I’ve always been a night owl. I love to watch funny things and love seeing my favorite bands play their newest song. So when I discovered that late night talk shows and Saturday Night Live combined those things, I was hooked. My brothers and I started watching SNL in early/mid 90’s, during the height of the Mike Meyers/Dana Carvey/David Spade/Chris Farley/Phil Hartman/Adam Sandler etc years. We would video tape episodes and then put our favorite sketches onto compilation tapes and watch them over and over. (Gap girls, anyone?!) And we did the same with Late Night talk shows, taping our favorite bands’ appearances.
Fast forward to the year 2000, when I was a nanny in NY. I figured out how to get standby tickets for SNL and talked my good buddy Jessica into spending the night with me, in line for the following Saturday’s performance. We ended up getting in at the very last second, and the loss of sleep from being on the sidewalk all night paid off! After the show, we all waited outside and waited for the stars to come out so we could get their autographs. I got my picture taken with Will Farrell and a little-known, new cast member named Jimmy Fallon. As he was walking off into the night, I yelled at him and asked for his picture. He happily obliged.
So when I heard that Jimmy Fallon, who now has his own late night talk show, was going to be filming in Indy during Super Bowl week, going to a taping immediately made my very short bucket list. I was more excited about that than the Super Bowl itself and couldn’t wait for ticket info to be released. I had grown to love his show, which I only watched when we had DVR or if I happened to be up that late, which is rare. In my opinion, his show is the funniest and most entertaining show on TV right now, with awesome writing and an amazing house band, The Roots.
Naturally, I was really bummed not to get tickets, when they finally were released and even though I was so excited for friends who were updating their statuses with reports of confirmation emails, Iwas a bit bummed not to be among them.
And then last week, my friend Shannon called and asked if I would want to be her husband’s date to the show. She was unable to go and wasn’t very interested in the first place. I was in such shock and disbelief, that my response was not the usual jumping and screaming that it would have been. Still, I was really really excited!
So with help, I got to go to the show. Lee went downtown at the crack of dawn this morning and got in line to ensure we would indeed get in (since they had released more tickets than seats) and Nathan helped with the kids so that I could be gone to stand in line and go to the show.
Standing in line felt much like the SNL line experience, only it was just for an hour, not a whole night! But we made friends with those around us and all shared in the torture of the cold air and the anti-establishment songs a homeless man sang to us. We finally got our tickets and wristbands and were happy to have assigned seats so as to avoid another line.
When Lee got to the theater this afternoon, he saw a line was forming again, to get in. Instead of being afraid of not getting in, we were afraid we wouldn’t get in before 5, when the doors would close. So I hurried and got there around 4 and we proceeded to get in line and head into the theater. It took awhile because we all had to go through security but then we found our seats and said hello to our line buddies. We had awesome seats, too. We were up on the first mezzanine and were up in the fourth row, basically up behind 3 rows and a walkway. We were smack in the middle and had a perfect view. There was a camera on a big crane to our left that often panned the crowd and I was hoping that maybe this would mean we would get on TV!
Promptly at 5, a guy named Seth came out on stage and started warming up the crowd. He was a little bit comic, a little bit flight attendant and when the Roots played their warm-up song, a little bit male cheerleader/dance team member. It was definitely entertaining and got us all in the spirit of being in the crowd.
And then it was time to start the show. The Roots played the intro song, the opening sequence (newly filmed in Indy) played on the monitors and we all clapped and cheered our hearts out! My eyes even teared up as Jimmy walked out on the stage, I was that happy. Before we knew it, he had started the monologue and the show was underway. He did a few bits, some with special NFL guests and then we had our first commercial break. The Roots played an entire song and it was so good. I could have stood up and had a dance party right then and there, but I didn’t think of it until the end.
The show progressed, with guests (Taylor Lautner, Drew Brees, Adam Levine, musical guest Nas and a few Colts and NFL players.). At times, during “commercial breaks,” they would film 15 second commercial spots to be aired at different times, in different cities and for different things. It was fun to be part of those, having to cheer really loudly and then stop, and then watching Jimmy Fallon have to get it right over and over again.
It was fascinating to watch the whole production take place, with so many moving parts and people. It was like a well-choreographed dance, that could not have anything go wrong. Everyone had to act at the right time, and in the right way for it all to work.
Finally, when it was time for the musical guest, they moved the Roots’ stage around front and center. We noticed that the director lady was up on our floor, standing in front of us, and they were testing the lighting on her. There was a guy with cue cards and after a bit, we realized that Jimmy, himself, would be up there to introduce Nas, standing right in front of us!! For a moment, we waited and then he came through the door. Lee got to shake his hand and then Jimmy took his place. I could see on the monitor, that I was behind his right shoulder, so I decided to wave with all my might, as I was sure to be on TV! And for a few seconds, I was. It was crazy and surreal and super fun. Not being a Nas fan, I had no idea what to expect, but since the Roots were his backup band, it was immediately awesome and we didn’t mind that we couldn’t understand a bit of what he was saying!
(Here’s a video of Jimmy’s intro and me waving behind his right shoulder!) http://youtu.be/XCON0-2iqH4
It all ended so quickly and we were left with just sitting in awe, watching them put the stage back in its original state. Jimmy thanked us for being such an awesome audience and city and we headed out into the cool night, to find dinner at a food truck.
All in all, it was an awesome experience. It was funny, fascinating and really interesting to see the whole thing happen. I don’t feel like there’s much in life that i have to do before I die, but this is definitely on thing I will love to remember doing.