Pod Save America host Jon Lovett on Animal Crossing, Ronan Farrow, and the 2020 election
Since 2017, Jon Lovett has been saving us from political-discourse chaos as cohost of Pod Save America and on his own Lovett or Leave It. The Long Island native welcomes politicians, celebrities, and journalists — and sometimes celebrity journalists like fiancé Ronan Farrow, now that he works at home — for fresh and funny takes on current events.
Lovett spoke to EW about living with Farrow during quarantine, as well as what Animal Crossing is doing on your Twitter feed and just how we should be handling our anxieties about the upcoming election.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Recently you had Ronan on the podcast to do a little Newlywed Game. You guys were really open about your relationship. How much do you discuss what to talk about and what to keep private?
JON LOVETT: That's a great question. I will say, maybe we should be more deliberate about it. Having a kind of funny, silly rapport during a dumb segment where we bicker and argue about the dishes, if that's that's entertaining for people, I'm glad that we get to do it. I think neither one of us really wants to be, you know, defined by the relationship. We want to be defined by the work that we do, and that work is very, very different.
Your relationship has so many eyeballs on it, wanting to know whether you're going to do this or that. Zoom weddings are becoming a thing now — since you're engaged, has the idea of a conventional wedding changed for you since the pandemic hit?
Look, first we had an excuse, which was that gay people are not allowed to get married. Then the pressure was on to get engaged. All right, and then we got engaged. And then all of a sudden the question is, when are you getting married? I will say that we had not made plans before this terrible crisis. This terrible crisis has not hastened any of these plans. [Laughs]. All I will say is, I wish everybody well in whatever their plans may be, but I do believe a Zoom wedding would kill my mother.
As an avid videogame fan, can you explain why the Animal Crossing fan base is so hyped?
I'll be honest and say it's really a mystery to me. My partner, Ronan, is into it. I imagine there's something soothing about exploring and living in this ordinary way. You're in disconnected islands and have these quotidian accomplishments and travels and comforting domestic experiences. I will tell you that that's never been appealing to me.
Last summer at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, you were able to bring together a live version of Pod Save America to a huge group of fans. I can't even imagine that sort of crowd today. Group gatherings are so crucial to political movement. How can we keep moving forward politically without physical action?
There's two aspects to it. One is the emotional aspect and the other is the political. On the human side of it, it's really sad that we're not going to be able to congregate including with political events. It's the kind of organizing people not just because it's the right thing to do to involve yourself in democracy, but people really take pride in being involved and being a part of a community and seeing that community in person.
In terms of the politics, I think it's an open question. I think a lot of really, really smart people are thinking really hard about how this impacts efforts to turn up the vote in November. I think it's about thinking through what are we trying to achieve while we're trying to get information to people. We're trying to get people registered, we're trying to get people to turn out to vote and know what are the ways you can do that.
How much are you thinking about what November is going to look like?
We're all thinking about it. Lately we organized a calling campaign to get people to call their senators and their congresspeople to support vote-by-mail, right. That's a big step that's really important that we should be taking. Even though people can't leave their houses, we still were able to get thousands and thousands of people across the country to make these phone calls. It's not just about pressuring Republicans to do the right thing, but also about pressuring Democrats to say, "Hey, this is really important. This needs to be a priority in any upcoming fights over stimulus money."
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