First up, a crack-of-dawn ride to the studio, a cute plate of mini bagels and hair and makeup. It's a rough life in the big city! A few more minutes in the green room (it's tan ... and has great chairs!) but now it's time to head down to the studio. After being all over the unassuming office building, the studio creeps up on you from nowhere! It's a lot smaller than it seems like on TV -- but super-cool!
Before the show, One Funny Mother Dena Blizzard warms up the crowd with a dance contest (my team, Team Tweet Seats, won, all thanks to music student Keegan and no thanks to me!) Next up, Martin Short and Anderson head out to chat the First 15.The pair banter back and forth, with Martin declaring that tonight's presidential debate won't be more interesting than the Emmys, and Anderson claiming, after having been involved in a few debates, that the candidates must have Botox under the arms because they just don't sweat! The rest of the First 15 covers topics all across the board, like the hilarious (and soon-to-be-failed) Ostrich napping pillow, campaign flip-flops and Chia Pets, and autographing an audience member's impressively long nails. Dena Blizzard also does a great job acting as stage manager Kevin's righthand woman, expertly cueing the crowd.
One of the things that struck me most about Anderson Cooper is how approachable, personable and genuine he is. You see this played out on air, of course, but there's always the chance that it's an expertly crafted facade. Not so with Anderson. During Q&A, Anderson notices an audience member in the front row who has visited frequently with her mom, asks about her and learns she has passed away. A genuine hug from Anderson follows -- what a class act! At many other points throughout the taping he's completely candid, like the moment when he's alerted to the fact that his "barn door is open" and then shares that with the rest of the audience once he fixes the, er, situation. At one point, he even drops an F-bomb (while play-acting the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion) -- a bit shocking from this lovable character but totally endearing because it just goes to show how genuine he is, at every moment!
During Q&A sessions, we had to pose some of our own burning questions, including:
What's Anderson's take on Honey Boo Boo?
Martin jumps in and says she's a case for gay marriage! Anderson is slightly taken aback, and comes out in defense of Honey Boo Boo -- at least she's portraying a real-life family, unlike the Kardashians! And now we've just found out that Anderson takes a healthy dose of Tosh.0 and The Soup to get his reality fix. That's how he fits in an hour of TV a day.
Is Anderson on #TeamTeresa or #TeamMelissa?
Anderson politely declines to take sides on #RHONJ (he's a fan, it seems!), then proceeds to act out his favorite parts of last Sunday's reunion. If you didn't realize how ridiculous they were, you'll really know it once you see Martin and Anderson act it out!
Anderson's mom used to put special nail polish on his nails to help him stop biting them ... and he just licked it off. Same here -- I now share a bizarre connection with the Silver Fox!
Lab coats are on and Anderson and Martin are ready to test some of the craziest infomercial products out there. First up, pedicure booties get a thumbs-down all around, but have successfully distracted Martin. Time for the Egg Cracker, because apparently cracking eggs is horrendous -- 20 percent of Good Housekeeping's readers thought this was a problem that needed solving! Sometimes the shells go in ... that's a fail in our book! The better option might be audience member Denise's incredibly long, and autographed, nails. Next, the Snuggie. In case you hadn't guessed, not a hit, either. The No. 1 choice: a manual onion chopper that actually chops evenly. Saves time, just takes brute strength!
Being able to attend the taping of Anderson Live was such a great experience. The crowd was enthusiastic and the gal I sat next to even secured a spot on a future episode. The entire crew is super-helpful, and again, it just goes to show you how down-to-earth AC really is!
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