Oh, yeah. I was like 3 feet away from her. No biggie.
Last night I decided to play LA tourist and go to a studio taping of a television show with a few friends. If you’re really smart, you might be able to figure out which one by the subtly placed logo in the picture above. This was my first experience being a part of a studio audience, and it was pretty exciting… for about the first hour. You know how a joke becomes less funny every subsequent time someone tells it to you? Well, imagine that you get told the same joke over and over for like 6 hours. On top of that, the person telling the joke keeps forgetting part of it. Or some dude called a “director” keeps yelling “cut!” and interrupting the joke. In this instance, the dude was Fred Savage, and no amount of Wonder Years nostalgia made me hate him any less for doing additional takes of scenes with absolutely no changes to the lines or the delivery. To further complicate matters, we’re talking about Whitney here, so the jokes really weren’t all that funny to begin with. In between takes you could be waiting as long as twenty minutes, which is why they conveniently take away your cell phone so you have absolutely nothing to escape to. I’m sure the older folks in the audience found our social floundering without texts and smartphones hilarious, but none of us were amused. I actually think Tyler might have gotten the DTs.
So, in comes the crowd wrangler to
trick us into thinking life is better without cellphones save the day! There’s a guy with a microphone, telling jokes, trying to manhandle our attention spans far beyond our usual YouTube-cat-watching limits. Did I mention he keeps offering everyone free crap if they keep laughing really hard? Great, so when they say that things are filmed in front of a “live studio audience”, you mean “200 people corralled into a small space for over 6 hours, baited and bribed with Laugh Factory tickets and shitty LA tourism t-shirts, with only half a sandwich for sustenance”. Stellar. Maybe if this guy were handing out burritos (or ever just a whole sandwich) I would have been more easily coerced to laugh at some poorly written jokes for the 12th time. I was too busy trying to gnaw my arm off to even pay attention to the comedy bits he was doing at the front of the audience. Crowd wrangler man was clearly irritated that I wasn’t playing his silly games, but lucky for him there was a whole host of middle-aged women from Minnesota there who were dying to get their hands on the $100 Macy’s gift card he was giving away. Momma needs a new pair of hose!
All of this being said, I still enjoy Whitney in it’s usual 30-minute format. I only have to hear the jokes once, and the lovely people over in post-production get to edit out all the bad takes so I don’t suffer through all the times Whitney’s boyfriend forgets his lines. Also, I get to watch it from the privacy of my own couch. With food. And no frightening man threatening to taser me if I don’t laugh an appropriate amount. So here’s to Whitney and her full-season order. I’ll see you all on Thursday nights (until the spring when it moves to Wednesday at 8.)