MONDO EXTRAS

Welcome To Welcome To New York

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

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Suddenly, it was 6:30, and it all went to hell. The lights on the set dimmed and the personification of the aforementioned "sports jacket and sneakers" stand-up fella ran from an indeterminate location ("the depths of the Hellmouth" was one suggestion) and into the seats with a cordless mic and a peppy self-introduction. As what or whom, I have no recollection. But this was "the warm-up guy," the most thankless job in show business, ranking just above "boom mic cart pusher" and "kelp" on the entertainment hierarchy. I have no idea where these people come from or what they want, but seeing as their entire job description centers around "keeping the audience awake" (or, as was the case of Welcome to New York, "keeping the audience present"), it's bound to get grating at some point. Like, say, halfway through his self-adoring introduction. He opened with how excited we should be to have found ourselves in the presence of "these amazing, amazing people, this amazing, amazing cast, and this amazing, amazing show which is really quite unbelievably amazing." Drowned out momentarily by the deafening roar of Roget spinning in his grave, I rejoined this congressional filibuster in progress to find Jerry Slimefeld smack in the middle of his riff on the Florida recounts: "What? A bunch of crusty old people will decide the next president? But they're so...old!" A showering of prosthetic teeth and hard candies from deep within someone's pocketbook came hurtling out of one of the six rows containing the senior citizens behind me, headed straight for Jerry Slimefeld's head. I wish. Whatever. Sufficiently "warmed up" by that which could not have been more "warmed over," Slimefeld instructed us to regard one of many monitors, as we would now be introduced to the amazing (his word, people) spectacle that is...the pilot episode of Welcome to New York, which was the only episode any of us had seen (he took a poll). My roommates and I had watched it as a show of solidarity for the friend on the CBS payroll, then quickly gave it up because solidarity is for suckers. And also because it was just plain ol' unwatchable.

After twenty-two minutes of TV time I have no desire to drag you through with me (he's welcomed. To New York. Done and done), the lights came back up and the on-set bustle continued. Slimefeld tried a little haphazard "so where're you from" banter, but the disinterest bordering on malaise had already set in. Considering the quality of the pilot, the lack of emotional investment of anyone in the audience, the one-left-turn-from-canceled torpor of the cast, and the rapidly aging warm-up guy's meditations on the national origins of every person present ("You're from Holland? Holland is my favorite country! It's...amazing!"), well, I was just plain terrified. Slimefeld would not stop talking. He asked what people had for lunch that day. The phrase, "You like meat, then?" actually crossed this man's lips. It was as if I had someone following me around twenty-four hours a day, recapping my entire existence.

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Welcome To Welcome To New York

by Djb November 14, 2000
Welcome To Welcome To New York Waiting, waiting, waiting. Suddenly, it was 6:30, and it all went to hell. The lights on the set dimmed and the personification of the aforementioned "sports jacket and sneakers" stand-up fella ran from an indeterminate location ("the depths of the Hellmouth" was one suggestion) and into the seats with a cordless mic and a peppy self-introduction. As what or whom, I have no recollection. But this was "the warm-up guy," the most thankless job in show business, ranking just above "boom mic cart pusher" and "kelp" on the entertainment hierarchy. I have no idea where these people come from or what they want, but seeing as their entire job description centers around "keeping the audience awake" (or, as was the case of Welcome to New York, "keeping the audience present"), it's bound to get grating at some point. Like, say, halfway through his self-adoring introduction. He opened with how excited we should be to have found ourselves in the presence of "these amazing, amazing people, this amazing, amazing cast, and this amazing, amazing show which is really quite unbelievably amazing." Drowned out momentarily by the deafening roar of Roget spinning in his grave, I rejoined this congressional filibuster in progress to find Jerry Slimefeld smack in the middle of his riff on the Florida recounts: "What? A bunch of crusty old people will decide the next president? But they're so...old!" A showering of prosthetic teeth and hard candies from deep within someone's pocketbook came hurtling out of one of the six rows containing the senior citizens behind me, headed straight for Jerry Slimefeld's head. I wish. Whatever. Sufficiently "warmed up" by that which could not have been more "warmed over," Slimefeld instructed us to regard one of many monitors, as we would now be introduced to the amazing (his word, people) spectacle that is...the pilot episode of Welcome to New York, which was the only episode any of us had seen (he took a poll). My roommates and I had watched it as a show of solidarity for the friend on the CBS payroll, then quickly gave it up because solidarity is for suckers. And also because it was just plain ol' unwatchable. After twenty-two minutes of TV time I have no desire to drag you through with me (he's welcomed. To New York. Done and done), the lights came back up and the on-set bustle continued. Slimefeld tried a little haphazard "so where're you from" banter, but the disinterest bordering on malaise had already set in. Considering the quality of the pilot, the lack of emotional investment of anyone in the audience, the one-left-turn-from-canceled torpor of the cast, and the rapidly aging warm-up guy's meditations on the national origins of every person present ("You're from Holland? Holland is my favorite country! It's...amazing!"), well, I was just plain terrified. Slimefeld would not stop talking. He asked what people had for lunch that day. The phrase, "You like meat, then?" actually crossed this man's lips. It was as if I had someone following me around twenty-four hours a day, recapping my entire existence.

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