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THROUGH A HEAD BLINDLY
14 February 2010
Today was day #1. We got up and went to Denny's (which is in the parking lot here) for breakfast, and then got on the freeway and drove the 50 miles to Pomona, to Claremont College, where the first Says You tapings were to be held. It was an absolutely glorious drive, with clear blue skies, green hills and snow-capped mountains.
We arrived very early and found a place to park right across from the theatre. We walked up to the building and there was nobody around except one guy who looked vaguely familiar.
This was the antisocial guy we saw at the taping last year, who kept his earphones on, and his eyes lowered all the time and refused to talk to anybody, but who was darn sure he was going to be first in line when the doors opened.
We laughed about running into him again...but then realized that he could just as easily be laughing at us for the same reason!
We went to the college cafeteria and I got an egg salad sandwich, which really wasn't any good. I don't think they used any yolk, for one thing. It just tasted weird.
When we got back from the cafeteria, antisocial guy had moved up to the doors of the theatre. Obviously he was determined to be first inside this year too!
We had assigned seats for this performance and I was pleased to see that we were in a great location.
Then the row in front of us filled up and this was my new view.
I must explain that the two panels sit on the stage in "stereo" format, with the two scorekeepers (usually kids) in the middle. On the left side (or "stereo right," as host Richard Sher explains each week) are Carolyn Fay Fox, Arnie Reisman, and Paula Lyons. "Stereo left" are, from left to right, my friend Tony Kahn, for whom I transcribed a bunch of stuff with a great group of people last year. Next to him is Francine Ackbar and next to Francine is Barry Nolan. Got that?
I could see Carolyn, Arnie and Paula OK, but Big Head's hair blocked Tony completely and blocked half of Francine. Barry was in the clear most of the time. It didn't work to tilt my head to the left when she was blocking Tony because in front of her was a guy about 8 feet tall, who blocked Tony completely even if Big Head had briefly moved her head. At intermission, the tall guy didn't come back and I thought I had a fighting chance but even when Big Head moved her hair and it was clear to Tony, there was a big microphone on a stand that covered all of his face except his chin. So I know he was there. I heard him, but I didn't see him at all. It was like...you know...listening to the radio.
But the show was so much fun. Every year I wonder if it's worth it coming all this way...and every year I laugh so much and enjoy myself so much that I'm always ready for the next year.
Walt guesstimated that this place seated about 1500 people and it was pretty much full, so I guess we are definitely part of a geek cult.
There was a beautiful sunset as we drove back to Sherman Oaks on the freeway.
We stopped by the motel for half an hour and then drove out to meet our friend Michael for dinner. He promised us a "hole in the wall" but with "the best barbeque in the world." He was right on both counts, especially the great name!
Tomorrow's tapings are back at the Skirball
Cultural Center, just a hop, skip and jump from the motel here. It's a
much smaller venue (only 350 seats), so we'll have to be sure to be
early...and there is a raked floor so I have a fighting chance of maybe
seeing Tony this time.