Thursday, 15 May 2008

Live Studio Audience

Today I was part of the kind of live studio audience television shows pushing authenticity and verisimilitude are so fond of.
The Hour is an interview-style show which runs on weekdays in Canada (though Fridays are recaps). It has probably been the only Canadian show I've watched with any regularity, and succeeds in pulling in top names for anything-goes style chats which run about 10-12 minutes. Richard Branson, Alan Alda, Tony Blair, people like that. Videos online here:

Today it was some famous-in-Canada singer who looked fresh from the Britpop cookie cutter: curly unkempt hair, skinny jeans, sneakers, wrinkled T-shirt, Diesel jacket. The clips they showed were appallingly derivative, but you wouldn't think so from the dog-whistle screams of the girls behind me.
Part of the same episode but taped earlier in the day was an interview with the director of 'Groundhog Day', 'Ghostbusters', and other yesteryear Bill Murray vehicles. He spoke mainly about his childhood flight from Nazi Europe and his son, who directed 'Juno' and 'Thank You For Smoking'.

Sprinkled throughout the taping, and especially at the end, was Q&A time with the host, a clear-eyed frontman called George last-name-Greek-and-unspellable. The audience was maybe 100 people, so we got a decent back-and-forth going on. I asked about bias, authenticity, culture, and comedy. Other people were more focused on former guests, and on their own personal soapbox issues.
As with any corporate event with plebs from the street, giveaways ran at a rapid clip. I won two T-shirts, a travel mug, and a magnetic bottle opener. I gave away my third shirt but then swapped it for the mug, literally taking it from the hands of the poor guy next to me; I was an Indian-giver (First-Nations-giver in Canada). My second magnetic bottle opener found a home with the 50-year-old woman on my other side. She seemed nonplussed.

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