Going to a show taping: The Weekly with Charlie Pickering

On Sunday I was on twitter, minding the business of everyone in my newsfeed, when a tweet popped up, letting me know that there were tickets available for this week’s taping of The Weekly, which aired on Wednesday July 22 at 8:30pm. I knew it taped in Melbourne, and had zero plans for the day, so I decided to go – Amy Schumer and Bill Hader’s presence was a deciding factor. Amy and Bill are here promoting Trainwreck, which has advanced screenings this weekend, but isn’t released in Australia for another two weeks. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to an advanced screening due to family and MasterChef obligations (FINALS WEEK!) – it’d be easier if there were afternoon sessions, but I’m definitely planning on seeing it.

This was not the first time I’ve been to the taping of a television show. I tried to get tickets to Spicks and Specks when it was on, but was unsuccessful, but I did go to a taping of Thank God You’re Here back in 2009. The main difference between going to a taping for a public broadcaster and a commercial broadcaster is that the commercial ones give you showbags. That’s it. I didn’t need a showbag, I got to watch television get made, and also I breathed the same air as Amy Schumer for maybe 20 minutes. The interview was edited for language, and several awkward moments that turned into a running gag of Amy taking Charlie down, and I loved it. Seeing the difference between the taping and the finished product was delightful:

The interview portion of The Weekly is in the middle of the show, but because Bill and Amy had such busy schedules, they filmed that first and edited it in, and the editing was seamless – the only reason I noticed it is because I was there. The spit take at the end of the interview took a while to clean up, and during that time the warm-up act, Danny McGinlay, arrived. He was late because he’d had the week off and hadn’t been to any meetings and also he drove back from Perisher, NSW during the day, which I’m fairly sure is the first time he’d seen snow in real life. I’d only seen it twice before I went to the US, and that wasn’t real snow. Danny and Charlie work really well together; Danny had a similar role when Charlie was working on The Project, and the way they bounce off each other is great. Kitty Flanagan also came out to chat to the audience before the interview and just afterwards when they were cleaning up the water, and every time I see Kitty Flanagan I love her more; her off-screen material was based around dishwashers, which in her opinion is the best invention in all of history, and if you don’t have one, she doesn’t want to know you.

The other interesting thing was seeing Charlie do some different takes; sometimes he misread the autocue, and others he just wanted to read a line a few different ways so they had a few to choose from in the editing bay. They also had to reshuffle the order of the show due to the spit take (Amy and Bill really did a number on them), so at the end he tried a few transition lines into the Tracy Grimshaw montage. After the taping was over, Charlie practised his monologue for the following show to test audience reactions. Since they don’t have the pictures to display on the monitors, the writer responsible for the monologue acts out the pictures they want to show. If you live in Melbourne and can get off work a little early on a Wednesday, I highly recommend going to see The Weekly: it’s free, it’s great fun, and you’re guaranteed to laugh. I might go back in a couple of weeks.

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