Thursday, June 30, 2011

For K

This isn't that interesting but I promised K I would do a post on it, so here it is.  :)

Last Wednesday Joe and I got tickets to see the Chelsea Lately with Chelsea Handler.   We haven't been to a taping of a t.v. show since Ellen, and I had the day off, so we decided to go check it out.

Out ticket said we had to be there no later than 12:30, and that the show would tape at 1:30.  Joe decided not to listen to me as to which freeway to take, and the 5 had construction on and off all the way out there, so we were running way late. Like 45 minutes.  I wasn't even sure they were going to take us but we decided to chance it instead of turning around and coming home, which honestly what I wanted to do after sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour and a half.  Blah.

But we finally did make it and we weren't too late to get in line so it was fine.  They ended up running about an hour behind schedule as it was.

The show tapes at a studio in Santa Monica where some of the E! network shows are taped.   Upon arrival we got in the back of a line out in front of the studio. The line wasn't that long.  The show tapes in a pretty small studio.

I wish I would have know that we would be standing in that line for an hour because I would have put on some sunscreen or brought a hat or something because it was HOT and we were in direct sunlight almost the whole time.  At least at the Ellen show they have a covered area (and benches) where the audience waits.

After about a half an hour they had us go through some metal detectors.  No cell phones or cameras were allowed at all.  If you had one with you they made you take it to the car and the car was kind of far away so that was a drag.

We had brought a book with us for her to sign and they came around and had us put a post it with our name on it in the book and they took the books from us to have her sign them.

After going through the metal detectors we waited another half hour or so before they started leading us into the studio.  It was a pretty small studio.  Only a hundred and fifty people or so, I would say. At least it was nice and cool in there.  In fact I had read online that I should bring a sweater because they keep it really cold in there.  Maybe because of the lights?  I'm not sure. It was cold but I didn't need a sweater.

After everyone was seated their warm up comedian came out.  He was o.k.  I didn't find him particularly funny.  Mostly his job was to tell us what to expect during the show.

One thing he did that I thought was really weird was he had us practice fake laugh.  He said not all of the jokes on the  show might seem funny to us, but this was a t.v. show and even if we didn't think something was funny we had to laugh anyway.

So he had us practice how to fake a laugh. It was weird.

So after we practiced fake laughing and cheering(we had to practice that too), the show started.  First they introduced the comedians that would be on the round table (which I can't remember who they were, except for Ross Matthews, but who can forget him with his high pitched voice).

After they all came out,  Chuy came out and went to sit in his chair over on the side of the stage.

The actual taping of the show didn't start until after all of the above people were seated.

The taping started when  Chelsea came out.  Of course we all had to scream and cheer like crazy, as they were prompting us to.   Right away she went into the monologue she does at the beginning of the show.

After the opening monologue, which is only 2 or 3 minutes at most, they play the theme music and she goes to sit at the round table and they go right into the show.

The round table part lasts about 15 minutes or so (possibly only 10).  After that the comedians from the round table  leave the stage.  They take down the desk and replace it with two chairs, a rug and a side table.

After a quick commercial break, they come back and she announces the guest for that show.  The guest for this show was Kelly Slater, the pro surfer.

I can't even tell you what it was that he was promoting.  It might have been something for Quick Silver, since he was wearing one of their shirts but it wasn't clear.  Perhaps when the episode aired he explained it but between the fake laughing and the fake cheering I never did catch why he was there.  He brought her some bathing suits from his girlfriend's line of clothing and they talked about surfing for a few minutes and that was it.  It couldn't have been more than 10 minutes that she spent with him.

They take another commercial break and they come back and she does her little bit at the end and that's it.  The whole show tapes in like 30 minutes.  There are no re-takes or anything.

And that was it.  Here's something that is weird about t.v. shows that you can't tell from watching at home.  The hosts and the guests don't interact with the audience at all.  Everything is for the camera.

Like in the beginning, when she is doing her monologue it looks like she is performing it for the audience, but she is actually talking directly to a camera that is in front of her.

