Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Random Post: My 30th Birthday Celebration Week, Part 2 - A Live Taping of "Conan"!

Welcome to part 2 of my birthday celebration week!

The one thing I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to do for my birthday was go see a live taping of my favorite late night talk show host, Conan O'Brien! Since he tapes in Burbank, which is in/near Los Angeles, it's only a few hours drive from where we live. After extensive research and the random picking of a day, I booked the free tickets many weeks in advance. The day came and I was nervous to drive to LA since 1) I hate traffic, 2) I have a hard time getting around these days, and 3) I wasn't sure what to expect from such an event. I am pleased and glad to say we had a BLAST. Here are the photos!
It wouldn't be a trip up north without a photo of the cans! The drive time took us about an hour and a half after we stopped for breakfast.
When we got there, based on the instructions provided from 1iota, we parked in the parking lot as instructed.....
The best thing about this experience is, unlike other shows, Conan provides these big, long benches for its audience members. When we arrived, about 25 people were there in front is us waiting to check in. We knew what to expect ahead of time (again, obsessive planner) and knew that security would be there to check people in around 12:30 pm. Actually, it was about 12:45pm, but we expected to wait all day pretty much. Got checked in with security. went through metal detectors, then were told to wait in line in the order instructed. Luckily, it wasn't that hot the day we went, in fact, it drizzled all throughout the drive up to Los Angeles.
When I looked it up online, I noticed it was quite a long walk to the studio where Conan tapes. Luckily, I was able to tell the person giving us tickets that I needed to get a ride over to the studio because of my disability and inability to walk long distances. They gave us this purple card and told us to be back to the studio at 3 pm, which was at least half an hour earlier than everyone else.
OHAI, Cone Bone! Across the street from the parking lot is where the show tapes, but much, much, much more inside the lot. This is the beginning of the lot.
THE CONAN BOBBLE! One of the most exciting things about this trip was getting to see the Conan bobble head in person. We have watched Conan every single show since he has been on TBS. We DVR him religiously and follow him all over the internet. We watched this bobble head get debuts on his show, so seeing it in real life was amazing. And, it really works!
Conan's creepy bobble lurking in the background of our selfie.
After we got our tickets, we were told we could leave and come back, so long as we returned by 3:00 pm. So, we explored floor one and used the restrooms, which ARE NOT porta-potties like other reviews for the show have implied. They are fully functioning bathrooms with sinks and hand dryers and everything. Fun fact - 3 talk shows are filmed on the Warner Brothers Lot: Conan, Ellen, and The Real, which we had never heard of but sure found out about on our trip downstairs. Upon exiting the elevators, all we could hear was thumping, loud music and cackling. Audiences for The Real were lining up in the same fashion as us, only in parking lot 1. WOW. We asked around and found out this is a talking show like "The View" or "The Talk." There were a sea of women and virtually no men, other than the security guards and show production staff. It was madness!
After we left the parking lot, we headed to Griffith Park to check out the Hollywood sign, which Josh has never seen in real life. Like idiot tourists, we took the long way around.
There it is, in all its (far away) glory! Our bread and butter!
I took this photo from a moving car, and that, my friends, is talent. On our way back to the studio, we got stuck in traffic because something show or movie was shooting on location right when we were driving back. We nearly missed our meeting time, but we hauled butt back to the studio, driving right by what we can only assume was Johnny Depp's LA home because of the giant rooster!
When we returned, us and a few other small groups ere shuttled to the studio in a tram sort of car that looked like it was for studio tours. Josh and a few gals from the other groups walked to the tram, but me and the other two people with canes were taken in a golf cart. Fun fact - the guy driving our tram was a tour guide at the lot and told us about the "Supergirl" season 2 renewal and CBS to CW switch before it was announced in public. When we got there, they told us where to sit and got to take photos of the set! LOOK! IT'S CONAN'S DESK! It looks waaaay smaller in person, but, fun fact - the entire thing moves forward to give the appearance that it's bigger! That's what she said!
There are monitors hanging at the top of the studio so pre-taped bits can be shown and can get audience reactions.
Crap picture, but they wouldn't let us onto the wood floors of the stage, so I had to zoom in to get a photo of the band's set up.
Once everyone else filled in the audience, a hype man came in for about 10 minutes and got us riled up. Then, the band came out, played a ton of songs, went all through the audience, and then, ANDY RICHTER came out!! He was about 6 feet to the right of us, and when Conan came out to tape the show, he was about 6 feet to the left of us.

We had good seats, but were obstructed by the cameras, which was alright. There were 6-7 cameras, moving every which way. Conan came out, bing, bang, boom, done. His show is an extremely well oiled machine, and they run a tight ship.

Rob Riggle, Moshe Kasher, and band The Heavy were the guests during our taping. We have enjoyed Rob Riggle in several movies, and Moshe Kasher has been on At Midnight several times. We had never heard of The Heavy, but they were good. Check out the videos from our taping here.

After the band was done, Conan came into the audience and sang his "end of the show" song. Right after that, when we were getting ready to leave, he got on the mic and asked the audience if we would be okay watching him tape another segment because, due to time constraints, his guest was only going to be able to tape that day, May 4th. Well, of course the audience went nuts. Conan said he wasn't going to tell us who the guest was, but that it was a very famous and iconic actress. After a tie change for both he and Andy (LOL), he started taping, prattled off the actress' accolades, and then announced.............IT WAS JODIE FOSTER!!!!!!!! We went nuts! We really like her, and as fate would have it, she had gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier that day, so she was in town. She was also promoting her new film, "Money Monster," which she directed (and you can read our review of here).

I must say, it was honestly one of the coolest things we have ever gotten to do, see a live taping of Conan. The drive home was a complete and total suck-fest and my hands were busted up from clapping so much and my voice was hoarse from screaming too loud, but nothing could have made that experience bad. We had an absolute blast!! Conan is, and always will be, my favorite, so seeing him live was incredible. I just wish we could have gotten to meet him, and we can't wait to go back!!

If you have a disability and even moderately like Conan and/or free stuff, please, go see a taping of his show. You will NOT be disappointed. His staff was both generous with their time and accommodating with their set-up for people with mobility issues. I never once felt excluded because I couldn't walk to the studio, which is something that doesn't happen very often, and I was never questioned or made to feel bad about my inability to walk there.
And, the icing on the (birthday) cake: HALF OF JOSH MADE IT ON TV (to the left, the first guy)!!!!!!!! I wanted to sit right where that girl assaulting Conan was because those are the "nipple seats." Every night, well, most nights, Conan picks an audience member to rub his nipple on television, and has been doing this for some time. I may have bribed the golf cart driver to let me sit there...clearly, we didn't get to. Still, this was an awesome idea for my 30th birthday!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave a comment! If you do not have a Google ID, just use the "Name/URL" or "Anonymous" option, and comment away! :)