"Are you ready to make some television?"
I was a kid in a candy store...no a flippin' candy factory.
The Jeopardy College Championship is shooting in Madison this weekend and I attended tonight's taping.
My friends Adam, Liz and I arrived at around 6 and because we had VIP tickets (Thanks Adam!) we were routed around the extremely long line and into the Kohl Center. We were told to turn our phones entirely off ( not silent, not vibrate, OFF!) androuted through a security screen. It was almost worse than the airport because there weren't posted signs telling you what to do. There were bottle necks everywhere. We made it through and got to the VIP holding line. After 10-12 minutes we were ushered into the arena.
The Kohl Center was outfitted with a gorgeous set that looked like a traditional college building, complete with porticos, ivy and trees. The Badgers play basketball and hockey in the Kohl Center but you'd never know. Red and white drapes covered seats, boxes, and the jumbotron. You could hardly tell where you were.
Anyway, Jonny warmed up the crowd and told us about when to be quiet and when to go nuts. Unfortunetely, there were some drunkies in the upper tier who missed the announcements. They cheered everytime the student from Wisconsin got a question right. Loved the enthusiasm, hated the crowd noise.
The show was great, just like you see on TV. Instead of commercial breaks, Alex Trebek would come into the audience for a few minutes and answer questions from the crowd. Too bad no one had good questions. My favorites were the ones when Alex cut lose. He's a pretty funny guy. Very long winded and kind of introspective for a game show host, but I bet he'd be a fun grandpa.
Anyway. These were actual interactions:
Audience Member: How do you stay so fit?
Audience Member: (Yelling!) You da man!
Trebek: How do you know I'm the man? The surgery must have been a success.
So we saw two shows tonight. We clapped, we laughed, we cheered and we reveled in just how old Johnny Gilbert really is. You can't really improve on that.
The College Championship episodes start on May 5th.