I know you're probably thinking "Well Duh.  Of course she is talking to the camera. It IS a t.v. show after all."  But what you can't see at home is that she doesn't interact with the audience at all (Ellen didn't either, at that taping).   During the commercial break she was having a drink of water and getting her makeup touched up.  She doesn't even look at the audience.

The audience is basically a prop.  Our job was to laugh when prompted, and cheer and clap when they told us to.  During the commercial breaks they blare dance music at high decibels, presumedly to keep the energy high in the studio but all it did was give me a headache.

After they taped the ending part she went out into the front row of the audience and signed a couple of books.  It was all for show though, I think to make it look like she actually interacted with the audience(even though she didn't).  I have to admit, before I went to this taping I though how nice is was that she went out into the audience and met some of her fans but now that I know she only does that for the camera, I am not impressed.  :)  Chuy shook a couple of hands of people in the front row and then they both left the stage and the show was over.

One thing they did at the beginning of the show and during the commercial breaks was the warm up comedian would throw these balls into the audience (like those squishy stress balls).  They had the words "I caught one of Chuy's balls" written on them and everybody wanted one. To get one you had to cheer the loudest and basically make a scene.  You can probably guess that I didn't get one.  :)

When the show was over they asked if anyone would like to stay and watch the second taping.  I didn't really want to but we couldn't go home because it was right in the middle of rush hour traffic so we raised our hands.  We had to exit the studio and go back outside to wait.  We had to go back through security and everything again, and get back into line but didn't have to wait as long this time for them to bring us back into the studio.  Maybe 45 minutes or so.  They brought our signed books back to us at this point.

So we go back in and everyone gets seated and the warm up comedian comes back out and tells the same exact jokes he told the first time (still not funny) and gives us the same spiel about the fake laughing and cheering, and the whole thing started over again.  Ross Matthews was also one of the comedians for the second show, and also Sara Collona (who I love) and some other dude.

On one of the commercial breaks this time Joe caught one of Chuy's balls for me.  The guy was actually throwing it to the people in back of Joe who were making a ton of noise but Joe has long arms and he caught it.  They weren't too happy with him.

Here is a picture of it:

Here it is after he stamped it:

Same exact run down as above for the second show, except that Rosario Dawson was the guest.  She is in that new movie "Zoo Keeper".  She was entertaining.

After the show they asked if anyone would like to stay and meet Chuy.  Joe and I figured "why not?" so they led us outside to stand in line again while they set up a table outside for Chuy to sit at.  Within a few minutes he came out and people got to go up and shake his hand.  He had a pad of paper and a stamp with his name on it and he stamped a piece of paper for those who wanted it. Some people who had hidden their cell phones in their purses got to take a picture with him too.  Wish I had thought of that!

When it was our turn he shook both of our hands and thanked us for coming and he stamped the Chuy ball for me.  He seemed genuinely glad that we came out to see the show and really seemed like a nice guy.

After that we headed to the car.  We spent the evening at the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, waiting for the traffic to ease.  It's one of Joe's favorite places to go and we had a great time.

Attending t.v. show tapings is tiring.  Between the standing in  line, to the constant cheering (and fake laughing), to the blaring music, it's a bit much for me.  I don't think we will be attending anymore for a while.

Well, unless some tickets for So You Think You Can Dance open up, if so I am so there!    :)

Well K, I hope you found that more interesting than it seemed when I was writing it!

For everyone else, sorry it was kind of boring!


Brenda said...

Michelle: have a friend who is a producer for Dateline and he got me into a special section for Ellen. Still an interminable amount of wait and hassle. Been to the old Merv Griffin show and some others - always a big hassle. I really want to go see a Craig Ferguson taping - but I'm just not willing to wait through all the "stuff" anymore!

Journeywoman said...

I watched a taping of the Daily show and while the waiting was long, Jon Stewart came up and did the warm-up and really interacted with us. It was amazing.

The guest was the former governor of Ohio and the interview ran long and we got to see what wasn't on TV. It was great. Sorry Chelsea was such a downer.

Teena in Toronto said...

It's always an interesting experience to see how it all happens, isn't it?

Happy blogoversary :)