Laughing at Letterman
So the other day a friend of mine somehow got Letterman tickets and I went. I can't really give any insight on how you can get Letterman tickets because he signed up like 4 years ago to get tickets and they called him just recently saying he 'won the ticket lottery' or something.
But I'll tell you about the whole Letterman process we went through-- if you wanna read about it:
OK. We needed to show up at the Ed Sullivan theater at 2PM and stand in line (or ON LINE WHATEVER THE HELL!!!) outside in the freezingness. While in line there's these 'happy peppy' people in Worldwide Pants jackets talking and making jokes about how cold it is outside or blah blah stuff. They asked people where they're from or whatever. If someone was foreign or from a small town they seemed to get 'flagged' and they'd talk to them extra. These people probably had a shot at becoming an 'audience participant' plant person I suspect. The Worldwide Pants people weren't interested in talking to me though. I was too busy freezing my ass off and not acting 'happy peppy' too (aka 'the guy who is not going to be on the show').
We get inside the theater and stand in line again. Then eventually you get a number written on your ticket. I got #80. I didn't know what that was for. Then they corral you into a group of like 15 people and a couple peppy Worldwide Pants people explain what's going to happen next. They told us we had some time to kill and needed to come back between 3-3:30 and wait in this place 'Roseland' which is this big hall place around the corner from the theater. They told us this like 5x over and over. Then held up a sign which gave us actual directions to 'around the corner' with big arrows and stuff. It was like we were 2 years old-- but I guess they have their reasons for not trusting people to listen to anything.
So during our time killing, me and my friend went down the street to Applebee's and drank beer and ate wings and talked to the Applebee's bartender girl. She told us she tried out for American Idol and had a bad experience. She was mad at Idol. She sang 'Dreams' by Heart in her audition. She was cute and had pigtails and nice butt. Then we left and headed to Roseland.
There was like 500 people in the theater and we got in basically one big line. My friend was #79 and I was #80. So that's where we stood in line. Between #78 and #82. We stood there like dopes for a while getting bored.
Then this super happy peppy guy runs out on the stage in Roseland and he does his...'HI EVERYONE! ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE SHOW!?' And everyone yells YEAH!!!. Then he does his 'I CAN'T HEAR YOU! I SAID, ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE SHOW!' And everyone yells YEAHHHH!!! (I think he was lying when he said he couldn't hear us. We said 'yeah!' pretty loud the first time...) Then he proceeds to go over instructions on how to be a "good" audience member. First off, he told us we need to know how to laugh and laugh loudly. Even if we don't think something is funny we need to laugh at it. They stressed this was very important. He had us practice laughing loud. Then he made us practice again. I was pretty good at it.
Then he continued to tell us things we can't do. We can't yell, 'Wooo!' He claims nobody likes that and it would make you 'look like a big dork on national television' (aka this isn't Arsenio and we don't like that). He said no one should whistle because 'the microphones are very sensitive' (aka it might get heard on the air and we don't like that). Then he said how we should never make the 'dreaded' 'Awwwww....' sound no matter what. No matter what there should be no Awwww-ing. (aka 'When we did a test we found out people change channels when they hear Awww...') Then he made us practice laughing again. Then he told us we should laugh during the show. Then he informed us of how we should laugh during the show. And then he told us to just have a good time and to remember to laugh at everything. And then the pep rally was over and we were marched across the street like soldiers going to storm the beaches of Laughundy.
We get inside the theater and there were Worldwide Pants girls telling us to 'remember to laugh' while we waited in line. One chick said how when Dave is happy everyone is happy. Then she reminded us to laugh again. At this point laughing was so stressed that it felt like if you didn't laugh-- there was a chance you'd be removed from the theater and beaten with frozen fish until you laugh loudly.
We get into the theater and head down an aisle. The usher chick seemed like she was about to have a nervous breakdown because she lost control and people started seating themselves (which is apparently the equivalent of burning the flag in a toilet bowl or something) because usher chick was furiously yelling at people to stop. Then my friend asked this usher for an "extra good seat" because his friend (me) is a 'good laugher' and she said all mean, 'DON'T GET IN MY FACE!!!!' It was sort of a little shocking to see an outburst like that after so much insistence on us being happy and laughy. I have to assume she was promptly fired and/or beaten with frozen fish-- as she might have destroyed a good half-hour of happy peppy brainwashing for everyone within earshot.
We get to our seats and the band plays for a while. Then Letterman comes out and says hello and answers a question from the audience. 'Are you the father of Anna Nicole's baby?' He denied it. Ha ha. Then the show starts up and the cameras wheel over and stuff. The not so good thing was we were like 4 rows back in the middle section (aka worst place to sit) because you basically sit behind the cameras and the cue cards and the director guys and it blocks everything-- and you have to sort of watch the show on the monitors overhead because you can't see anything. Yeah it was cool sort of seeing the running around in between and how it's all put together but... yknow. I couldn't see nuttin! For the most part!
But whatever. I laughed on cue like a good brainwashed audience member. And laughed loud like the done told me to. And it was fun.
Plus, I got on the TV!