Uncategorized

Daytime talkshow guests – Diary part 2 

Doug Baty outisde the studio

A disclaimer. This diary is not going to be long; not from laziness, but actually due to the fact that I got promoted to associate producer within six weeks of starting. My time working as a PA was short lived, yet crazier then most other times I had in television. Besides getting the office in order, being the go to person for every whim of every other person in the office, well except for the receptionist, answering the phones to troll for guests for such shows as, “My mother needs a makeover”, we also had to deal with the PA groupies. These people had no idea who we were, but they loved us just for answering the phones at the show. We were the gatekeepers, our one bit of power. Without fail they would call, to chat, to give ideas, try to score free trips to NY. In between our fans, and potential show guests we also had to deal with the jokers who called to harass. “Your show sucks.” “Did Carnie eat Ricki?” “Go sing your fuckin songs.” It was mean tweeting, long before both Twitter and Jimmy Kimmel. With all this insanity, by far the highlight of the job was dealing with the actual guests. A mix of real people looking for their 15 minutes of fame and interesting characters who were pseudo celebrities. The six weeks in the trenches were like nothing else.
As my reign as PA was short lived, following is a week by week highlight of the times.  
The highlight of my guest encounters started in week one with Bubbles, the 400 pound wannabe stripper who wanted to spice up her sex life by performing a lap dance for her husband. Being that this was a debut show we pulled out all stops including having a fine bathroom fixture store send us a beautiful old bathtub, the ones with feet, because I convinced them that the publicity would be great for them. It wasn’t. All I recall from show is a woman in a loose fitting teddy grinding on her husband in a bathtub fit for a king. It was a fiasco, a travesty and the only thing from the first day of taping that made it to air. Thank you Bubbles, wherever you are. 
While week two was calm, things certainly picked right up in week three. I was assigned a show that had booked Doug Bady, someone who if he wasn’t, should have been a “wack pack” member of Howard Stern. On the Stern show he was got locked in a trunk on the streets of NY, pleaded with people to let him out then proceeded to scream at them when they attempted the rescue. Doug was a comedian with muscular dystrophy who once claimed that Jerry Lewis attacked him in his wheelchair. He hung out with Sam Kinison. What he was doing on our show, I have no idea. So Doug was scheduled to fly in and be driven to the hotel, standard talk show fare. I knew things were not going to be “normal” when we got a call that Doug was so drunk on the plane that they rushed him by ambulance to the nearest hospital. And of course the only logical person to go to the hospital to retrieve him was the PA, namely me. So there I was, a limo waiting outside, me with a passed out Doug Baty trying to get him discharged. Fortunately my legal prowess came into play and I got Doug out of the hospital, into the car and finally into bed at the hotel. Bright eyed and bushy tailed he was there the next day. My heroics saved the show and more importantly my job for another week.  
Week four saw myself and a fellow PA with conflicts that required us to be out of the office for a day. I was still representing a plaintiff in a breach of contract case for several million dollars. There was a motion for summary judgment that needed to be argued so off I went to court. The guy next to me needed to finish his gym class to graduate college so off he went with his short shorts. We both were successful. 
Week five had a show that escapes me now, but the guests certainly do not. The producer decided to book these flakey guests who were supposed to come up from Philly. Flakey guests are the ones who you give at best a 50-50 chance of showing up. To improve the odds that these mensa members made it to the show, myself and another PA were enlisted to take a limo down to Philly to pick them up and drive them back to NYC. When we got there, there were four of them, one more than there were supposed to be. The other guy was coming or they weren’t getting in the limo. So now we were six. The only other thing I remember about that ride was that I was the only one sober. The trip ended at the hotel in the city when we said goodbye to our loud new friends and delivered them to the waiting PAs at the hotel. All efforts went to naught when we found out early the next morning that they had beaten up the PA sleeping outside their room and took off.
I had shown I could handle the job. An opening for an Associate Producer opened up, there was lots of turnover, and I grabbed it. No longer a PA, my relationship with the guests had changed…but that’s for a different day.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s