Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going to See the Late Show With David Letterman Part 2

Part 1 of this gripping tale can be found here
We arrived at the theatre at 2:15 and quickly realized that there was a line up around the theatre of “Gold List” ticket holders. While in line we were handed a questionnaire asking us if we had any talents worthy of being Stupid Human Tricks for a future broadcast. As the line was filled with many fellow Canadians in the city for a long weekend, there were plenty of stupid humans available. This also made it fairly easy to cut in line.

It took us 15 minutes to get to the front of the line where we encountered a beefy dude with a clipboard. With my name on the list and as I had the necessary Government Photo ID with the exact spelling of my name the doors to the theatre opened. It was the first of many times that we realized that the theatre in real life seems a lot smaller then it is on TV. It was also the first of many times that we encountered a super cheery Late Show Intern. Every Late Show employee involved in audience relations was happy in that “Tom Cruise brainwashed by Scientology” sort of way. While I can understand how excited anyone would be to work for a TV legend, it would have been more fitting for the employees to have been as sarcastic as the host. One intern gave us the tickets and another one put us through a quick applause practice before we were given 45 minutes to return to the theatre and explore the city. The entire process was easy and efficient.

The 45 minutes allowed us a quick walk down Broadway, a short stop in the small but modestly priced “CBS Store” and a tasty spinach slice at Famiglia Pizza . We returned to the theatre but not before stopping at my trivia question answer, the Hello Deli. My friend picked up an iced tea and gave his money to a sullen Rupert Gee. Apparently being a tourist attraction is not the secret to happiness.

The audience was grouped by the colour coding on their tickets. Apparently the enthusiasm we showed while picking up the tickets had enabled us to get a yellow sticker which gained us access to the two front rows. As we were tired after a 5 am departure from Toronto, my guest believed it was due to naming the obscure “Alan Kalter’s Celebrity Interviews” as our favourite segment. This would have separated us as true fans, rather then those who answered “The Top Ten”, Jaywalking or the tribal council. A later look around the audience also showed that the there was a definite demographic skew to seating as older fans were relegated to the balcony.

We were ushered into the Late Show lobby that would be our home for 45 minutes.The doors to the theatre would open while we waited, giving us a tantalizing glimpse of the world inside the theatre. Yet another chipper intern guided us through the process. As it was “Sweeps Weeks” we were promised a bigger bang for our buck. While the previous three days had seen visits by Robin Williams, Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks, we were given Teri Hatcher, Kid Scientists and musical guest Rick Ross and Magazeen. While lacking the star power of previous nights there was the added bonus of a top ten list presented by Ron Howard. Truthfully the guest could have been Zippy the Squirrel and I would have been happy to be there.

The intern noted that Dave fed off the energy of the audience and would cut good bits if the crowd was quiet. While this is undoubtedly bullshit it scared us enough to be led through a lengthy clapping session. There was also warnings about the type of noises that were verboten. These included no cheering for mentions of hometown, no ahhhhhhhs for sad stories and no spring break woooooooooossss. After another bout of extended clapping we were told there was no photography allowed inside the theatre. After a last minute washroom warning and a little more clapping, the doors to the theatre swung open at 4 PM.

Would we be escorted out of the theatre for not clapping enough? Wait for the gripping continuation in Part 3.

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