The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

…So I had this awesome idea of how to get on TV so I could be like ‘Look Ma! I’m on TV!’…unfortunately, I had no chance.

8 months ago, I discovered the comic genius of the Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson on youtube, and ever since then, I have been hooked. I had just finished my MCAT a few weeks ago, and I have been looking for awesome things to do now that I no longer have to study 6-10 hours a day, although I really should be working on my applications… Anyways, I discovered that it was possible to go to tapings of the show, and when I did more research, I found out that these tickets were free with 1iota! I get to watch Craig Ferguson in real life for free?! There’s no way I’d pass on this opportunity. So a week after my MCAT, I signed up with 1iota for the May 1st taping of the show, which featured Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Lennon Parham (Best Friends Forever). I figured that it would be a nice birthday present to myself.

When the day finally came, I was so excited, S. Godinez and I drove up around 12:30 and we got to the studio around 2:45, but the CBS parking lot was full, so we had to park at the Garden Grove lot, which was nice, but we had to pay a fee (The CBS lot was free). While we were leaving the CBS lot to go to the Garden Grove lot, a Kid Cudi doppleganger walked by and asked if we wanted to buy an iPad…that’s not shady. After we parked, we stood in the 1iota line, and we waited to be let in. The 1iota reservation tickets say to arrive 30 minutes before the check-in time (we were told to check in at 3:30), but we weren’t let into the studio area until 4pm, where they made us go through a metal detector, and leave our phones at the door with them. They then had us sit on benches where a warm up comedian (Mickey B) tried to get us pumped up and laughing, his style was very similar to Lewis Black, whom I’m not a very big fan of. Mickey had a few funny jokes, but I feel that his purpose was to get the audience used to the vulgarity and crudeness that we would experience while watching the show.

It wasn’t until 4:30 that we were actually let into the studio, where it was freezing. Because they have so many lights on the show, they have to keep the room air conditioned so that their equipment doesn’t overheat. We sat on the left side of the studio, and were a few rows behind lesbian row. Earlier, when we were at the benches outside, there was a group of guys that were extremely rowdy and obnoxious, and I was hoping that we wouldn’t be seated near them. Unfortunately, they were seated right behind us, and they were extremely annoying during the show, but no matter, I was here to enjoy Craig Ferguson. While seated, I noticed that after everyone was seated, that lesbian row and the 3rd row was empty. How could there be no lesbians in lesbian row? If no one is going to sit in lesbian row, can I sit in lesbian row? Then, the CBS crew brought 8 hot blonde girls and had them sit in lesbian row.

Mickey came back out, handed us chocolate and explained what we were to do when certain things happened (laugh when he held up double loser fingers, clap and stand when Craig came out, dance when secretariat came out, clap after a really funny joke, and yell ‘the BIG CASH PRIZE’). Then the show started, we watched Craig do his thing, the running gag for that day was being silent in response to questions. The first segment featured the make-up and hair stylists, then Craig had his monologue, then came the tweets and emails, Jesse Tyler Ferguson came out (haha…pun) and he was funny, then Lennon Parham showed up and she was charming, then finally the ‘what did we learn on the show tonight Craig’ ending sequence. During the ‘commercial breaks’ (which were only 1-2 minutes long), they would play music and try to keep the audience engaged and moving with crappy music while moving the sets for the next segment (Craig’s desk is on wheels). After the show was over, they had the audience stay and do a few takes of us laughing and clapping.

We then left the studio and went back to our cars, but I noticed that two thirds of the audience (including the annoying people sitting behind us) were lining up, and at the front of the line, a scrawny guy was giving them money. So we hopped in line, and S. Godinez asked what the line was for. The lady in front of us asked if we were with ‘SRO’ and it turns out that if you sign up with SRO, you get paid to go to these shows and be a part of the audience. So it turns out that most of the people at the show weren’t necessarily fans of the show, rather they were getting paid to laugh and clap. So we left, and met up with K. Zhou and S. Kang to eat in the Alhambra/Monterey Park/Arcadia area (We went to J and J, which sucked) and then we went to Half and Half (pretty good), and then we drove back to SD.

Milk Tea with Taro and Honey Boba, Milk Green Tea and Honey Boba, Milk Tea with Pudding and Honey Boba

Brick toast with Condensed Milk, Brick Toast with Matcha

Overall, it was a fun experience to see Craig Ferguson doing his thing, although it was a little disappointing because he might have said 5 sentences (at most) to us in the audience, although when he was leaving the stage, he winked at lesbian row. But it also makes sense that he didn’t really want to talk to the audience since at least half of the people were paid to be there. I was also hoping that I’d be picked to be on the intro segment with Craig, but that didn’t work out. It was a good experience to see how these shows are made, but at the same time it ruined the show for me.

TLDR: Don’t go to show tapings unless you want your romanticized ideas of shows to be shattered like Disney’s hopes that ‘John Carter’ would be a box office success  a mug.

2 Responses to “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”
  1. kreptonic says:

    bummer that it wasn’t as cool as you hoped it to be. Did he do any meet and greets? I wonder what they do after they’re done shooting…like if it’s a regular 8-5 job after that.

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