Anyone ever attend a live taping of a classic sitcom?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by MRamble, Aug 29, 2022.

  1. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Has anyone here been to a taping of like..."Seinfeld"? Or "Frasier"... or going back further with like "All In The Family"...?

    Would love to hear any memories and observations.
    Extra points for technical details/notes that you noted while at the taping.
  2. captouch

    captouch Forum Resident

    Bay Area, CA
    Not a classic by any means, but we had a school trip to watch a taping of Silver Spoons, which I didn’t even watch at the time.

    So not really any strong memories other than I think the scenes were all short, so there must have been a fair amount of editing going on.
  3. Mesozoic Mike

    Mesozoic Mike Forum Resident

    Torrance CA
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  4. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    I’m gonna guess in time “Big Bang Theory” would be considered classic, if not already.

    I attended a taping in its final season. It was a lot of fun.
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  5. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Senior Member

    In 2008 I attended a pilot taping near Vancouver of a show built around Ryan Stiles(tall skinny guy from Drew Carey show/Who's Line is it Anyways) set in a bowling alley where he worked and had a love interest. The now deceased matriarch from Corner Gas was also a character. It was probably a CBC funded pilot never picked up possibly called "Memory Lanes".

    Even spread out over 4 hours I thought it was better than LOTS of stuff that did get on the air. They have a stand up comedian tell jokes and throw candy between set ups, though his pacing gets wildly thrown when head crew member abruptly yells "scene ready" or "fill another 10 minutes".

    Some other CBC show talent("Little Mosque...") interacted with the crowd. I remember wood bleachers like a kids baseball league, but all wood smelled like it was cut 2 hours as if shot in a lumbar store. In Vancouver the set was in some industrial looking buildings on outskirts of town on a freeway near some golf courses.

    Interesting to see them used 4 different punchlines for certain jokes and writers having "huddles" after a couple takes were done to see if they could give more choices for the editing team. One if the a Friends DVD season sets has an interesting 45 minutes look at a sitcom film set process.
  6. somnar

    somnar Forum Resident

    NYC & Amsterdam
    Cheers early-ish on. They shot three camera on film and the whole thing took quite a while. There was a band and a stand up comedian to keep us all entertained during the tech breaks. Was really fun.

    I also remember that, in order to get the Cheers tickets, we had to attend a taping for a show called Mr. Sunshine immediately before. Jeffrey Tambor as a blind judge if memory serves. A comedy.
  7. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    When I was in college they xhanghaied our class one day to be the studio audience for an episode of 'Reach For The Top' , a quiz show featuring two opposing teams of school students.

    Some guy instructed us when and how to applaud and how to conduct ourselves in general during taping.
    I suppose we weren't up to snuff because he was irritated with us and again gave us instructions how to ' behave' during taping.
    After this second set of marching orders we were wildly enthusiastic. Every response from the students was met with overwhelming applause and shouts of bravo.
    Our drill sergeant didn't like this either and we were dismissed.
  8. maclen

    maclen Forum Resident

    The Bob Newhart Show. Bob did the warm up before the show and of course it was pretty damn funny. I also remember Marcia Wallace saying the F word during the show. Bob called the script guy over and looked at it and comically indicated that yes it was in the script. I wish I had gone to more tapings of those sitcoms.
  9. pressureworld

    pressureworld Forum Resident

    Family Feud
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  10. skinnyev

    skinnyev Forum Resident

    I saw a taping of the Kids in the Hall. It was fun, the band played live and they also came out and joked with the audience between skits.
  11. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    Mark McKinney crushed my head once at my request...
  12. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    Cool! Sounds so fun. I vaguely remember that Tambor show. IIRC it was very funny and critically well received but only lasted a season. Shot on tape I think.

    My wife’s aunt and husband were extras on a Cheers production. They sat at a table in the bar for something like 8 hours. :D They say it was a lot of fun despite the time commitment. They never were able to spot themselves when the episode aired. Haha!

    dan c
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  13. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West

    I love that show so much. How many takes generally did they do for each skit? Did you also watched the filmed bits for the audience response?

    Dan c
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  14. somnar

    somnar Forum Resident

    NYC & Amsterdam
    Here's the funny sidebar to the Cheers thing. When I was a kid in the early/mid 70s, my mom worked with Shelley Long at an A/V rental house owned by Shelley's first husband, and they were friends. I remember Shelley did TV commercials for a local furniture company and then a co-host gig on the local NBC station (may have been in Second City at that point too, but I don't have a memory of it). We hung out at their house quite a bit - nice memories. She was always really nice to me.

