I LOVE how much Allison seemed to be enjoying herself here and how much she was laughing. It made me smile and laugh with her.
TMBJon wrote:1) This episode is, without question, the most Al-centric of the entire series. And perhaps his best ever acting performance.
2) Alicia (yankochick38) visited set the day we were shooting this episode! Hopefully she'll share her experience on set after seeing the episode.
I'm gonna reply to these in somewhat reverse order.
It was March of 2016. I think. I had bronchitis and allergies because it was spring and spring suuuuucks. However, I was already scheduled for a set visit that one weekend so I drank a bottle of cold medicine and was off to Glendale.
I should say that set visits are very uncommon and I essentially blackmailed my way into it for reasons I can't get into just yet. But you will find out why soon enough.
My mom decided to tag along for the trip to Burbank, and Grant Baciocco of Throwing Toasters picked us up at the Bob Hope airport, so already we were getting the star treatment. Grant drove us over to the infamous Comedy Bang! Bang! studio lot and parked right in front of the editing trailer and Jon came out to meet us. My memory is kinda fuzzy because it was a while ago and I was sick but here's a picture of us:
Okay so I am being told by Facebook that it was actually April 11th. I was sick for a while but I wasn't breathing on anybody so it was fine.
Jon showed us around a bit and actually took us inside to watch the filming since they were just filming Al's solo scenes at that point. I had been made aware of what exactly the episode was parodying beforehand so I watched those episodes of Family Ties (it's a two part episode and actually I accidentally watched the second part first and the first part second but I still saw it), so while Jon and my mom and Grant didn't exactly know what was going on I was just laughing at how right they got the set and how spot-on Al's acting and the parody itself was...except it was silent laughing. Because they were filming.
Grant actually realized he knew Stoney the director but Jon was saying how this day of filming was sooo different from any other day because it was really just Al, like, acting
, by himself, while everyone else was just kinda watching, including Scott. But also this meant that Stoney was paying special attention to stuff so he was busy too otherwise Grant would have said hi to him, but he just tweeted at him instead. After a little bit, Grant and my mom left and at some point Jon took me to the editing trailer because he had something to do there and I loaded up on cough drops but he also had to get me a cough drop at one point when we were back on set? Again, memory is fuzzy.
He also took me on a bit of a tour of the lot, so that was fun. I saw crafty and catering.
It really was a weird day to visit set because literally, the whole time I was there (and I was there at least a few hours, like more than that even), it was just Al acting on his own or else doing the flashback scenes. It was actually pretty crazy to watch the episode and watch that all go by SO FAST because literally you guys it took forever.
Or at least that's what it felt like to me. Honestly, on any other day, watching Al act on his own like this would have been fascinating enough to keep me enthralled for hours on end, buuut I was not feeling so good so after like 20 minutes of sitting in a chair innnn...you know that one corner of the CBB set where it's those bookshelves and it's separate from the like couch/bandleader part of the set? With that sign that says ASCOTS! (wait is that where the ASCOTS! sign is? I think so) That's where we sat. I kept asking if this one tiny cactus was real but Jon assured me it was probably real. We kinda hung out with some crew people who sat near us but mainly I just wanted to die?
I was very sick. That being said, I enjoyed myself immensely. I remember watching Al and being like, holy smurf, where did this acting ability come from??? Like no offense to Al, but this definitely felt like he'd learned a thing or two about dramatic acting since UHF and TWAS. See now that just sounds bad but I don't MEAN it as bad because he was so good
and I think I even told Jon like wow he's so good and I was so impressed with how good of a parody it was of the source material so I was just like, yes.
WAIT I JUST REMEMBERED
It's slowly coming back to me
Al is so cute you guys. He just wants everything to be perfect. I love him
If he messed up his line he would be like "sorry" and start over and that doesn't sound like much but if you saw him you would have been like aww omg
Also in between takes he would be practicing his lines to himself and I wanted to cry so hard forever
He was trying so hard you guys so I'm so glad you all liked it so much. Obviously his performance was influenced by my presence.
Also, before I went, Jon had told me that he would not introduce me to Scott. So I was like oh ok that's fine. Then when I was there Jon was like hey do you wanna meet Scott? And I was like oh ok that's fine. So Jon took me over to where Scott was sitting near video village and was like hey this is my friend Alicia she's a big fan of the show and I waved and Scott was like hold on. And he took out his phone. And he turned on the flashlight. And he shone it in my face. And he was like there now I have your face memorized. And I was like oh ok that's fine. I forget if we even shook hands or if anything else happened because that was like, the main thing, and it was enough to remember on its own.
Then at Lunch! Well okay, lunch on set is kind of an equalizer like everyone eats with everyone at lunch. We got food and Jon was having me meet everyone and I got formally introduced to all the editors and we had a discussion about Macklemore at the Cool Table, aka where all the editors sit. Stoney was on a phone call at one point but I still got to meet him for a bit and he was really cool and nice. Al was actually sitting a few feet away from me on the opposite side of the table eating (well more than a few feet but closer than he normally is sitting near me eating) and wait a minute. Was Mike Hanford there? No that doesn't make sense. But wait was he? It's been too long. My point is, that whole day I was in such close proximity to Al, but I never even said hi to him. And that was totally and completely fine with me, by the way! I've said hi to Al before and plus he was working but he was also like, one of the only people actively working #nonstop so I got to meet and talk to a whole bunch of people from CBB (or at least listen to them talk while I dealt with low-key anxiety and high-key bronchitis) and it was awesome. It was actually really cool that way because it almost felt like I was one of Al's peers rather than just some fangirl.
Also at one or two points during the day when we were outside I saw Al across the way like looking around and idk what he was looking at but it was fun to watch that. Shut up I was sick.
Also Drew Kordik aka MandatoryFun showed up towards the end of the day! Always good to see Drewbycakes.
Actually did we have cake??? I think we might have, there was some sort of dessert I feel like. There usually is. Was there candy or am I just remembering my cough drops weirdly
Oh hey let me tell you all a secret
You know those opening shots where it shows the exterior of the studio and it shows the CBB studio logo on the building?????? 100% real. It's too bad they have to paint over that now.
Jon if I'm missing anything out let me know, but I think that's about the gist of it. Al got so good at acting you guys I'm so proud of him he just wants everything to be perfect and live up to his true potential <3 It was so wild to just watch him like, work. At his job. As a person. And since I was in that like sick haze I just totally went with it like it was normal because it was
normal. So yeah, I didn't get to say hi to him or anything and I don't think he even knew I was there tbh, but it was still weirdly like the perfect day to visit the set of CBB as a CBB fan. If only I hadn't been so sick though!! Also I just remember Al sitting in that chair like with his legs over the arm and his back against the other arm you know and like looking at his phone, so normalizing. Also when you see his laptop at the bandleader station, that's his REAL laptop you guys. I feel like he had something about Hamilton up on there but perhaps that is too much information.
Then again it's Al so you should probably just assume he's keeping tabs on Hamilton constantly anyway.
Oh yeah also great episode!! The parts I was there for went SO fast but that's the magic of editing