Jimmy Kimmel Live! Taping & Ocean’s 13 Red Carpet

I’ve been in L.A. a while now, but I was never going to feel like I had really experienced the city until I had my brush with celebrity and show business. Well tonight was my night, my first of a few TV show tapings for the trip. Jimmy Kimmel Live doesn’t air in Australia, but you will know who he is if you have ever seen the Man Show on the Comedy Channel (he is the short host from the original seasons). The show airs nationally here on the ABC network, running up against other late night shows (Craig Ferguson’s on CBS and Conan O’Brien’s on NBC). The show is recorded at the El Capitan Entertainment Center on Hollywood Blvd, directly across the road from the world famous Kodak Theatre.

The metro station is right across the road so getting there was easy; when I arrived the place was swarming with people. As I rose up out of the subway station I began to see the television lights and crowds of people packing the streets. It was apparent that there was a big event going on, with helicopters circling overhead and the road completely closed off. I made my way through the people and managed to get across the road to the brightly lit El Capitan. I should point out at this point, that the TV show taping requires no cameras and no mobile phones, so I couldn’t take pictures of any of this. It took a bit of effort to decipher where the Jimmy Kimmel audience line started because of the mass of people hunting for photos from the red carpet ended.

The ticket to the show said to be there at 6:15pm for a 6:30pm start, I joined the line at about 5:15pm and there was already a lot of people in front of me. It was a matter of standing and waiting for an hour before we could go in; there was plenty to look at though. The red carpet was for Oceans 13, it hadn’t begun yet, but entertainment reporters from Entertainment Tonight and E! News and those sort of shows were all there doing their warm-ups. The crowd was getting large, across the road at the Kodak Theatre there is a large mall and there were people piled up on all levels trying to get a view. There was also makeshift stadium like seating along parts of the red carpet which was filled with fans. At about 6pm the limos started piling in, George Clooney was the first to emerge, and he walked the entire distance of the red carpet signing autographs and taking photos with fans. It was very annoying that I didn’t have my camera, because he was literally within 10 feet of me at one point. Anyway, just as the action was heating up we were called into the theatre, meaning Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Al Pacino sightings would have to be left to another day.

Entering the lobby of the theatre we were made to line up in rows, and the guy next to me was told that he couldn’t have his drink inside. The drink was a plactic cup with what looked like lemonade in it. He sculled it down and then threw it away and everything seemed normal. A few moments later he starting acting really weird, he leant over and said stuff to me that made no sense at all and all the people around were making eyes at each other about his weird behavior. Eventually, the security woman who told him he couldn’t have his drink asked him to leave and he stumbled out. She then smelled the drink and said stank of alcohol.

We had to wait in the lobby area for about another half an hour, there were TV screens showing the highlights of his shows to pass the time. Then it was time to go into the studio, I was about the only party of one, which turned out to be a good thing because I got a nice single aisle seat in about the 5th row. The studio was really small, a lot smaller than you would expect if you saw the show on TV. The band area was off to the right, then the desk and couches in the middle and a very small stage off to the left. The backdrop of Hollywood looks a lot different in real life than it does on TV and also the desk and guest chairs are further away from the background that you would suspect.

It took about another 20 minutes for everyone to be seated and for the warm-up guy to come out. He talked everyone through the applause sign, things to do and not to do and then eventually informed us of the guests. Carmen Electra would be the first guest, followed by one of the judges from an invention reality show and then by the kid who just won the national spelling bee (which got huge coverage here). Jimmy came out to greet the audience and did a little routine asking the fans in the front row where they were from and what they do for a living and joking about it. He seemed a lot more naturally funny than I expected, his work on the Man Show always seem kind of forced.

The show will be available for download later this week, so you will all get to see it if you want. I won’t write too much about the guests, except to say that the spelling bee kid completely froze up. Jimmy did pretty well to get out of it, but it will be interesting to see if they edit out the few seconds of dead silence at one point. Other than that the show ran fairly seamlessly, the band was pretty good, but the announcer didn’t really seem to do much. All he did was announce the guests at the top of the show and then just sat there for the rest, he looked a little spaced out too. I just got home (at 10pm) so it was a long night, but thoroughly enjoyable. As yet, the show hasn’t aired here in LA (will have on the east coast) so I don’t know whether I was in any of the audience pans. I’ll be watching it soon to see. Tomorrow I’m going to the taping of the David Spade Showbiz Show and I m pumped after tonight’s experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJUw0G3_kQ4 Jimmy Kimmel – Carmen Electra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSojmWBwwnk Jimmy Kimmel – Evan O’Dorney

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6iwD4PI47c Jimmy Kimmel – Spelling Bee 2007


About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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