Anyone Ever Been An Audience Member During a Show's Production?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike-M, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Mike-M

    Mike-M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm thinking about going to Cali/Hollywood for a vacation and noticed you can get free tickets to see tapings of hit sitcoms.

    So I'm curious, has anyone done this before? Is it as fun and worth it as it might seem? Where did you get your tickets and what show did you see?

    Also, if you have been to L.A/Hollywood, what should I not miss if I'm really into movies/television? Thanks guys.
     
  2. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    I was a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionare. The audience was having a lot more fun than I was. they had comedians entertaining during delays, and gave out souvineers, etc.

    the show taping itself is very slow. Unless you are interested in the details of what goes on, and like to see celebrities, you won't like it. I would never want to do it (unless of couse, I have a million bucks riding on the line).
     
  3. John Kilroy

    John Kilroy Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been an audience member for a few live-to-tape "talk" shows. Here are some thoughts:

    1. Supply and demand vary according to the show: More popular shows (Leno, etc) are harder to get tickets for. Less popular/new shows (Jimmy Kimmel, Kilbourne) are easy.

    2. I always see ticket hawkers for multiple shows at Mann's Chinese Theater. They know that's where the tourists go, and those are the folks they want. I recommend going there and seing who's offering. I got Greg Kinnear tickets there once, back when he had a show.

    3. They advise you to get there way early, and you should do so; they give out way more tickets than they have seats, because there are a lot of no shows, and empty seats = bad. In the case of overflow, the people who get there last simply don't get in.

    4. Most of the shows tape in the afternoon or early evening.

    5. It can be quite a time commitment, perhaps 5 or 6 hours to see a show. First, you have to drive to the place and get parking, then there is a holding area you stand around in for quite a while. Then they heard you into the studio (which will be smaller than you could possibly imagine) and do the pre-show briefing where they tell you what you can and can't do. Then they have a warm up go that comes up and does a comedy routine to get you in a good mood and laughing. Then, A cast member or producer or someone may come out and thank you, blah blah blah. Then the show starts, then you sit through it, then you get out herded out pretty quickly.

    As I said, it can be a 5 hour ordeal, but may be worth it if you get to see someone you are particularly enamored with. It is also interesting because you will never watch that show the same way again, knowing the machinations it takes to create "live in front of a studio audience" feel.
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Mark- so how far did you get, was it worth the trip?

    I saw Conan and it was about a 5 month wait to get tickets. It did take a lot of time to view a 1-hr show as John pointed out, but if you're a fan of it, it won't make a difference. Just make sure you go with some friends.

    A sitcom sounds like fun, you get to see multiple stars reading their lines and messing up. The cool parts of my trip were it gave us a reason to go to NYC and stay in the Marriot Marquis, and Conan actually did a skit in the audience that day so we were all on TV. :b

    Here's a pic, we're the group of 3 guys 2nd to back row. There's more in our group but we had to split up since only 4 people per group is allowed.
     
  5. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I saw Letterman. Was waiting for a friend outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, and a guy came up to us and asked if we wanted to see Letterman that day. We got some cancellation tickets or something. It was interesting… not necessarily something I’d want to repeat unless it was on a whim like that.
     
  6. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Hey Scott,

    It was worth it (I guess), since my wife and I got a free weekend in NYC. However, I am not sitting here in my million dollar home theater, so you can guess how far I got. I actually won one of the fastest finger contests, which would have allowed me play for the money. However, my panel didn't record my time, so they wouldn't allow me to play. I know that I won, because I watched the fake winner hit enter
    after I had finished and looked up.

    If I had actually won, all the time I had wasted watching movies would have paid off, as the round I won required me to put Brad Pitt movies in chronological order. I don't even like Brad Pitt, but for some reason I knew the order.
     
  7. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    I was at a taping of the Steve Allen show in June of 1968. Peter Lawford was one of the guests, a fact I only recall because his brother-in-law was shot later that same night.
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    TV filming takes *way* longer than the final show. I've done something as apparently simple as TV interviews a few times (in fact, I've another one next week) and what ends up as half a minute's filming takes a whole afternoon. A friend of mine got on a quiz show and I went along to offer moral support. It was v. interesting, but it took about five hours to film the half hour show. One of the interesting things is that contestants generally took a lot longer to answer questions than it appears on the TV - they simply cut down the response time in editing.
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    My brother saw the taping of a whole week's-worth of The Hollywood Squares (old 1960s-1970s version that is). (Does this count, since it's only a relative of mine? [​IMG])

    The only thing I can recall him saying about the experience was how small the "Squares" tic-tac-toe set seemed to be, in comparison with the view on TV.

