Go Behind The Scenes At ‘The Late Late Show’
By: AJ Swenson, Afternoon WROK News Anchor
I traveled to Southern California for a five-day trip last week after winning tickets to two tapings of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." Craig Ferguson is leaving the show in December so I immediately took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the show live.
While out there, I traveled to my father's old neighborhood, where he grew up in the '60s. I also visited many beaches on the Pacific Coast, traveled down the famed Sunset Strip and through Hollywood, as well as through the new thriving LA Live corridor in downtown Los Angeles.
This marks my third trip to LA. I aspire to move there at some point, because of the amazing weather and intriguing lifestyle.
I thought I'd share some pictures and offer a recap of the visit to "The Late Late Show."
I arrived at CBS studios around 2 p.m. "The Late Late Show" coordinators had us line up along the gate outside CBS for about 30 minutes along Fairfax Street. We were given umbrellas with the show's logo on them to shade us from the sun. When I asked a page why they were doing this, he said on really hot days, elderly or out-of-shape audience members have gotten light headed while standing in line.
We were then ushered through security and got to wait around again (without our phones, which were checked) at an outdoor patio.
During this time, an overly-happy representative from the show talked us through the rules of being a studio audience member.
He told us our roles in a very honest way. We were "show enhancers,” not audience members. The audience is made up of the millions of people watching at home, while we were active participants in the creation of the show itself.
We were then led upstairs to the studio and took our seats. I am not normally a claustrophobic person, but once we got upstairs it was very uncomfortable, as we were packed shoulder to shoulder, waiting to enter the cool studios.
Before the taping started, the "best of" segments and music videos with Craig played on giant screens above us. Then a warm-up comedian came out and got us ready to laugh. He was one of the best comedic acts I have ever seen and honestly got the audience to the point of laughing so hard that we would be in pain. Craig then came out and spoke to us for less than a minute before the taping began.
"The Late Late Show" is tightly run and it felt like watching a well-rehearsed Broadway play. Two shows were being filmed but the segments were not filmed chronologically, to keep the audience members on their toes.
One of the audience pages counted down to the opening of the show. Craig ran onstage to a burst of applause and did his monologue for us.
In the break following the monologue, things got a little more relaxed and Craig said hello again to the audience. He then pulled an audience member onstage to film the show’s cold opening (the first portion of the episode that actually airs before the monologue).
The taping went by quickly, each one probably lasting about 45 minutes. The guests were Rachel Ray and Seth Green.
There were nearly no breaks during the interviews. Craig would say we have to take a commercial break, the cameras would pan away and then the show would almost immediately start back up again.
Attending a taping felt like watching a play and later watching a behind-the-scenes segment. The waiting before entering the studio was long and not enjoyable, but it was worth the wait.
It was an amazing experience and I will continue to be a big fan of Craig Ferguson because it’s obvious he is incredibly intelligent and a very funny comedian.
And just like he says repeatedly during the shows, "The Late Late Show" is "unlike any late other night show."