I recently attended a taping of The Talk. I had a few questions before I went, so I thought I would write up a report about how things works.
In order to get tickets, you must go to The Talk’s website and submit a request. I got a call about 2-3 weeks before the taping date asking if I could still come. Tickets holders to the Talk are guaranteed a seat, if you get there on time. If you don’t, they will fill on a first come, first served basis. They encourage you to wear bright colors and say they will turn you away if you don’t, but several people in the audience had on boring colors. They put the brightest towards the front, because bright colors show up better on camera.
They are serious about arrival times. I was five minutes late, because I followed their parking directions and waited on their shuttle. I thought if I was on their shuttle, surely they wouldn’t count that as late. They put me, and everyone else on the bus, in standby. We still got in, but it’s better to arrive early. Los Angeles traffic adds at least an hour that time of morning, so be prepared.
Once you arrive, they line you up and you sign a release form saying they can use your image and you won’t talk about the specifics of the show. You’re then placed in a room where they give you a number and tell you the rules: no cameras, you have to be excited, clap when other people clap and cheer when other people cheer. They also tell you that you must request assistance if you’re not able to walk to the studio.
After the rundown and everyone gets checked in, you are ushered to the studio.
The taping we went to had a segment that was pre-taped. They screened the video and asked us to react like the person being interviewed was really in the room. I was a little disillusioned. When the show was broadcast, they didn’t mention that the segment had been pre-taped. I wonder how many of the celebrity segments are pre-taped. I always assumed a live show was mostly live and the “pre-taped” segments they refer to in the credits were the clips and things like that. I guess pretty much anything can be pre-taped.
I’ve seen a late night talk show being taped before, and the comedian was very interactive with the audience. He even walked out and talked to some people before and after the show, during the commercial breaks, etc. The ladies on the talk pretend the audience doesn’t exist. Mrs. O did some promos after the taping, and it was a perfect opportunity for her to even acknowledge the audience (when she flubbed and was joking with the cameraman, for example) but she never even looked at the audience.
We did get a free gift for being on the show, which I was told by someone sitting next to me is the main reason locals go to these shows. Sometimes you get goodie bags worth thousands of dollars. I would like to see a show like Ellen taped, because she seems more likely to interact with the audience and have fun. I imagine the experience would be different.
It was a fun experience, and more fun than seeing a sitcom being taped (those take all day), but it wasn’t really what I expected. The late night comedians don’t have the “free stuff,” but their shows are a lot more fun.