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The Chelsea Lately Show!

Apr 30th, 2009 | By | Category: TV Locations

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My celeb obsession as of late is the E! Channel talk show Chelsea Lately and its comedienne host Chelsea Handler.  I only discovered the late night show about a month ago and I’d say it took me, oh, maybe one episode to become absolutely, one hundred percent addicted!  I honestly do not understand how I was not watching this show from the very beginning!!!   As Liz Smith recently stated in the New York Post, “Where have I been all of Chelsea Handler’s life?”   She is HILARIOUS!  I have never laughed out loud in my entire life the way I do while watching her show.   In fact, one of my good friend’s husbands has banned her from reading Chelsea’s books in bed at night, because she cracks up so much that she shakes the bed and keeps him up.  LOL LOL LOL  I’ve even made it a goal to be a guest on the round table portion of Chelsea’s show before the end of the year.  Hey, if Perez Hilton can do it, I sure can!  Trust me, I’m a lot funnier than he is!   Anyway, when I heard that audience tickets for Chelsea Lately were available online, I just had to sign up for some so I could stalk it!   I enlisted my good friend, Blaze, to come along with me to the taping, as he is also a huge fan of the show.  I mean, honestly, who isn’t?

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So, bright and early Tuesday morning, Blaze and I headed out to West L.A. for the show.  The taping was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and we were informed to arrive at the studio early to ensure getting a seat.  So, having the type-A personality that I have, I made sure Blaze and I arrived at the studio with plenty of time to spare.  In fact, when we parked our car in the audience parking lot at approximately 10:30 a.m., I was afraid we were in the wrong place as there was no other car in sight (empty parking lot pictured above)!  LOL  As we walked into the studio lobby (three hours early), the guard on duty looked at us with confusion on his face.  “You do know that you’re extremely early?” he asked us.  “Usually people don’t start lining up until around 12:30 p.m.”   LOL LOL LOL  True to his word, Blaze and I were the only people in line until just around that time.

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At just about 1:30 p.m., the security guard led us through a metal detector and then into the studio.  Unfortunately, no cameras of any kind are allowed in the studio, so I had to settle for taking some pictures outside while waiting in line.  :)

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The studio is SUPER TINY, but otherwise looks pretty much exactly as it does on TV.  There was only room for what looked to be about 75 audience members, so the whole thing was a pretty intimate affair.  Every audience member had a great view of the stage, no matter where they were sitting.  Because we were the first people in line, Blaze and I were seated in the second row.  The first row is reserved for VIPs.  Even though all of the seats in the studio are pretty much great, I was FLOORED to be sitting so close to the front.  The show pretty much got started immediately after the audience was seated, which I was shocked about.   It’s a VERY fast taping without a lot of waiting around, which is very different from how live tapings are usually done.  I’ve sat in the audience of quite a few sitcoms in my day and the filming of those can take up to eight hours!!!!!  The taping of Chelsea’s show took all of about 25 minutes.  I’m not joking!  Love it!

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Chelsea’s round table for the evening consisted of comedians Sarah Colonna, T.J. Miller, and Josh Wolf and they were all brought out first .

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Then, Chelsea’s assistant, Chuy, whom I LOVE, was introduced.  Of course, Chuy is ADORABLE in person!!

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Then, my girl, Chelsea walked out.  In person, Chelsea is tall, but very thin, which I was actually surprised about as she is constantly joking about her weight.  I thought maybe there was something we weren’t seeing on TV, but she’s actually quite thin in real life.  And super cute!  After Chelsea was introduced, she performed her opening monologue which she nailed in just one take!  As an actress, I was really impressed with this, as I know sometimes it can take up to 30 takes to get a shot right.

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After the monologue, Chelsea walked over to the round table and began filming the portion of the show where she and her comedian guests make fun of celebrities and pop culture.  Which, in my opinion, is the best part!  :)  The taping of Chelsea Lately is pretty much done in real time, as if it was being broadcast live.  It was so weird to see.  There were no “Cuts!” or re-shoots – Chelsea and her guests were pretty much just left alone to do their thing.  And they were HILARIOUS!  There was actually a comedian/emcee on duty, whose job was to tell us what was going on during the taping and also to tell us when to laugh.  Before taping began, he said about a hundred times, “You really have to support Chelsea and her guests and laugh even if you do not think something is funny.”  Does he not realize what show he is working for?  It’s ALWAYS funny!  Literally every time anyone made a joke, the emcee would mime laughing so that we would know what to do.  LOL  I really wanted to tell him, “Look, this is Chelsea Lately – trust me, we’re gonna laugh!  You don’t need to do ANYTHING!”  And that’s pretty much exactly what happened.  Everyone in the audience was cracking up the entire time, but it sure wasn’t because of the emcee.  :)  Note to the Chelsea Handler staff – if you ever need to cut costs, the emcee job is pretty much irrelevant.  LOL

