First off, we learned while standing outside in line that while in New York, if you talk about Tracy Morgan three times in a row, you can make him appear. We watched stunned as he drove by with relatively the same stunned expression on his face at the sight of the growing line. We then tried the same trick with Tina Fey or Steve Carell to keep with the NBC theme, but to no avail.
Other than that, it was pretty standard routine getting in and passing through security. Once inside it became apparent that money had been spent to spruce up the audience waiting room. It's a wonder what a little paint on the walls and framed posters can do, not to mention the gigantic, sexy HD tv playing the Colbert Report DVD for us while we waited.
This was my first time seeing the new HD set since I'd been there and I wasn't disappointed. I can only describe it as glossy. Super glossy. The new set makes use the space a lot better than the old and the colors looks so much brighter, but I do miss the taped off outline of Stephen's fateful spill on the floor. Call me sentimental. It doesn't take much to keep me occupied as the looped video of fish playing in the screens below the desk and on the back wall beams proved.
The new warm up comic did his routine and soon after Stephen came bounding out from behind the scenes ready to take questions from the crowd.
People he wouldn't interview? First he said Hitler, then said Bin Laden and he'd tell him to meet him in Cuba for the interview.
Advice for starting your own improve troupe? Shut up and listen to the people around you. Don't go right for the joke or the audience will hate you for it.
Should a guy continue living with his ex wife during a divorce? Is he getting sex? No? MOVE.
Why did he read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' at Symphony Space? He loves the book and grew up in similar setting in South Carolina, slightly mirroring his childhood.
Down the actual filming of the show, while getting ready, Stephen shot him Wriststrong bracelets out to the crowd, ending by pulling out a small metal dagger from below the desk and mockingly implying that it was about come flying next. There was an entire rundown of the segments type opening that got cut, probably for time. The part where he turned to the camera and told the terrorist they don't really have to try again had me rolling. The groans during the oil segment were incredibly loud, especially since they did the ending part twice. The guy that had to come out and scrub him down didn't make it out fast enough to Stephen's liking and they ran it again from where he's calling for the dome to come down. The clean up after that segment was pretty heavy duty as they had to squeegee the desk a couple time and get Stephen hosed off. The interview with Elisabeth Warren was lovely and she had a certain honest grace about her.
All in all, it was a fantastic taping. We had a great, enthusiastic crowd, the show was great as always. And the icing on the cake was returning home and realizing not only had we made it back in time to watch the repeats, but Comcast in our area had just picked up Comedy Central HD. Getting to enjoy both shows in HD for the first time was great way to cap off the trip.
Page Branson 2009