My Visit to The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson – October 31, 2012


the late late show with craig ferguson logo

My visit to The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

I’m a FergaFan. I’ve seen his movies, read his books, watched all the early clips on YouTube and have now attended 5 tapings of his CBS late-night talk show. I’ve even been blocked by @CraigyFerg on Twitter! (Grrrr. But for one ever-so-brief moment in time, I was on his radar! I don’t think my tweet was anything too obnoxious, my guess is he was probably just in a bad mood!)

Blocked by @CraigyFerg

I would probably attend more tapings if only I could talk more of my friends into going with me ;) But, very few people have the luxury of being a professional blogger, (making it easier to take off on any given weekday.) Now I just lie in wait until there’s a guest my friends would like before I ask yet again! That’s why I requested tickets for the October 31 taping — seeing that my best friend’s favorite author, Anne Rice was scheduled to appear.

As the date of the taping group closer, the guest lineup changed on the 1iota website (where I obtained the tickets). Anne Rice was no longer listed, having been replaced by Demi Lovato. Even on the DirecTV schedule, Ms. Lovato was listed as a guest. But no Anne Rice.

When my friend arrived at my house, I told her about the change. She (thankfully) was okay with it. We left for LA at about 12:15 PM. We had Priority tickets that did not require us to be there until 3 PM, but we figured we’d have lunch at The Grove, and wanted to be sure to get in line on time. The last time I had tickets to a taping, Tina Fey was the guest. We arrived AT the cut-off time, but still didn’t get to see the taping.

We parked in the parking garage at The Grove. I think it was about $10.
(TIP! Give yourself at least 15 minutes to walk from the garage, through the outdoor mall, to The Late Late Show queue! You’ll know you are getting closer when you see people walking towards you wearing crazy t-shirts as they leave The Price is Right taping.)

After lunch at Umami Burger at The Grove, we made our way to the line outside the CBS Studios on Fairfax. At least 30 people were already queued up. The 1iota reps always do a fabulous job of directing people to where they need to go. People who were younger and more fashionably dressed were asked if they were looking for the taping of The Voice. (which is around the corner on Beverly Blvd at the bigger studio that Dancing with the Stars also tapes in.)

standing outside CBS waiting for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

We spent about 30 minutes standing and chatting before the line started to move. IDs were checked and our tickets collected. We walked onto the CBS lot to a shaded holding area, went through security and gave up our lifelines cell phones. The CBS Pages told us to use the restroom as there are no restrooms upstairs (They lie. There are. But only available for emergencies to audience members — I found this out at a previous LLS taping when we were asked to remain for the next show.)

You’re invited to check out the Gift Shop while you wait (a little glass lean-to set against the studio wall), and it’s a good idea, as it’s not open for business after the taping. The Gift Shop has the Snake Mug ($24.99), hats, keychains – but other than that, very few Late Late Show items…

cbs holding area gift shop

30 minutes later, a 1iota rep addressed the crowd of about 125. The purpose is to teach us what is expected an audience member. Instructions include how to laugh, when to laugh, and what to do if you have a “special laugh”. (Don’t – try to calm down and laugh normally)

We were told to laugh even if we didn’t get the joke and to laugh when we heard others laughing. We were informed that Craig may ask us a question, but that a response was not expected, as he is actually asking a rhetorical question to the television audience. Only if Craig engages you directly should you answer.

Next, we were introduced to the warm-up comedian Chunky B. (I love Chunky B!) He’s full of energy, tells the same silly/dirty jokes and gets you ready for the show. He explains that we are not an audience, we are show-enhancers!

chunky b. craig ferguson warm up comedian cbs late late show

Around 3:45 PM, we were led along the side of the building into the actual CBS Studio. (Look for the very old, faded -circa 2005- framed TLLS w/ Craig Ferguson poster as you pass by!)  To get to Studio 56, you have to climb four flights of stairs along with about 125 other “show-enhancers”. (If you’re unable to take the stairs, elevators are available.)

At the top of the staircase we were directed to one of the four single file lines. Everyone was in very close proximity to one another and after having coming up four flights, there was alot of heavy breathing. If you’re one of the first people up, it’s fun to watch everyone come through the door and see their reaction to the mass of humanity in a tiny corridor. Lining the walls, you’ll see various set pieces, including excess background panel windows of The Late Late Show set.

After a few minutes the line began to move past Craig’s previous, smaller Studio 58, then past the large Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson mural you’ve probably seen in Twitter pictures, and into the slightly larger new Studio 56.

Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Backstage MuralRichie won’t be there to greet you, though ….

Surprisingly, Studio 56 isn’t THAT much larger than Studio 58. I would say it’s the width of the old studio with another half as much added. At a previous taping, I remember being told the audience of Studio 58 was made up of about 104 people. (I could be wrong) This time we were told there were 125 audience members in Studio 56.

We walked up the steps and Chunky B greeted us with candy. Music is pumping and the studio is cold! Past Chunky B, a 1iota Rep directed us to the left side, near Geoff the Robot, but I asked if we could sit on the right side. (Every time I’ve attended a taping, I get seated on the left). The Page was nice and let us go to the front row on the right. (Secretariat’s side)

The music was loud and it is cold, but I was more interested in taking in all the sights. I saw the Snake Mug (available in the Gift Shop) the TARDIS, the Glittery Ball, and the Americanized Statue of Liberty sitting on the desk. Then there was the new set addition of framed pictures on the mantle, the Lucky Bamboo gift from Julie Chen, and the whale penis from Ariel Tweto. Geoff the Robot is hidden behind a screen until right before the taping starts.

Craig Ferguson Late Late Show Audience

Shortly after, Chunky B took the mike and started getting us ready by telling off-color jokes and flashing “The Double L’s”. When Chunky tells a bad joke he’ll flash Double L’s (making an “L” using his forefinger and thumb with both hands.) That’s the sign to laugh outrageously. We also rehearsed how to react to different bits, such as the Secretariat dance, yelling out BIG CASH PRIZE, and we even danced Oppa Gangham style! If you don’t watch the show, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

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