So what did I do while they were at Disney? I took a chance and drove over to Warner Brothers studios to see if I could get a standby ticket to watch a taping of Conan. The traffic gods were with me and got me there just in time to pick up a ticket at 10 and to be told to come back at 1pm to see if there were slots. In the interim I went over to Griffith Park Observatory. I’ve had an obsession with James Dean since I was a teenager when I read all the biographies and watched all his films so visiting a location from Rebel without a Cause was a must. I’ve been there once before with one of my high school friends but it was at night. It was a bonus on this visit to listen to a poor high school teacher trying to get a group of teenage boys to appreciate the architecture of the observatory. You can imagine how willing they were.
At 1 I found out that I had gotten a ticket and was trying to maintain composure when I was squealing inside. There’s a lot of waiting when you’re going to see a recording. They run you through a metal detector and then they make you wait in two different places, one outside the actual Warner Brothers lot and the other in a holding pattern on the lot. When it was time to finally go to the studio it was about a ten minute walk to our building and there were about five different handlers making sure we stayed in line and no one strayed.
I sat next to a guy in the military stationed in San Diego who was super excited to be there. He told me he’d been trying to see Conan for twelve years. I felt bad telling him I’d walked up and gotten a ticket that day. I asked him who the guests were and he rattled off Jon Favreau, Jayma Mayes, and a musical guest he wasn’t sure about.
The recording moves very quickly. There are no retakes. The only extension from the show you see on tv is an opening comedian and the band plays longer to pump up the crowd at the beginning. After the show wrapped Conan told the audience that usually this was the point where the taping ended but he needed to record another interview that he thought we’d enjoy so he was going to change his shirt and pretend it was another day. After he returned we found out that James Franco was coming out to be interviewed and the crowd went wild. He was definitely the best interview, very funny.
The bad part about going to see Conan was that they turned us loose at 5:30pm, and in the middle of rush hour. After getting through the traffic and checking into our Santa Monica hotel, I went to grab some food and took a quick nap before Disneyland pickup.
|Beautiful flowers at a random Burbank gas station|
|A view from Griffith Park Observatory|
|Why can't those boys appreciate this beauty?|