Dick Cavett once wrote that if you want to have a stressful life, try doing a nightly network talk show. That isn’t the exact quote from his great 1974 book, but it’s pretty close. Last night Jeremy Piven was going to be delayed getting to the Kimmel show. The show had started, as in the show is underway and the main guest isn’t there yet. From the green room we watched the masters at their best, UNDER PRESSURE, and redefining the word “smooth”.
The green room vibe is cool, with a great pool table, guitar on the wall, open bar, a lot of good food and hipsters. The Red Sox game from NESN was playing in HD on the monitors when we walked in and got comfortable. Which brings up the irksome question, why can’t I get the RedSox in HD in NY instead of the stinky standard def on my cable’s MLB package (with the unbalanced color with the grass looking blue)? Someone on the couch answered my question with “Because of the power of the American Broadcasting Company here”, so I guess I had said it out loud. The monitor flips over to the show intro and we’re underway. Jimmy’s monologue killed and all seemed great till after the first break. No Jeremy. Denise Richards came out as first guest, and word around the room was that if Jeremy was able to get there they would flip around the order and structure each segment so Jeremy’s segment would be inserted at the front of the show later in post. Jimmy actually said before the next segment, “we’re going to do a time flip thing and then go back in time if Jeremy gets here.” Would he be able to get there? How would the show handle it if he didn’t and how would they fill the time? The answer is, these guys are masterful. After Denise’s segment, comedian Todd Glass filled extra time with what looked like some unplanned bits with Jimmy. It worked great. What was interesting was watching Jimmy do comedy and knowing what he must have been thinking, would Piven arrive? Would the show be strong enough without the structure they planned on?
Taping continued and with less than an hour till air on the east coast, applause erupted in the Green Room and Jeremy went on. They joke for a split second at the top of his segment about just making it on time, which you may not get because his part was inserted in the show first before Denise.
These guys are amazing, and my respect for Kimmel is even bigger now. A bunch of us get to voice a comedy bit every few days for him so last night we got to hang out and watch from the inside. It’s an honor. Dawn and I also want to thank Heather and the great Cecelia. I’m a big fan.