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During the commercial break before the celebrity guest was introduced, Chelsea came out into the audience to sign books for anyone who brought one.  Which I, of course, did!  :)  Chelsea signed my book and was very nice, but sadly it was over too fast.  I didn’t even get to tell her how much I love her show.  :(  Blaze said to me “That’s the fasted I’ve ever seen anyone sign an autograph in my life!”  LOL

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Chelsea’s celebrity guest during our taping was My Name Is Earl’s Nadine Velazquez and, sadly, I wasn’t really impressed with her at all.  I got the impression that she really thought a lot of herself and, to be honest, she was a boring interviewee.  : ( Such a bummer!!  Chelsea was hilarious, as always, but I wish we had gotten to see a better guest.

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After what was about a six minute interview with Nadine, Chelsea performed her closing monologue (again, only one take!) and that was it.  The show was over.  As always, at the end of the taping, Chuy came out into the audience to shake everyone’s hand, including mine. :)  Chuy really seemed like a sweet, sweet man.  I absolutely loved him!  One girl in the audience asked if she could have a hug instead of a handshake and he happily obliged.  It was really cute.  :)

I HIGHLY recommend stalking the Chelsea Lately show if you are in the L.A. area!!!!    Not only is it a great show to watch live, but the taping moves extremely fast, so it doesn’t take up your whole day, as the taping of other shows do.  I would recommend booking tickets at least six weeks in advance, as it took me about ten attempts before I was actually able to book them.

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You can barely see the back of my head in the above screen capture.  LOL  :)

UPDATE – This blog post was written over six months ago and I have heard that Chelsea Lately’s  audience has grown significantly during that time.  So, to be on the safe side, if you are attending a taping, I would show up at least three hours prior to showtime to ensure yourself a seat.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  :)

Stalk It: Chelsea Lately is filmed at the Digital Media Center, which is located at 12312 West Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles.  You can get tickets to a Chelsea Lately taping here.  I’d recommend showing up about 1 and 1/2 hours prior to the taping to ensure yourself a seat.  If you don’t live in the area you can still catch Chelsea weeknights at 11 p.m. on E!

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22 comments

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  1. yolanda says:

    i just got my tickets! is it first come first serve or do call to reserve a seat?

  2. Brooke says:

    Did they card you? I want to bring my friend, but she is 17!

  3. Stephanie says:

    If i’m watching a taping at 3:30pm and there’s a taping on that same day at 1:30pm, will the episode I watch be aired that same night?

  4. Scott says:

    What time do the tapings generally let out?

  5. Julie says:

    I have a question. I have tickets to today’s show. Will the show that was taped today be on tv tonight? She said Reese will be on tonight and if that’s tonight’s show, I’m going to be SO excited!!!

  6. Candace says:

    I went to the taping last Tuesday (the guest was Taye Diggs) and had pretty much the same experience. My friends and I got there an hour early and there was already a line. HOWEVER…if you’re a female and you DRESS UP (hot, trendy)…you have a better chance of getting the floor seats. I was with 4 females and we all got put in the front row (and no, we didn’t know anyone working the show). So our experience was great! Definitely bring a book or something for Chelsea to sign!! Have fun!! =)

    Oh and also…they are VERY STRICT about no cameras, NO cell phones and no gum and purses/bags must be tiny!!!! Security there was more strict than movie shoots I’ve been to!! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

    • Deborah says:

      It was a cool 50 degree, cloudy day and we arrived 2.5 hours before the taping time. That’s a long time to stand still with no bag or phone (because no bags are permitted into the studio. apparently they cant just make sure you have no camera? odd.) No bathroom. No water. There was a line already against the front of this small building. While we waited my mom went to smoke a cigarette at the far end of the building on a stoop next to another Comcast worker (She has a bad knee). One of the security guards had come up to her and rudely said she has to smoke over by the sidewalk otherwise they were going to kick her out for being difficult. Way too harsh for a first warning to someone who has never been to your building before. So she smoked in the parking lot and he yelled at her again for not listening, saying that he had said “sidewalk” and that he worked there for two years and he could make us all leave if he felt like it. Next thing you know the security guard pulls my sister from the line and tells her my mother is being difficult and if he has to kick us all out he will because he can ¬– and not to worry because he will NOT feel bad. As far as any of us knew she had done what was asked of her. We chose to be quiet, let him have his power trip and just continue to hang out in line.

