, but I try to show by example what I believe to be right. This goes back to saying, “What am I going to do during this hour of television?” Everything that I do is based on things that I find entertaining and I find right. If somebody wants to come on and talk about their faith, absolutely come on and talk about it. Now you’re not going to hear me stand up there and preach, because I don’t like to be preached to by somebody like me. I like to be preached to by somebody who knows how to do that. But I believe you can say the same things in your actions. If somebody has a message they want to speak about, I support it by any means.
SOURCE: DEWAYNE HAMBY