Who is Chelsea Lately?
That was my first question.
Yeah, I’ll go.
That was my answer.
My friend Actress Nicole, who you might remember was responsible for my acting debut on 1000 Ways To Die and who co-starred in a TV commercial with me, invited me to go see Chelsea Lately with her. She had acquired some free tickets via Chelsea’s website.
I had never heard of Chelsea Lately before, but not knowing what I’m getting myself into doesn’t stop me from doing anything. So I accepted. Unfortunately, seeing the show together didn’t work out (I forgot why.. this was a couple months ago), so I went ahead and requested a new set of tickets for a future date. The tickets are free so no harm, no foul if we couldn’t make it again.
How To Register For Chelsea Lately Tickets
On the Chelsea Lately website, there is a link to Get Tickets which brings you to a third party website to register. Typically, you’ll have to register about 20-30 days ahead of time or join the wait list for a closer date. You can register up to 4 tickets at once.
I went ahead and registered 4 tickets, invited Nicole who couldn’t attend that date, then promptly forget to invite anyone else. By the next day, I forgot about registering for the tickets all together.
The morning of the taping of the show, I received a reminder e-mail from the Chelsea Lately Show:
We just wanted to remind you that you have a ticket to see Chelsea and the show today. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you!
Okay, I’ll go.
I drove to West Hollywood and arrived around noon. The show recommended that I arrive a little early so I took their advice and arrived a couple hours ahead of schedule. I found the building with ease, but had a difficult time figuring out where to park. The show parking lot was about 3 blocks away and the directions used words like “Turn North on Bundy”. Which way is North? On a map, North is up. When you’re driving (without a compass in the car), North could be any direction.
20 minutes of circling around later, I found the parking lot. “Park on the far left side.”
I could tell I was in the right parking lot when I saw girls in sundresses getting out of cars and heading towards the studio. When I arrived at the front of the studio, there were already about 120 people in line ahead of me, mostly young women.
I said hello to the two girls in front of me.
“Hey, ya’ll excited about seeing Chelsea Lately?”
“Yeah, are you?”
“A little. I see her all the time. I’m Chelsea’s cousin.”
This blatant lie, followed by some more schmoozing with these girls. The tall blonde moved to Venice Beach from Georgia a year ago to become an actress. She is currently working for Red Bull as a promoter. Her friend, a short brunette, dressed like a Georgia Peach in a southern sundress, was out visiting LA for a week during her summer break. She was a school teacher in Atlanta GA. They met at Athens in college.
Behind me was a large woman about 65 years old. We chatted it up for a while. She and her husband retired a few years back and often attend TV show tapings in Los Angeles. They’ve been on Price is Right (the audience), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and a handful of others. I told her about my 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge and she told me about her daughter who lost 140 pounds last year. Her husband showed up about 30 minutes later from the parking lot and we chatted about RVing around the country.
Eventually they ask me about work and I tell them that I am a Website Developer and California Realtor. I hand them each my web business card and they accept. Next I hand them my real estate card. The husband accepts but the wife puts her hand up in a STOP motion and says, “No no no. I already have a Realtor.”
“Who turns down a business card?” I exclaimed at her. “That’s rude! Just take it. I’m not trying to sell you a house. Just handing you my card. Do what you please with it!”
I was mostly teasing her, but there was some truth behind my statement. I’m a relatively polite and respectful person, especially when someone is handing me a business card. Business is personal to many people, so at least give the person the time of day and take their card.
2pm rolls around and I’m starting to wonder what’s happening. A staff member who was in charge of keeping the line in order starts counting people in line. He had on a UNC Chapel Hill jersey and I told him that’s where I attended school.
“I had some classes with Sean May. He took the easiest science class offered and so did I,” I told the line director. “Sean would show up with no notebook, no paper, and usually two girls on his side.”
“Ahh, Sean May. That’s after my time. I graduated in ’91.”
At 2:15pm he announces to everyone in line.. “The show is overbooked. I’m going to have to ask that many of you leave because you will not be getting on the show today.”
The back of the line let out a coordinated groan.
“I apologize for the inconvenience and we will provide you VIP tickets to a future show which guarantees you admission.”
He did a count off and cut the line off 4 people behind me.
“Everyone past this point will NOT be getting on the show. You guys (points to my group), might or might not get on the show, but you’re welcome to stick around and wait. I’ll try my best to get you in.”
A few slutty girls come up to him to plead their case. “We’re from out of town and can’t come another time.” “Please? We really want to get on the show today!” “I’ll s**k your d**k!”
