MONDO EXTRAS

Welcome To Welcome To New York

by admin November 14, 2000
Welcome To Welcome To New York

Okay, so that's not fair. A sitcom is what most stand-ups aspire to as a career apex, and I guess it's difficult to know if that sitcom is going to suck or not when you sign on for a development deal. By all accounts, the Seinfeld people thought they were going to be back in New York before 1990 was out, and on the flip side, who told Margaret Cho she'd end up herself becoming a pop-cultural punch line, and not in a good way? No one, that's who. But opening for Lizz at Caroline's, Jim Gaffigan kicked ass. The man was slap-your-knee-and-knock-over-my-drink-and-gasp-for-breath-and-memorize-the-material funny. Need an entire subset genre of comedy loosely known as "Hot Pockets Humor"? Yeah, he's got that. A five-minute riff about the life of the manatee as the big loser of the underwater social clique? Check. Toss in a little Midwestern charm and a dash of "aw, shucks" self-deprecation and, well, hitch up the wagons and follow me west, because there was comedy gold brimming out of the lakes and streams.

My euphoria for this great discovery dampened several months ago, when I heard that My New Best Friend had signed on to star in a sitcom for CBS (the "good for him!" portion was so fleeting as not to warrant any discussion here). Said euphoria then evaporated entirely when I heard it had landed in the Wednesday at 8:30 slot, following another new comedy on this juggernaut CBS Wednesday night of unmitigated hilarity, Bette. I maintained hope. I liked the Letterman involvement. Thanks to summer programming, I actually discovered where CBS fell on my TV dial. Then the whole project was co-opted by the introduction of Christine "The Uncowardly Lioness" Baranski, who was to star in and executive-produce this show once developed for a quirky, if inexperienced, stand-up comedian. Then the pilot aired, and it wasn't long before my litany of "Dude, I discovered this guy" speeches were met with snide and well-timed retorts ranging from "Wow, did you also discover Sue Costello?" and "Wait, isn't that the guy on Yes, Dear?" and even, "Who?" And thus was born Welcome to New York, a fish-out-of-water tale about a weatherman from Indiana who comes to work at a New York City morning show and make with the hijinks with Christine Baranski and Sara Gilbert. If anyone needs me, I'll be under this rock, looking for Mike O'Malley.

Now that Basil Exposition has returned safely home to his native land of not-in-this-Extra, I'll get on with the actual story. A friend of my roommate, who bagged his gainful employment with Spin City when it packed up and went west, landed a job on the show, and also landed us tickets to last night's taping, an episode allegedly airing in December. The show is filmed at Queens' Silver Cup Studios, which before last night I thought was just a large sign attached to no edifice, a sign visible at eye-level some distance off when traveling on the 7 train to Shea Stadium. In fact, we took the subway into Queens, at which point a shuttle bus drove us through the urban decay for several miles until we arrived at a seemingly-deserted parking lot in the middle of nowhere that even the Mafia probably eschews as having "too many mysteriously vacant trucks." After being allowed some moments to soak in the feeling of what it would be like to star as "The Victim" in the opening sequence of a particularly grimy episode of Law & Order (darkened streets and flaming barrels tend to evoke that response in myself and my roommates quite frequently, in fact), we walked to the back of the studio, which houses recording space for music videos, commercials, and the live sets of both Welcome to New York and ABC's canceled-before-I'm-done-typing-this-sentence Friday night Gabriel Byrne laugher, Madigan Men. In other words, if you're looking for a large, empty, isolated space in which to park an extra plane you just happen to have lying around, pretty soon you'll have the deserted hangar in which to do so. Just so you know.

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Welcome To Welcome To New York

by admin November 14, 2000
Welcome To Welcome To New York Okay, so that's not fair. A sitcom is what most stand-ups aspire to as a career apex, and I guess it's difficult to know if that sitcom is going to suck or not when you sign on for a development deal. By all accounts, the Seinfeld people thought they were going to be back in New York before 1990 was out, and on the flip side, who told Margaret Cho she'd end up herself becoming a pop-cultural punch line, and not in a good way? No one, that's who. But opening for Lizz at Caroline's, Jim Gaffigan kicked ass. The man was slap-your-knee-and-knock-over-my-drink-and-gasp-for-breath-and-memorize-the-material funny. Need an entire subset genre of comedy loosely known as "Hot Pockets Humor"? Yeah, he's got that. A five-minute riff about the life of the manatee as the big loser of the underwater social clique? Check. Toss in a little Midwestern charm and a dash of "aw, shucks" self-deprecation and, well, hitch up the wagons and follow me west, because there was comedy gold brimming out of the lakes and streams. My euphoria for this great discovery dampened several months ago, when I heard that My New Best Friend had signed on to star in a sitcom for CBS (the "good for him!" portion was so fleeting as not to warrant any discussion here). Said euphoria then evaporated entirely when I heard it had landed in the Wednesday at 8:30 slot, following another new comedy on this juggernaut CBS Wednesday night of unmitigated hilarity, Bette. I maintained hope. I liked the Letterman involvement. Thanks to summer programming, I actually discovered where CBS fell on my TV dial. Then the whole project was co-opted by the introduction of Christine "The Uncowardly Lioness" Baranski, who was to star in and executive-produce this show once developed for a quirky, if inexperienced, stand-up comedian. Then the pilot aired, and it wasn't long before my litany of "Dude, I discovered this guy" speeches were met with snide and well-timed retorts ranging from "Wow, did you also discover Sue Costello?" and "Wait, isn't that the guy on Yes, Dear?" and even, "Who?" And thus was born Welcome to New York, a fish-out-of-water tale about a weatherman from Indiana who comes to work at a New York City morning show and make with the hijinks with Christine Baranski and Sara Gilbert. If anyone needs me, I'll be under this rock, looking for Mike O'Malley. Now that Basil Exposition has returned safely home to his native land of not-in-this-Extra, I'll get on with the actual story. A friend of my roommate, who bagged his gainful employment with Spin City when it packed up and went west, landed a job on the show, and also landed us tickets to last night's taping, an episode allegedly airing in December. The show is filmed at Queens' Silver Cup Studios, which before last night I thought was just a large sign attached to no edifice, a sign visible at eye-level some distance off when traveling on the 7 train to Shea Stadium. In fact, we took the subway into Queens, at which point a shuttle bus drove us through the urban decay for several miles until we arrived at a seemingly-deserted parking lot in the middle of nowhere that even the Mafia probably eschews as having "too many mysteriously vacant trucks." After being allowed some moments to soak in the feeling of what it would be like to star as "The Victim" in the opening sequence of a particularly grimy episode of Law & Order (darkened streets and flaming barrels tend to evoke that response in myself and my roommates quite frequently, in fact), we walked to the back of the studio, which houses recording space for music videos, commercials, and the live sets of both Welcome to New York and ABC's canceled-before-I'm-done-typing-this-sentence Friday night Gabriel Byrne laugher, Madigan Men. In other words, if you're looking for a large, empty, isolated space in which to park an extra plane you just happen to have lying around, pretty soon you'll have the deserted hangar in which to do so. Just so you know.

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