April 22, 2009

Late Night in the Middle of the Day

The Daughter and I recently visited our friend Jeff in California for five days of Spring Break goodness. We hit the beach, did some shopping, revisited Disneyland, saw some movies... However, the "big" event was attending the live taping of the Chelsea Lately show. The Daughter is a big fan of said show, and I was able to score free tix for the Monday taping. It seemed strange attending a late night talk show at 3:30 in the afternoon. For some reason, I always assumed that shows like "The Tonight Show" and "Late Night with David Letterman" actually took place in the evening. But no, there we were, standing in line with a bunch of other people, hoping to get in. You see, having tickets was not a guarantee of entrance. The Daughter was three weeks away from being 18, but the ticket clearly stated that you must be 18 or older to get in. Also, the ticket informed us that we had to dress "stylishly hip". Hopefully, they would find my "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt, scruffy jeans, and flip-flops "hip". Nah, I didn't want to risk not getting in, so I pulled out my "ultra-hip" outfit reserved for such purposes. The good news was they didn't check The Daughter's ID, and they must have thought all three of us were dressed appropriately, because they let us in. Big joke there, since you never even see the audience on the actual show. Geesh.

The most amusing part of the show was the fellow whom I dubbed "The Clap Nazi". This fellow had the job of making the audience clap, hoot, holler, and make other appropriate sounds of laughter based on his directions. After a couple of trial runs, where I literally clapped so hard my hands began to bleed, we were informed that we were only giving him 70%. How disappointing. He also told us we were to laugh regardless of whether we thought a joke was funny or not. So much for democratic laughter. Why not use a laugh-track and be done with it? Actually, I have a sneaking feeling they probably do add a laugh track if needed.

What I found most surprising was that the show we taped was actually going to air that same night. That's a pretty fast turn-around. I figured it would take at least a week or two to air, but I guess that show wants to be "in the now". When we watched the show on television that evening, we think we saw a glimpse of the tops of our heads during a quick boom camera dolly over the audience. Hollywood, here we come!