The Chelsea Lately Show!Apr 30th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
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?
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.
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.
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!
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 .
Then, Chelsea’s assistant, Chuy, whom I LOVE, was introduced. Of course, Chuy is ADORABLE in person!!
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!