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Meanwhile, the most jazzed the studio audience ever got was when a young woman sitting in front of me spotted Lutz from I was seated next to some pleasant Minnesotans who had been waiting outside for a full three hours before the show even began.
At some point, a warm-up comic will bound from the wings, accompanied by a brief fanfare of rock music.
—is occurring that you’ll forgive him for being a chump.
He will tell four jokes before commencing the warm-up process, which will mostly entail him commanding you to applaud for no reason, again and again, as he complains that your applause should be far more robust.
You’ll then be forced to laugh aloud on cue—looking around in discomfort at the rictuses of your neighbors. There was an early ’90s Leno taping in Los Angeles—they took audience suggestions on index cards pre-show in those days and, to my adolescent pride, Jay used a Dan Quayle joke that I’d submitted—followed by more recent visits to Fallon and Stewart.
Attending the taping of a late-night TV show is not a comfortable experience.
First, you’ll stand in line on a city sidewalk for hours—chilled by wind, or baked by sun—being herded like a fatted calf to an abattoir.
But as the final days of Letterman approached, I decided to see as many tapings as I could fit into a few weeks.
I thought maybe that by observing these shows up close and in person, I might reveal the seams of their construction. Do we miss anything important when we watch at home? , where the guy who warmed up the crowd seemed visibly nervous, as if he would mess up the show by being lame.
The five-piece band played desultory pop covers during breaks but, because regular bandleader Fred Armisen was absent, they weren’t allowed to interact conversationally with Meyers.This made them seem like a backup wedding combo that is tolerated but not beloved.