Elvis (Costello) has entered the building

Elvis Costello used to be an angry young man with funny glasses and murder on his mind. Now he’s all grown up and armed with his own talk showSpectacle, which premieres December 3 on the Sundance Channel.

Costello’s mellowed over the years, but he’s still blunt enough to push his guests toward minor — but delightful — revelations. Here’s Bill Clinton on NWA: “I’d still rather listen to Ray Charles, but I like it.” And on Richard Nixon: “He was so smart, and he had so much talent, but I think he somehow never really trusted other people.” And here’s Lou Reed on “Sweet Jane”: “There’s a secret chord in there.” [Editor’s note: We’ve figured it out for you! It’s D-A-G-Bm-A.] Thirty years ago, the idea that the author of “(I Don’t Want To) Go to Chelsea” would grow up to be a talk-show host would have been laughable. But as Elvis himself sang so many years ago, “What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?”

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

Elvis (Costello) has entered the building