I Met A Dude In A Studio

I don’t have any photos to collaborate this story, so you’re just going to have to trust me that it happened.

When I met up with Kurt for drinks Monday evening he asked if I wanted a tour of The Tonight Show studio. He may as well have asked me if I wanted a million dollars. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.

I met Kurt after Wednesday night’s show. He took me back stage and showed me the different areas responsible for putting the show together. People were everywhere, as the taping had just concluded. At one point we were walking directly behind Questlove for about ten seconds. We didn’t have a chance to meet, but it was still cool to be so close to such a talented musician. I specifically remember his red sneakers. They matched his bowtie. The dude’s got style.

Then we ended up on the stage. We didn’t stand in the audience section and look down at the stage. We were standing on The Tonight Show stage. The desk, couch and the gorgeous New York Cityscape behind them were directly in front of me. It was surreal, and somewhere I never in a million years thought I would have the opportunity to be.

I was about to ask Kurt if I could experience siting on the couch, but am glad I didn’t, as two seconds later Jimmy Fallon walked out on stage. He was giving a tour to some old family friends who had been in the audience for the show. Jimmy came up to Kurt, smiled and warmly shook Kurt’s hand. He then gave me a glance before returning to his guests. It happened so fast that all I could do was stand there and look like the tourist I was. I’ve been wondering ever since that moment if I should have put my hand out and tried to introduce myself. I’m pessimistic by nature, but I’m going to go “glass half full” this time and be thankful that I had the opportunity to see him up close and personal, and that I didn’t geek out and do something stupid.

By the way, in case you were wondering, he’s actually skinnier in person.

The last major highlight of the tour was visiting the control room. Have you ever watched Sports Night? It’s exactly like their control room, except the individual screens have been replaced with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling connected LCD monitors that are simply gorgeous to look at. I did end up geeking out about those, but only because no was else was in there with us.

A few rooms later and the tour was over. Kurt had to grab a quick bite to eat and then get back to work, as I believe he had some additional camera work to complete. I thanked him for his generosity as many times as NYC law allowed and then headed back to my hotel. It was a truly awesome experience, and one I will never forget.

- Ben


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