Haha, I made that last one up. No-one said that. But I know they were thinking it. Girls are crazy!
Another hour goes by and people in front of us start trickling into the studio until there are just about 8 people ahead of me and the same 4 people behind me. The old couple were still behind me and after them were 2 girl roommates about 22 years old. One was tall and one was really short. I overheard them joke about if they switched clothes, the tall girl’s dress would drag all over the floor. I told them they were like Pinky & The Brain and we all had a good laugh.
At this point, everyone was talking to each other. Adventure Paul makes friends out of strangers. I started telling jokes to pass the time.
The Red Bull girl in front of me responded with a joke of her own.
“How much does a Hipster weight?…. An Instagram!”
Next we’re led to the front door of the building–this is a good sign, right?
I see up ahead there is a metal detector and what looks like a mini-airport security checkpoint. I think they are more concerned with finding people’s cell phones than they are weapons. The tickets and the line director made it clear that no-one could have a cell phone or a camera on them at any time. This is why I have no pictures to aid in my story telling.
To be on the safe side, I hide my knife behind a bush. (Adventure Paul always has a knife on him.. minus airports.) We empty our pockets and walk through the metal detectors, then are led right back outside.
At this point, no-one is sure if we’re going to make it or not. It’s past 3:30pm, we’ve been waiting for hours, and everyone’s wondering what is so difficult about counting available chairs and telling us if we have a spot or not. The Georgia girls in front of me, the couple behind me, and the roommates behind them all start to get cranky.
I say to everyone, “Well in case we never see each other again.. here’s my card,” and I hand them Adventure Paul cards. (Yeah, I keep a lot of different cards on me. I wear many dresses.)
“It was nice meeting you all. Add me on Facebook if you want.”
The short roommate seems to have low blood sugar and freaks out on me. “NO! Listen, I don’t want your stupid card. I don’t need a website designer. I already have one.”
“Oh, it’s just a personal card. You’re not exactly my target audience for website sales,” I reply with a smile on my face.
“My pockets are full, it’s hot, I just don’t want your card.” It was then that I noticed her peach fuzz mustache. It’s weird how easily I notice someone’s physical flaws as soon as they act rude to me. Before then, I thought she was cute.
“We live together,” the other roommate says, “so I’ll take it for both of us.” Turns out she was the pretty one.
People have short fuses is what I’m thinking to myself at this point. A three hour wait in line certainly brings out the worst in people. I’d hate to have seen this group at the American Idol auditions I attended a couple years ago! Neile, Jennifer and I waited in lines for over 24 hours.
The Red Bull girl and the School Teacher are let in (which I was glad about since she was on vacation), and I’m next in line. Line Director walks back out of the building, “Sorry guys, we’ve only got two tickets left.”
The Quick Decision
I know that the people behind me are thinking to themselves, “Well, we’re a group of two so we should get in.”
I was actually thinking the same thing. I even thought about being a ‘nice guy’ and letting one of the groups behind me in together. Then I remembered that someone from each group denied my business card (the old lady and the peach fuzz mustache roommate).
I turn around and say, “Nice meeting you all!” and I quickly walk inside before there’s any room for debate.
Sitting in the Audience of the Chelsea Lately Show
I was ushered into the audience just as the show was getting started. I am seated in the second row, in the very last seat on the right. I was so close I could practically reach out and touch Chelsea Lately’s midget assistant, Chuy (but I didn’t). I said hello to the biker-lady seated next to me and then things get rolling.
The audience director briefly introduces himself and then gets us clapping and excited for Chelsea Lately. A few seconds later, Chelsea comes out on stage and we’re motioned to keep the clapping and cheering going for a while. I was expecting a light up sign that said APPLAUSE but instead, there were 3 or 4 staff members at different ends of the audience who signified that we should be clapping by clapping loudly and rapidly themselves. I clapped so hard, I was expecting one of the producers to walk up to me after the show and offer me a job as a Clap Fluffer. (That’s the name I made up for that position.) But that didn’t happen.
Next Chelsea says some things about the Entertainment world that I don’t understand, mostly because I didn’t know who she is talking about. After every sentence, the audience would erupt in a short burst of laughter, then stop laughing as quickly as they started. It honestly sounded like a laugh track playing through the speakers. (Which it might have been for all I know.)
This was the first time I had ever seen Chelsea Lately or heard her speak. My initial reaction to her humor was, This lady is as unfunny as Sacha Baron Cohen. But I laughed hard anyway because everyone around me was. Plus I was in her audience and it’s only polite to clap and laugh hard at her jokes.
