Friday, February 16, 2007

Live Let Down

I signed up for Live with Regis and Kelly tickets months ago. I selected dates that would coincide with my Mother’s Spring visit to the city because you know moms love that stuff. Anyway, a week ago, they sent me two tickets for….February 14th. Huh? I signed up for April. I figured Valentines Day would be one not to miss since they may do extra special things for the audience (hey I could use a spa treatment or sweets, etc). The boy agreed to be my plus one however I didn’t get my hopes up because getting up before noon is not his forte. Thanks to a rocking Feb 13th (see previous entry about the Hinder concert), he could not be dragged out of bed in the morning. I too felt like a freight train had run me down, so I didn’t put any effort into dressing for the show. I just hope I didn’t look like the token funky (smell wise) completely hung over person in the crowd. I shuffle out the door and brave the winter storm. Okay for those who may not know, a massive ice/snow storm hit the NYC area on Feb 14th. Ugh! I arrive at the studio at 7:45am (the ticket said arrive between 7:30 and 8:00am) and there is a line around the corner. Huh? I walked up the security guard and tell him I have a ticket….let me in. He tells me that everyone has a ticket and to head to the back of the line. Okay, the line is outside! Did I mention it was in the single digits with tiny little ice pellets pinging me in the head/face! A group of 50 of us were stuck outside with the remainder packed into the small lobby. After about ten minutes of pure Hell, one hillbilly lady (seriously, she was a hillbilly with missing teeth, ratty big bang hair, tapered Lee jeans, and a menthol cigarette in her mouth) shouted to the guard “I didn’t come all the way from Kentucky to freeze my ass out in the cold”! I guess that snapped some sense into him and he let us cram into the lobby. Now imagine 200 people crammed into a small lobby with no where to sit/lean/whatever. Thankfully it was heated, but we had to leave our coats on because there was not enough room to remove them. Yep we all stood there shoulder to shoulder, sweating in our winter jackets for get this……an hour! I figured that if they wanted us there no later than 8am, and the show starts at 9am, they would usher us in and prep us around 8:15am. Nope! They let us into the studio at 8:50am! We had just a couple of minutes to rip off our jackets and scramble into our seats before the producer came out to “warm” us up. The producer was like “gosh you guys are not a happy audience today, liven up a bit, now give me some cheers!” I seriously wanted to give him the finger instead. Just as we were about to go on the air, Regis and Kelly entered the studio. Now Regis is a shorty short man! He was barely taller than Kelly, and she is no basketball player. I think Regis was drunk or on medication too. He kept acting funny off camera like shuffling around the studio and baby talking to props. Kelly kept rolling her eyes at him and you could tell she was pretty annoyed.

The show started with Regis and Kelly talking about nothing important. They then moved to the trivia part where some hillbilly caller tries to answer a question for a prize. Win or loose, the caller gets a consolation gift for herself and one member of the audience. Now that day’s gift was and 8 piece place setting of China valued at $500. Before the show, they handed us recipe cards with a number written on them (high class I tell you). We had to memorize the number and hide it away so they would look more organized on camera. Anyway, my number was 103. The caller had to guess a number between 1 and 200 (the number of audience members). She said, “one….oh……..two”. I was soooo close. I wonder if they caught me on film looking so excited after the “oh” and looking completely dejected after she said “two”. Well what would I do with $500 worth of China anyway.

The first guest was Nick Cage. He walked in so suave and talked with this sultry voice. I swear he was going to sell us a used car or something because he was so slick. He was on the show promoting his new movie Ghost Rider. Right behind the camera lens was a guy holding huge white cue cards. I was able to read them and they said “ask him about his new movie”, “ask about riding a motorcycle”, “bring up he won the Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas”. Well drunk/stoned Regis was all over the place. He went off on some tangent and you could tell Nick was completely unprepared for it. Kelly was completely useless just nodding her head like a bobble doll. I thought the cue card guy was going to have a seizure because he was shaking so bad. I guess he was trying to tell Regis, “talk to him about the movie, that is why he is here”! At commercial break, Regis took off and started wandering around the set and baby talking again. Nick was completely perplexed probably thinking “I’m an Oscar winner and a freaking Copula, is this guy brushing me off”! Kelly then leaned over and tried to make idle chit-chat with him, but you could tell he was not comfortable.

The remainder of the show was pre-taped. This means that they film it some previous day and show it as if it was live. I figured it out that you know it is pre-taped if you can hear the audience, but you don’t see them (where as the live ones they scan the audience when the guest says something funny, etc). They shut off the lights and left. A few camera guys hung out on the set couches to make sure we didn’t get out of our seats or something. Yep, we sat there for the next 40 minutes in a dark, empty studio. I kept thinking, okay they will come out and do more of the show and give us gifts. WRONG! At 9:55am, the producers came back in and told us to leave. Actually he told us that we could stick around and go to the Rachel Ray show, but everyone was pretty dejected by then.

So that is my first (and now only) live talk show taping. I got up at the crack of dawn to spend more time waiting in a crowded line or sitting in a dark studio than seeing actual people. Why don’t’ they talk to Disney and just have robots do it? Anyway, still pretty sad they didn’t give away anything after putting us through all that. The good thing is now I know I am not missing anything worth watching while in the 8-5 work day.

Here is a picutre of an empty studio. Yeah I was THAT bored!


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