Wait Wait Don't Tell Me Taping
Last week Margaret and I traveled to Chicago to see her family and catch a Cubs game (they won!). Since we happened to be there on a Thursday, I got tickets to see a "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" taping. I listen to the podcast EVERY week, so this was a big deal for me. I was very excited.
It started of very exciting the way things usually do in Chicago. We hit major traffic heading into the city from the suburbs and it took almost 2 hours to get downtown. Thankfully we thought it might take a bit, so we left with plenty of time.
Once we got the car parked and grabbed a bite to eat (Cosi was YUM!), we went and got in line at the Chase Bank Auditorium. After a bit they started checking our names against the list. We were on the list, so were allowed to line up to get into the theater. After a brief rundown of the do's and don't of the taping, we were let into the theater. We grabbed seats with a clear view of the stage (honestly, all the seats were good) and awaited the start of the taping. Turns out there were some issues, so the taping started a little late. But worth the wait.
The taping took about 90 minutes. And they make LOTS of mistakes. If they flub their line, they just wait a little and try it again and fix it all in post-production. So you'll see Peter take a couple tries to get his lines right. The panelists had some great chemistry and it looked like a lot of fun to be up on stage. Very funny show. There was some technical difficulties with one of the callers, and they had to re-record some of her lines, after reminding her to act like they haven't just spent the last 5 minutes talking. Not sure I could do it if I were on the phone...
After the taping, the disembodied voice speaks into their ear and tells them what lines they need to repeat. It took about 10 minutes for them to tape all. No clue how the producers knew which lines needed to be repeated. Still trying to figure that one out.
This ended up being an extra-special taping. Peter is going on vacation later on in the summer, and they had his replacement come in and run through a segment just to get a feel for how to run the show. So we got a bonus round of the show that won't ever air. It contained some lines that wouldn't pass FCC muster...
After the taping, the cast stuck around and signed autographs and posed for photos and were generally available for their fans. They were all very nice and would take all the time in the world with each person. I got my picture taken with both Peter and with Carl. I'm very happy! We also found out that Roxanne Roberts comes to the show prepared. She's got multiple pages of detailed notes on topics that may come up during the show. Talk about being prepared!
I'm very glad that we were able to go and see the taping. And i'm going to keep my eyes open for the next time they come out to the bay area so I can catch another taping. You should be able to listen to the episode here: http://www.npr.org/templates/archives/archive.php?thingId=35&date=08-01-2010&p=16