    That, and how Florence Henderson seemed to be constantly picking her nose when not on camera. (Guess she had a cold.) [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I have seen:

    -"Head of The Class"
    -"Who's the Boss"
    -"Arsenio Hall Show"
     
  11. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    Wife dragged me to "The View" while in NY one summer.
     
  12. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  13. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  14. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Back in '83 or '84, my mom took me to see a taping of "Wheel of Fortune". From what I remember, it was pretty neat. I was only in the 3rd or 4th grade. I remember a being a comedian before the taping.

    I also remember watching the show that we watched in the studio, on T.V. a couple weeks later. I was trying to make it a point to clap like two more times when the applause sign turned off so I could hear myself on the T.V.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Back in the mid-80's I got to see live tapings of Newhart, along with a show (the name escapes me now) starring Loni Anderson and Jack Elam at MTM Studios. I also got onto the sets to see scenes being filmed for Hill Street Blues and (my favorite show) St. Elsewhere. The whole experience was very cool. I had a cousin working for MTM, so she got us in. I'm not sure I'd want to spend several hours waiting in line to get tickets to some of the shows today.
     
  16. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I've been at tapings of
    "Coach"
    the VERY short lived "Fenelli Boys"(spelling?)
    "Doctor, Doctor"-first episode
     
  17. WayneG

    WayneG Stunt Coordinator

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    Back in the early 90s I was in LA a lot and saw some tapings. Perhaps it's changed, but there used to be a funny bus in front of the Chinese Theatre. It had ears! No kidding. They would drive you (for free) to tapings and you were guaranteed a seat. There was another place that gave out tickets (I forget where) but you were sort of on standby. I think that for shows like Leno you have to get them in advance.

    It is fun to see how they do it. They have warm up comedians come out to get the crowd in a jolly mood. I saw, amongst others, Married With Children, Charles in Charge (guys whistled so much at Nicole Eggert they could barely tape it), My Two Dads with Paul Reiser, Arsenio, Carol Burnett (with guest Chris Reeve), City with Valerie Harper, and a couple others I don't remember.

    On one, they kept reshooting the opening scene because nobody in the crowd laughed. It was an awful show.

    I saw Arsenio back in the 80s when it was on independent stations. His guests were Howard Stern (before he became really famous - so to speak), Marsha Warfield of Night Court, and singer Jonathan Butler. He had trouble getting guests back then. He actually spent part of the show phoning celebs begging them to come on. He got a hold of Michael J. Fox!

    Have fun.
     
  18. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    Well, this goes way back to the summer of 1967--I was on a tour of the Disney studios when our group slipped into a soundstage where a Disneyland-themed "Wonderful World of Disney" show was being filmed. There was a bluescreen at one end, with a pert theme park hostess making remarks while some kid actors loitered around Captain Hook. I was also on the set of "Rat Patrol" at MGM (anyone ever hear of this series?), when an outdoor action scene was being filmed. I was amazed that all the explosions and gunfire were silent!! I had much to learn about post production sound effects then. [​IMG]
     
  19. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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    Ah, yeah, I've heard of Rat Patrol, but only because it used to air on CBS before they started showing cartoons on Saturday mornings back in the 80's. I never liked it though :p).

    I've been in the audience for a taping of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and I do agree that it takes way too long. Shows are much funnier if you don't have to sit through two hours of taping. Towards the end the laughs were getting less, and less, and less....
     
  20. Kong Chang

    Kong Chang Screenwriter

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    I've been to several sitcom tapings. For a 22 minute sitcom, the taping can range from 2-5 hours. If you aren't bored and can laugh a lot, then go watch some tapings. There tends to be a lot of retakes, with same jokes or different jokes. Good thing is they usually show you the previous unaired episode to get you caught up with the current showing. [​IMG] So, it's like watching 2 episodes in one sitting. [​IMG] And the MC's are different per sitcom, some are funny, while some are boring and stupid, really depends on who you get.

    Otherwise, enjoy, get ready to freeze to death, because most of these studios have the air condition on at low levels (to keep the actors cool from sweating under the blazing lights).
     

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