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EP 435: The Art of Being Mike Nichols

Ash Carter and Sam Kashner discuss their new book about the EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Birdcage). They talk about his early years as one of the founders of the improv group that would become Second City, the story of how Nichols joined up with Elaine May to make comedy history, and how the creative differences that broke up Nichols and May opened the door for Mike Nichols to direct for Broadway and Hollywood. They reveal how the first time director got the nerve to stand up to movie mogul Jack Warner during the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, why Nichols originally wanted to cast Robert Redford in The Graduate, and how Orson Wells tried to usurp him as director on Catch-22. They share stories of Nichols’ courtship and marriage of news anchor Diane Sawyer, his lavish life, his many friendships, and a lesson in how to go out in style.

Order their book Life Isn't Everything: Mike Nichols, as Remembered by 150 of His Closest Friends on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow Sam and Ask on Twitter at @SamKashner and @Psmithjourno. Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches. Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches. Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at

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