While we were in LA recently, we popped in on a buddy of mine, Craig Ferguson. You know Craig, he's got that cute, silly-but-thinky late night show on CBS.
Craig and I, we're like this (finger thing). Whenever I'm in town, I stop by his show. I've got a VIP card I could show you if you think I'm fibbing.
Of course, just to keep it real, we line up with all the other audience members on the benches outside the CBS "Television City" studios, and you know, go through the metal detector and everything. They wave me through even though I set it off like I'm smuggling Emmys under my blouse.
Then the littlest producer comes out and begs us to pretend that we are actually several more people because they are shy a few audience members tonight. He says that his job is on the line, and we are the only ones who can keep him from ending up as an extra on The Price Is Right.
Did I tell you that for several blocks around the CBS studios, tourists walk around with their The Price Is Right name tags on their shirts? They don't take them off after the show. They just keep them on like suburban middle schoolers with ski lift tickets hanging from their coats. I find it endearing.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Saving Craig Ferguson's littlest producer from failure.
After we assure him that we will take up the slack, the audience warmer-upper, a fellow by the name of, oh, I forget. Something about Pudgy. Or Tubby. Let's call him Derwent.
So Derwent comes out and tells us some rather elderly jokes, but he seems like a nice enough fellow, and we don't want to make him feel bad, so we laugh heartily. When Derwent is satisfied that we indeed have the mechanics of laughter down pat, we allow ourselves to be herded into the studio. This is where I always baaa quietly to myself. This is also where another producer eyes each audience unit and seats them according to beauty. That's why we were in the third row. Hmmmm.... They probably just figured that in the front row, we would be too distracting.
Derwent comes back to remind us to be loud and laugh heartily. We agree.
Guests that night were: Tim Daly, hoping we would watch his show The Nine. Not likely. David Cross, hoping we would watch his Comedy Central show Freakshow. More likely. And Billy Bragg, who sung a song about stupid people with smart bombs. My kind of rabble rouser.
Craig Ferguson was as funny and Scottish as always, bless his heart. We waved. He nodded. In our general direction. Wouldn't want to be too ostentatious. Lovely. Quite lovely.
We filed out with the riff-raff. I baaaed once more. I was given a VIP card. I plan on having it laminated.
We ended the evening by walking around a Disneyesque shopping center nearby that had its own trolley even though it was no bigger than four square blocks, speakers in the bushes playing Sinatra, and male models posing at the entrance to Abercrombie and Fitch. Apparently abdominal muscles attract shoppers like chocolate attracts, well, fatter shoppers.
Wretched excess makes me wretch. We booked it for the track in South Central, where we felt more at home.
We'll be back, Craig Ferguson! As soon as we can figure out how to do it without having to drive through LA.