MONDO EXTRAS

Welcome To Welcome To New York

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

After standing in line outdoors for one minute too long and feeling winter in New York actually arrive, we were passed through metal detectors (insert "Well, I could understand if this were Bette or something starring Kathie Lee..." joke here), and escorted into Studio G. I've never been to a sitcom taping before (I've always lived in New York, so the extent of my on-set experience has been Letterman, walking past The Today Show's set BY ACCIDENT, and several visits to, natch, The Daily Show), so I'm not sure if the sets are always stationary and always lined up one by one, next to each other. For those of you who have never seen the show (by which I mean "all of you"), Jim Gaffigan is a wacky Midwestern weatherman and Christine Baranski his hardened New York boss lady. There are predictable clashes. You have now seen every episode. Good. Moving on. The set closest to the entrance is this deli at which Jim engages in endless bouts of chatty merriment with the store's perky proprietor, though I've never seen him actually eat or buy anything. Moving down the line, the deli set is followed by a set decorated as a restaurant used in one scene, and then Set I Don't Care About, Set I Don't Care About, Set I Don't Care About, and then a towering gargoyle stone statue, which stands alone at the far end of the set, peering down stoically from its perch miles off the ground, from which it shoots angry-looking laser beams into the eyes of all who dare to stare...oh, wait. It's Christine Baranski. Damn, that woman is tall.

The studio audience sits about six rows deep at a safe distance from the sets, allowing enough room for the entourage of stylists, cameramen, and shrimp-cocktail-tray carriers easy access to the cast. The seating stretches the entire length of the set, which means several hundred people are present for each taping, leaving me wondering after which homeless shelters and sanitariums lay empty last night in an attempt to corral anybody to The Borough That Time Forgot to soak in four and a half hours of sitcom non-hilarity. The roomies and I were seated in probably the most active area of the place, near the far right of the studio and directly in front of the main office set, which bordered Jim's office on one side and Christine's office on the other. Behind us was a large tour group of elderly women on a field trip from Bay Ridge, all of whom complained about the heat and then the cold from the moment they sat down, all seemingly wondering which grandchild they were going to have to write out of the will for shuffling them onto a chartered bus for this trip from Shady Pines, miles from the closest warm bath or piping mug of Postum in what was quickly turning into the middle of the night.

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Welcome To Welcome To New York

by Djb November 14, 2000
Welcome To Welcome To New York After standing in line outdoors for one minute too long and feeling winter in New York actually arrive, we were passed through metal detectors (insert "Well, I could understand if this were Bette or something starring Kathie Lee..." joke here), and escorted into Studio G. I've never been to a sitcom taping before (I've always lived in New York, so the extent of my on-set experience has been Letterman, walking past The Today Show's set BY ACCIDENT, and several visits to, natch, The Daily Show), so I'm not sure if the sets are always stationary and always lined up one by one, next to each other. For those of you who have never seen the show (by which I mean "all of you"), Jim Gaffigan is a wacky Midwestern weatherman and Christine Baranski his hardened New York boss lady. There are predictable clashes. You have now seen every episode. Good. Moving on. The set closest to the entrance is this deli at which Jim engages in endless bouts of chatty merriment with the store's perky proprietor, though I've never seen him actually eat or buy anything. Moving down the line, the deli set is followed by a set decorated as a restaurant used in one scene, and then Set I Don't Care About, Set I Don't Care About, Set I Don't Care About, and then a towering gargoyle stone statue, which stands alone at the far end of the set, peering down stoically from its perch miles off the ground, from which it shoots angry-looking laser beams into the eyes of all who dare to stare...oh, wait. It's Christine Baranski. Damn, that woman is tall. The studio audience sits about six rows deep at a safe distance from the sets, allowing enough room for the entourage of stylists, cameramen, and shrimp-cocktail-tray carriers easy access to the cast. The seating stretches the entire length of the set, which means several hundred people are present for each taping, leaving me wondering after which homeless shelters and sanitariums lay empty last night in an attempt to corral anybody to The Borough That Time Forgot to soak in four and a half hours of sitcom non-hilarity. The roomies and I were seated in probably the most active area of the place, near the far right of the studio and directly in front of the main office set, which bordered Jim's office on one side and Christine's office on the other. Behind us was a large tour group of elderly women on a field trip from Bay Ridge, all of whom complained about the heat and then the cold from the moment they sat down, all seemingly wondering which grandchild they were going to have to write out of the will for shuffling them onto a chartered bus for this trip from Shady Pines, miles from the closest warm bath or piping mug of Postum in what was quickly turning into the middle of the night.

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