      As the line grew more and more people were faced with this basket of control issues. His name was Lionel. One girl was standing next to her friend and he threatened to throw them both out if they didn’t get into perfect single file order. The personal favorite and absolutely most ridiculous Lionel threat was when this skinny little girl in front of us was shivering outside and Lionel told her that he would throw her out if she didn’t stop shivering. Amazing! An involuntary bodily function to regulate the temperature of your body is criminal and punishable at Chelsea Lately. Who knew?

      Then Lionel went over the rules for book signings about 10 times. Don’t laugh too hard, make sure you laugh enough, laugh on queue, sit down, don’t stand up, no bathroom breaks, no water for anyone, no shivering, no no no no no. Or—big surprise— you will be thrown out. When he spoke about book signing he said, “you can say one sentence to Chelsea, give her time to respond, but you are not allowed to say anything else to her or I will be forced to throw you and your party out.” Amazing! Every single sentence, and I kid you not, ended with “and if you don’t, I will throw you AND your party out!” I suppose he thinks we are all idiots and he’s some high-falutin’ hot shot in a Comcast group shirt playing overweight security guard to someone who isn’t even that much a celebrity anyway. So, bottom line, Chelsea only signs her books. They throw out these foam balls to get the audience hyped but she wont sign those—ONLY her book. Not to mention you have to fill out a post-it note with ONLY your name on it, if there is anything other than your name you will be, take a guess – THROWN OUT!

      This studio had more security than the airport. After the ridiculous body scan and metal detector we were herded into a cold studio space and taught how to fake laugh. Apparently they don’t use laugh tracks so we spent a solid 45 minutes fake laughing. This gets old and very, very annoying after about 5 minutes. Chelsea came out onto stage and didn’t acknowledge her studio audience AT ALL. No smile, no wave, no thank you for coming and waiting on a ridiculous line with ridiculous security. Nope. Nothing. While not being filmed she didn’t smile, she never looked happy or light-hearted or any other way that she usually portrays herself to be. in fact she looked miserable and ******. Her interactions with her staff were no different. While I understand that she is human and that she has various emotions like all of us, she chose this job. This is a career in which you need to be on all the time, especially at work and with your fans! Way to show your appreciation Chelsea. When she came around and did her book signing she barely broke a smile. It was closer to a half-assed smirk than a smile. Half-assed smile would’ve been more appreciated. The roundtable and Chuy were the only ones who actually greeted the audience with a large grin and wave like they gave a ****.

      What you realize is how fake and scripted the show is. It’s all a sham. There is no Chelsea like you see on TV. Never again. We can’t even watch her show anymore. Chelsea Handler, what a disappointment.

  7. Sprmcandy says:

    Chelsea is a Pretty lady.

  8. Pam says:

    so I’m going to the 1:30 Wednesay 21st show but am wondering how much earlier I should show up even though I have tickets. Has anyone been recently, is 11:45 a decent time?

  9. Lindsey says:

    so registering for tickets to a show doesn’t guarantee you seats?

  10. RS says:

    LOL!!! God you are funny! Great storyteller too! I didn’t come here to read your story but I read the whole thing. Hope to see you out in your stalkings.

  11. rachel says:

    Hiii! Iam going to the taping on tuesday.
    I was wondering what time you were actually out of the studio? I have a friend who wants to go but she works 5-8. Out taping is at 130. Would we be out by then?

  12. Lauren says:

    Hi Lindsay! I love this post! Chelsea is one of my favorites too–so hilarious. I’m seeing Chelsea Lately on Monday, which I’m really excited about! Unfortunately, my inbox mysteriously deleted my tickets (which is sad, but I looked it up and I should get in anyway because they have my name on a list). My question for you is: What should I wear? I know sometimes jeans or the color white aren’t allowed at tapings. Thanks for your help!

  13. Amanda says:

    thanks for posting this! i am the process of trying to get tickets, and i was wondering how you got them? through her website or another? i am looking to go to a show in a few weeks, but the date for it isnt listed yet on her site! thanks!

  14. Debbie says:

    Thank you, Lindsay, for this post. I am going next week and was wondering what time to show up and how long the taping was. You gave me the perfect orientation! I can’t wait!!!!! I love Chelsea and Chuy too…

  15. JustJenny says:

    OMG! I love her. She is like my idol. Totally smart and sarcastic! She’s not into that stupid slapstick comedy crap. I wish her show would replace The Late Show. SHE IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!

  16. Sugee says:

    O yea, Chelsea is the best! She sure is talented and quick and witty in the funny department! Pretty much everything she says is funny and whippy! I love that book you are holding, it’s funny!!

  17. Debbie says:

    I so agree, she is toooo funny! Love her! If I’m on the phone with my boyfriend when she’s on he gets so mad & eventually hangs up because I can’t talk (or breathe) for laughing so hard!! She also did the show Girls Behaving Badly & was just as funny on it! I would love to see her live – it sounds fun….


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