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'Inside the Actors Studio' turns 250 (episodes) Wednesday

James Lipton arrives at the HBO Emmy party

James Lipton arrives at the HBO Emmy party in West Hollywood, Calif. (Aug. 29, 2010) Credit: AP

After 19 years -- 19! -- "Inside the Actors Studio" and its redoubtable ringmaster James Lipton will celebrate 250 episodes Wednesday night with a two-hour special that'll feature the reclusive Dave Chappelle -- a Lipton pal -- and others not so reclusive.

 "Studio," if you are not aware, but almost certainly are, is an iconic cable series that reaches back to the very earliest days of Bravo -- long before "Real  Housewives" and Tabitha and so on. Lipton, a trained actor and dean emeritus of Pace's Actors Studio Drama School, got to this benchmark by running a smart show, being extremely well-informed, non-judgmental and always always curious. The result was at times more of a shrink's couch than an interview show because Lipton asked the right questions and secured responses that weren't the usual spin or balderdash.

It's been quite a run indeed, and a mere lad of 86, Lipton has had an interesting run too.

Here's a clip (below)  but per Bravo, the 7 p.m. series will feature "new interviews with former guests including Actors Studio alumnus Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Walken, Barbara Walters, Dave Chappelle, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Ellen Burstyn and Spike Lee..."


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