Author’s Note: I’m not much for conducting interviews with celebrities, given their massive egos, “off-limits” question restrictions, and evasive answers. But when a colleague of mine was called out of town on an emergency, I reluctantly agreed to step in and interview singer-songwriter-actress Lady Gaga. My recollections from that memorable, surreal evening follow.

I met Gaga in a restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington. (The exact location was hush-hush.)

Given her busy schedule, I figured it was fifty-fifty that she would even show, but she arrived bursting with energy. “Hello, hello!” she said.

We began by ordering dinner. I had steak tartare; Gaga had mahi-mahi with couscous, which she said was just “so-so.” “I should have ordered the pupu platter,” she lamented.

As Gaga nibbled on bonbons, I began the interview.

“Favorite rock band?”

“The Go-Go’s.”

“Biggest musical influences?”

“B. B. King, Dee Dee Ramone, and Yo-Yo Ma.”

“Favorite movie?”

“La La Land.

I was beginning to detect a pattern.

“Favorite art style?”


“Favorite dance?”

“I have two. The cha-cha and the cancan.”

“Favorite place to visit?”

“Bora-Bora,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.

“Biggest fear?”

“Coming down with beriberi.”

The coquettish Ms. Gaga was clearly playing with me. Nevertheless, I persisted.

“Favorite comic book?”


“Favorite Star Wars character?”

“Ha ha. Easy. Jar Jar.”

It was time to try a different approach.

“Tell me about the outfit you’re wearing.”

“It’s half muumuu, half tutu, quite froufrou.

“What are those things on the sleeves?”


“And the handbag?”

“Coco Chanel. Very chichi.”

I searched for words.

Well, well,” she said, looking at her watch. “It’s 10:10. I’ve enjoyed our little tête-à-tête, but it’s time to say ta-ta.”

“One more question before you go. What is your one guilty pleasure?”

“Ho Hos,” she said with a laugh. “But I’m also cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

Though she left my head spinning, I ended the evening goo-goo for Gaga.

John Ficarra, former editor of Mad magazine, recently tested positive for immaturity