Oh, man, what a night. This whole night has been like a rerun of the Chevy Chase show. Or maybe Alan Thicke. The week of rehearsals went really well, but that's because the audience was made up of tourists they rounded up from Times Square. I thought that the studio audience for the show would be better, but no, it was steamfitters in town for a convention that they rounded up from Times Square. After all the press about the transition, that's the best we could do?
I was totally sick to my stomach with nerves most of the day. My nerves were shot. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have drank that gin in my dressing room, but I honestly thought it would help calm my nerves. It really came back to bite me in the ass later.
The monologue fell flat, even when I threw in gratuitous steamfitting references. Not a single laugh, unless you count the snickers when I turned around to zip up my pants. That made my nerves even worse. And I don't know why I agreed to do the dead nun necrophilia joke. Poor judgment, I guess.
Senator Chelsea Clinton was generous enough to be my first guest. She was very kind and gracious, right up to the point where I threw up on her. Good thing the band kicked in right at the time the Secret Service rushed the stage and gave me a Wisconsin Hayride. They cut to a commercial right before that, but you could tell something was off when there was no guest after the break. I had to fill with my stand-up bit about the outrageous concession prices in movie theaters, again to no laughs. The network had to give every audience member a sawbuck just so they would stay in their seats. I suppose if we had given them a twenty, we could have gotten some laughs.
My second guest was Jessica Simpson-Stamos. She was promoting some awful mini series on the network. The interview got off to a rocky start when I absent-mindedly called her Britney. Then when I asked about the heroin bust she blew up and started screaming at me. Then, God help me, I threw up on her, too.
After another commercial break, the musical guest was Jamie Fox doing his Ray Charles impression. I know the resemblance is uncanny and all, but Christ, he's been milking that for years!
May 19, 2009
Tonight we fell slightly behind schedule primarily because everyone on staff was required to receive a Hepatitis G vaccine shot. Thankfully everything came together at the last minute, although I would have liked more time to rehearse our Spanish adaptation of Abbott & Costello's famous Who's On First routine. The piñata at the end looked great however; Annie our props person really stepped up to the platto on that one.
Our monologue joke at the top of the show about Julia Ferguson, the first woman to give birth to healthy dodecatuplets, was met with some groans and a few boos from the audience. However I stand by the joke! Describing the twelve premature infants as small and light enough to juggle comfortably still strikes me as funny.
Oh, and Iím really excited for Fridayís show. After a lot of back and forth with his agent, we confirmed today that we managed to land Quizno's spokesman JARED FOGLE!
It kind of makes me feel better about the critical reaction for the first night. The reviews came out, and they eviscerated me. What did Tom Shales say? Something about the show being the broadcast equivalent of Bhopal? Come on, that's not fair. No one died until after the show, and they haven't even given us a full week yet. I guess they did wonders for the ratings, though. Once people find out you throw up on your guests, they're going to tune in to see of there's going to be a repeat performance.
May 20, 2009
I had my first reprimand today from the FCC representative assigned to the show. At first it was the usual stuff: a lecture about anti-American and anti-Christian references in our material, and a plea for family-friendly content. Then they ripped into us for the Gay Jesus Coprophagia sketch. We just wanted to be edgy and push the envelope, but apparently we went too far. Jeff Perry, the writer of the sketch, was arrested and taken away in shackles. Neither we nor his family have been allowed to visit him.
Before the show I got to meet with tonight's first guest, Joey star Matt LeBlanc. Joey just won its 50th Emmy Award and is the biggest success in NBC history. Getting Matt for the first show was an incredible coup& dating Drea de Matteo keeps opening doors for me!
The reunited Police's cookbook is really pretty good. I thought we worked well together during the segment on the show where they made crepes that were actually pretty tasty. Our keyboardists organ shoots flame jets and I think Sting really dug getting the flambe ready while Aaron played "Englishmen in New York", although Copeland and Summers seemed pissed.
May 21, 2009
As I sit and stare out my office window I can't help but be amazed at life's fantastic possibilities and how it's required a rare combination of good luck and harder work for me to realize it's full potential. I plan to realize that potential as soon as Monday's show is over.
But for tonight, we have to do a last minute crunch to name our Viewer Mail segment. I just thought that if we just appropriated the bit, one of the writers would come up with a better name so people wouldn't know that we were ripping off Letterman. Fat chance. They really dropped the ball on this one. If I didn't go to high school with Perry and Pauls, I'd sack them all. Gutterman, though, I don't have that history with. After he fell into a deep depression following the passing of his mother in 2007, his output dropped drastically. I kept him on because I thought he would bounce back, but jeez, he just sits and mopes. He won't even leave his office for the writers meetings. You can always get a new mother memory implant. And somehow, in three weeks in his office, it's already covered with tee shirts and Corn Flakes boxes. I'll give him another week, but if he blows it, he can pack his bags and go straight back to Canada.