The stage was adorned with brightly colored everything–LCD TVs, podiums–even the floor lit up.
A panel of 3 comedians were already sitting at a long podium and Chelsea joins them at the end. A makeup girl quickly runs out and retouches Chelsea’s face while a Water Fluffer (name I made up for this position) runs up and offers everyone mini-bottles of water.
There was an Asian comedian, a tall manly looking female comedian, and a black guy. I recognized the black guy from when I was waiting in line earlier. Usually celebrities will use a back entrance and sneak in. This comedian walked right past everyone in line and made eye contact with about every single person. I think he wanted to be recognized.
I had said to the female roommates behind me in line, “Wow, Jaleel White.. you’ve come a long way since you played Urkel on Family Matters!” They believed me for a split second, but this was definitely not Jaleel White. Plus he’s the man–this guy wasn’t.
Chelsea brings up a few topics from the world of entertainment news and the panel of comedians each put in their two cents. Some of their jokes were pretty funny. I especially liked the Asian comedian. The man-woman just spoke–didn’t really make jokes–just talked in a sarcastic way, so I didn’t care for her. The black guy was sort of funny, but lost me when he said, “See, I’m a little racist. I’m situationally racist…” I know he was joking (obviously, a comedian) but jokes like that are trite. I’m a tough critic too.
Chelsea Lately was the least funny person on stage. I guess her job is to be a b**** to people? Well, actually that’s kind of funny. I really know nothing about her. If you’re reading this blog post, you either are reading this because you like my stories or because you found this blog post on a search engine by searching for Chelsea Lately tickets. So either way, I’m not going to explain who Chelsea Lately is because you either don’t care or already know about her.Chuy, her ‘little person’ assistant seemed funny. His job is to be the midget Andy Richter of the Chelsea Lately Show. At one point, Chelsea played this YouTube video of two ice-cream trucks competing over neighborhood territory (they pulled out baseball bats and started smashing each other’s windows). She says to Chuy, “Finish this sentence, Chuy… I scream, you scream, we all scream…”
And Chuy says, “During a plane crash.”
Scripted, but funny none-the-less.
VIEW THE ICE-CREAM TRUCK TURF WAR FIGHT VIDEO BELOW:
Back to the story…Nelsan EllisDuring a commercial break, the comedian panelists are escorted off stage and the podium is removed and replaced by two pleather seats and a rug. After the break, Chelsea introduces her guest, Nelsan Ellis, a handsome black actor best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s True Blood.
I haven’t watched True Blood since the first season, second episode because I hated Anna Paquin’s character, Sookie Stackhouse, and she’s the star of the show. So for that reason, I did not know who Nelsan Ellis was. By the way, if you’re more into the type of movies I watch–Anna Paquin also played Rogue in the X-Men movies.
Chelsea asked Nelsan how it was to play a homosexual guy on TV who is constantly being embodied by women. His answer was, “It’s easy.. I just act like my Mama does!” and he snaps his fingers in a “7” motion.
Nelsan seemed like a nice, respectful guy. At one point he said, “I’m nervous.”
Chelsea asked, “Why are you nervous?”
“Well,” he said, “I’m nervous to be here. I’m a fan of yours!”
Here’s the clip below (brought to you by Hulu.com):
Then they started talking about a documentary he was working on that addressed homosexual teen suicide. The purpose of the video was to educate gay teens about how life improves after high school. This is the point that I questioned Chelsea’s intelligence when she replied, “That’s cool. I’m a big supporter of stuff like that.”
Next comes her segment on recognizing special talents among her staff members. A tiny lady comes out and says that her talent is she can sing like Macy Gray. I guess. It wasn’t that good, but this girl got her 20 seconds in the limelight.
“Okay, go home now”
Then just like that the show was over. Almost 4 hours of standing in line to watch a show that they filmed in literally 24 minutes flat. I expected them to shoot several takes of each scenes while we, the audience, would laugh just as hard each time we heard the same joke. But that didn’t happen. They filmed the entire show without interruption start to finish. Right after the panelist segment was over, they all gather behind Chelsea Lately and she films the promo for the show in one take.
While I thought Chelsea was okay, I did enjoy the experience of watching the taping of an E! television show. As I mentioned earlier, I was definitely surprised at how quickly they filmed the show.. and only in one take! Overall, I am glad I went. The show aired on Friday, 6/22/2012 – Chelsea Lately Season 6 Episode 90.
Message to Chelsea Lately.. everyone else can stop reading
Chelsea Lately, did I get the wrong first impression of you? Invite me on your show and change my mind.