Let’s get one thing out of the way: I am a social media whore. I know this. I live it. I embrace it. I am ok with it. Your approval is neither requested nor required.
Facebook is for keeping up with friends, families and those people who need to know I survived them and life is good.
Twitter is for ranting, praising, promoting
and discussing spoilers in detail of a show, movie or book I am enjoying.
Instagram is for validation that my meal looks good, my gym workout produced sweat or that I am having a better time than you.
And now I have been introduced to Periscope… holy shit there is nothing more “real time” than this new form of media that is taking over my life. (I added Periscope to my phone the night Ron Funches was under the table during the filming of Undateable and was using the app to show fans what it looked like from his perspective – WHAT?!?)
Ok… now that THAT is out of the way, on to my blog…
My fascination with TV shows is entirely the result of spending “quality time” with my Ma during primetime every night while growing up. Up until Archie Bunker, all taped sitcoms (situational comedies, if you didn’t know) used “canned laughter” – the prerecorded stuff to let the audiences at home know that this shit right here is funny. With Archie Bunker, taping in front of live audiences was introduced and a whole new dynamic was offered to the viewers at home. One of my all time favorite shows (most I watched as reruns) was The Carol Burnett Show. For over a decade into the 1970s, Burnett exposed the world to a variety show (a tad bit different from a sitcom – more like SNL) that introduced us to such classics as: Went With The Wind, Mr Tudball and Mrs Wiggins, The Family, Eunice, Kitchen Commercials, etc. I would watch the show with Ma and we would try to guess which actor would break character and have a fit of “the giggles” first. Burnett was joined by the likes of: Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, Tim Conway and Dick Van Dyke. They would bring these kooky characters to life and inevitably someone would miscue or catch the eye of their fellow actors – the grin would start, then maybe a chuckle and by the end of that skit the show would seem to go off script with inside jokes and funny-making that we, the audience, wished to be privy to. The whole thing made them seem more human. I loved that. A great example of that can be found in this video. The other thing that drew me in was the way Carol Burnett interacted with the live audience. At the beginning of a number of the shows, Burnett would have an unscripted Q&A with the audience. Some of the great clips from those interactions are in this video. Per wiki: The show was rehearsed each day until its two Friday tapings. Differently colored cue cards were used for each actor. The second taping was fairly routine until Tim Conway came aboard as a guest star. As a recurring guest star from the show’s launch and later a regular cast member, Conway provided unrehearsed bits to sketches that became known to the staff as “Conway’s Capers”. Conway would play the first taping straight, but ad-lib bizarre scenarios during the second. Conway’s favorite victim was Harvey Korman, who would often break character reacting to Conway’s zaniness. At the end of each show Burnett would tug her ear. This was a nod to her grandmother to let her know that she was always thinking of her.
Fast forward to present TV. I started watching Undateable and enjoyed the interactions between Brent Morin and Chris D’Elia. It felt very Odd Couple-ish (Klugman and Randal, NOT the newer one). They have a great chemistry that worked well off one another. I liked it. After the second season finale aired live, some genius with the organization decided this season would be live – beginning to end. I bought my ticket to that crazy train and hopped on board every Friday night to watch the insanity. It took me back to the Burnett show – never knowing what to expect, who was going to flub lines and the continual wondering of what was on script and what was adlib. During the season premier Brent Morin read out loud the telephone number of D’Elia’s character: 313-525-2014. I wonder, was that actually Chris’ real number or just one that was staged for the show? I have no clue but I can tell you I text that phone and I receive responses from the writers. The phone has an actual Twitter account: Danny’s Phone. I followed the show’s official Twitter account and realized that the writers are very active in social media (just my kind of people). So, I followed as many as I could find (Chris Luccy is my favorite – I don’t have 10 friends so he will probably never follow me on Twitter because it takes – 10 real life friends to watch the show for a follow – but I’m hoping this blog counts if enough people read it – HA!). Through Periscope I can watch live behind the scenes action during commercials breaks (their advertisers must bitch a little over that one – who would watch commercials when you can watch more of your new favorite show). There are also times when the actors are in the scene and are Tweeting, Periscope’ing and being totally involved with the fans that adore them. What a novel idea – to show your fans how much you appreciate them by constantly showing them attention. I like reading up on the actors I enjoy – that is when I discovered 15 Seconds of Shakespeare through David Fynn.
Ok. Enough of me gushing over what a great show this is – time for you to watch it! Tonight, at 8:00 (east coast) – they also film a second live show (west coast) in response to those fans that felt let down because their time zone was unable to see it, as intended, LIVE. Again – they love their fans and we love them right back!
And I will end my blog in Burnett fashion:
I’m so glad we had this time together
Just to have a laugh or sing a song
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, “So long.”
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch it. If you do, tell me what you thought in the comments. Who knows, if I get ten replies that might be enough for the ever elusive Luucy to follow me on Twitter. (Shut up! I started this blog with telling you I was a social media whore! Don’t act surprised!)