    Anyway, my mom lost touch with her soon after. I couldn't have been more than 9 or 10. Fast forward another 10 years and I was in Los Angeles on vacation and thought it would be fun to go to a taping and maybe say hello (I was 18 or so). So I stood in line and then saw Mr. Sunshine before we were all shuffled off to the Cheers set. As I mentioned, there was a rock band playing and a standup serving as a kind of emcee/host. No idea who he was but he was funny. And so I decided I'd write a note to "Ms. Long," just to say hello and pass along my mother's best wishes, tell her how we'd been watching her get more and more famous. Wrote my note and, while the band was playing, I walked down to the first row of the bleachers, where the standup was taking a breather. I figured he'd be able to pass the note along. And, just as I got to him, the band finished their song and the spotlight went back to the standup and he said (to me): "And what can I do for you?" I was, of course mortified and managed to mutter "I have a note for Ms. Long" and he gently made fun of me - as I'd expect him to - "oh, a note for Ms. Long, oh I see..." Got the audience going a bit. But I did see that he put the note in his pocket. I also noticed that, during his next moment of downtime, he took it out and read it and did pass it along to someone. And so I was glad and figured that was that.

    Then, about 10 minutes after that - in between takes - I hear this stern voice calling up from the stage: "Danny, is Danny here?" LOL. It was Shelley and she had the note in her hand and the audience was full of murmuring "oh, he knows her..." So I waited until the end and she great and couldn't have been nicer although she seemed shocked that the 9 year old had in her memory was not a 6'2" 18 year old. It's all a really nice memory.
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  15. skinnyev

    skinnyev Forum Resident

    Yeah, they basically did 2 episodes that night, we watched the prerecorded bits and the band played during the commercial segments or they came out to joke with the audience. I don’t remember them needing to do bits twice, they were pretty professional and got everything in one take. It was the episode where there were 2 buskers living in an apartment and their upstairs neighbor was screaming at them all the time. I seem to recall them playing with a super ball to cause noise and they could only afford Kraft dinner.
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  16. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    Not a classic sitcom but we were at the taping of the last 90 minute “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson (1980-ish).
    The show then switched to the one hour format.
    Guests included the wacky pre-murderer Robert Blake and Erma Bombeck (remember her?)
  17. Zheem

    Zheem Well-Known Member

    San Francisco, CA
    I, too, attended Cheers tapings -- about five or six episodes pre Woody Harrelson. I remember passing Nicholas Colasanto ("Coach") on the way into the men's room. Two episodes I definitely recall are a Thanksgiving episode with Markie Post as guest and an episode with Dick Cavett. I remember Cavett having to repeat a scene and quipping to the studio audience something like "And you thought my delivery was funny the first time..." We had no band, and the pre-show warmup was by Earl Pomerantz, who wrote a few episodes of Cheers and, I see, died a couple of years ago. It was usually fun, but one episode dragged on so long that they finally excused the studio audience and let us go home while they finished up.

    Pretty sure we also attended one taping of "Night Court," about which I have zero recall. At the time, going to sit-com tapings was nice, cheap entertainment!
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  18. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Not a sitcom but was at a Ricki Lake Show. They put me in the close-up section as I guess I looked ok. Main thing was how long it took and how stop and start it was. But it was fun.

    They did confiscate my tiny Swiss Army Knife.
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  19. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    I was convinced that show had no audience and just canned laughter.
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  20. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    In happier times, I saw the 2nd Cosby sitcom taped- the one with Doug E Doug and Madelene Kahn. While in LA, I caught Politically Incorrect.

    Both times, they had a comedian come out and warm up the audience. And both were unknowns who nonetheless had me rolling on the floor laughing.
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  21. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Senior Member

    Many times it could be one of the writers of the show doing double duty. I know for comedy tour where someone like Chelsea Handler has someone open the full tour and do it more than one year it's because they do ghost writing work for the headliner.
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  22. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Senior Member

    I use to work at Paramount Studios back in 1995. I sat people for Fraiser, Wings, Sister Sister.
    Also worked Ellen at Disney Studios.
    On my own, I watched live: Arsenio Hall (Linda Mccartney was the guest and I was in the dog pound), Jay Leno Tonight Show, Martin Lawrence, The Price is Right (There was brief a night time version of it and I saw that) and the Pilot for News Radio.
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  23. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    I was on Bozo and Bowling for Dollars with the family. Does that count?
    Not a sitcom but kinda classic.
  24. MrGrumpy

    MrGrumpy Forum Resident

    My parents went to a Jerry Springer taping in Chicago. He had heard they were from overseas so sought them out afterwards and thanked them profusely for coming, and took pix with them. They also did Leno. I only did Herman's Head, a short-lived show with Bart Simpson's voice, IIRC.

    A colleague saw the Seinfeld episode with the cigar store Indian, which still makes me madly envious 25 years (?!) later.
  25. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Morton Downy Jr. not a sitcom, but close enough...

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