Q&A: George Noory, King of Paranormal Talk

During his now 17-year run as the host of Coast to Coast AM, the nation’s most listened-to overnight radio show, George Noory has emerged as an authority on a range of paranormal topics sizable enough to fill a witches’ cauldron.

From his own research and the thousands of interviews he’s conducted with countless guests, Noory is well-versed in the foundations of the supernatural radio genre—ghosts, UFOs, bigfoot, government conspiracies—that Coast to Coast’s predecessor, Art Bell, helped introduce to mainstream America. But he’s also brought a spectrum of other subjects to the diverse nightly broadcast, including health and wellness topics, technology, earth changes, lucid dreaming and New Age spirituality.

Bleary-eyed South Florida insomniacs can tune into Coast to Coast from 1 to 5 a.m. on 610 NewsRadio WIOD. Even better, local fans and curious converts have the opportunity to see Noory and three guests in person on Saturday, when “George Noory Live!” tours South Florida for the first time.

Beginning at 5 p.m. July 27 at Miramar Cultural Center, Noory will present live interviews—complete with audience interaction—with Billy Carson, an expert in forbidden archaeology; James L. Paris, a motivational speaker and lecturer on the power of prayer; and Chip Coffey, a renowned psychic medium.

The program will even include songs performed by Noory himself, backed by a live band. The busy host carved out a few minutes of his time earlier this week to discuss the show, and his regular night job, with Boca magazine.

If there’s a potential audience member out there wondering if they’ll get their money’s worth from the live show, it’s quite a lengthy program, isn’t it?

The show is about two and a half to three hours, and then the meet-and-greet lasts almost as long, because we don’t leave until everyone’s had a chance to meet us. We stay after the show, and the line gets long, but it goes fast. But it’s a long, lengthy program. So will they get their money’s worth? Absolutely.

When you book these shows, do you think about having an eclectic mix, where the guests have different areas of expertise?

Absolutely. We try to break it up, so it’s not all ghosts, or not all upbeat and motivational. With three guests, and audience participation, it really moves very quickly.

One of your guests is Chip Coffey. Will he be doing readings for those in attendance?

He’s going to pick out a few in the audience. If not, we’d be there for six weeks!

I would imagine that hosting live shows like these are a different animal from your night job. When hosting in front of hundreds of live audience members, how does your process differ from the more intimate routine of radio interviews?

I do the same thing. I do it one on one. I select some people out of the audience, I gear my program through an individual—that way you’re not looking at hundreds and hundreds of faces. And I’m onstage for the one person. It works for me. I’ve done stage shows since I was a kid, so I’m really used to it. And it’s exciting for me to see audience members up front and personal.

Let’s talk about the musical portion of the show. Can you share a bit about your background in singing, and what you get out of it?­­­

When I was a little boy, I would listen to my mother play all these old songs, and I would sing them—whether it was Sinatra or Elvis Presley. And I would learn them. And then later on in life, I started singing in certain places. When [producer] Tom [Danheiser] said, “I want to start doing some more live shows”—because we had done a few in Toronto and one in Vancouver, Canada—when we started branching all over the country, I said, “Look, I want to sing there too. Let’s bring some music into it and really mix it up and make it a fun evening.” He said, “You can’t sing!” I said, “listen first.” So he did, and he said, “You’re right, let’s bring in a band.”

Many of the world’s most listened-to radio shows today are not on terrestrial radio; Howard Stern is on SiriusXM and you’ve got hosts like Adam Carolla and Joe Rogan who host podcasts with tens of millions of listeners. Do you feel it’s important to still be on the actual radio dial, and do you ever see Coast to Coast moving to a purely internet broadcast?

I don’t think we’ll ever be purely Internet. Terrestrial radio has been our staple. I still have a love for radio. We’re on 620 stations in North America, and it just keeps growing for us. Lots of younger people listen on their smartphones, but as they get a little older, they go back to radio. Radio is going to be around for a long time.

Time and again on Coast to Coast, I’ve heard guests discuss a controversial topic, and suddenly their connection is lost. You’ve commented about this in the moment, by saying, “it looks like they got him”—whoevertheyis. Do you think there’s something to that—is the show indeed being monitored for content?

It is bizarre that it happens as often as it does. I don’t believe in coincidences at all. Something is happening. When we do get into a very controversial subject—some governmental mystery or something like that—the guest’s line just goes. Once, I had Jordan Maxwell on, and he was talking about something controversial, and his line got clipped and we lost him. And he said, while he was trying to listen to see if he was connected or not, he heard voices in the background—keep in mind, he’s off the air with us—and he heard voices on the other end of the line saying, “You think he got our message this time?”

That just sends chills down my spine. I’ve listened to a lot of talk radio, and I’ve never encountered this problem on other shows.

Absolutely. Somebody’s got some control somewhere. Somebody’s trying to send us a message. But we end up getting the guest back on, and we go right back at it.

Coast to Coast has had some guests who could be controversial even for your listeners, who are awake to alternative theories. Has it ever happened where you’ve become uncomfortable with the direction of a conversation?

I had a guest on who claimed he was a representative of the Antichrist. And people were emailing me while I was on the air, saying “George, I don’t feel good. I’m getting sick listening to this guy, physically sick.” And I’m going, this is crazy. All of a sudden, I started feeling sick. I never get sick on the air! But I had to cut the interview short because I thought I was going to pass out. As soon as he was off, I started feeling better again, and so did everybody else!

Have you subsequently cut down on guests that seem to come from really dark places?

No, we still have that mix. We try to give everybody a voice. We control it as much as we can. There is no profanity allowed on the program at all, but in terms of topics and subject matter, just about everything goes. There are some topics we don’t really touch on. That would include abortion, the death penalty, things like that, which I think the mainstream does a pretty good job handling.

One of the strange topics covered many times on your show is our own Coral Castle. Will you be able to visit Coral Castle when you’re down here?

I’m going to try. Tom’s going for sure.

You’d probably an expert now, so I’d love to hear your first-person perspective. 

Yes, Edward Leedskalnin, a 120-pound guy from Latvia, moved those blocks of stone by himself, saying he knew the secrets of how the pyramids were built. He knew something, God rest his soul.

I’d like to finish with your thoughts on UFO disclosure, which has been in the news a lot lately. There still seems to be two sides to the disclosure debate; there’s the traditionalist approach favored by lobbyist Stephen Bassett that it needs to come from an official government press conference. Then there’s those that believe the slow leak of information about the secret Pentagon program, and the navy protocols for UFO sightings, is the gradual disclosure we’ve been waiting for. Where do you stand on this subject?

The latter. I’ve told Steve Bassett many times that we’re not going to get governmental disclosure. It’s just not going to happen that way. To date, I’m spot on. But we will get leaks, and things will happen as they’ve been happening. And eventually we’ll get the answers—but from people and individuals, not from sanctioned governments.

“George Noory Live!” begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar. Tickets run $45-$109. Call 954/602-4500 or visit miramarculturalcenter.org.