It’s not very often one gets the chance to attend a live taping of a popular sitcom, especially when that certain one lives in a different country than the country said sitcom is taped in, so you can imagine how “one” jumped at the opportunity when it presented itself.
Two and a Half Men, if you are something of a hermit, is a popular US sitcom created by Chuck Lorre the mind behind other hit sitcoms such as the Big Bang Theory, and Mike and Molly.
Starring the likes of Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Holland Taylor and sitcom veteran Ashton Kutcher, the show currently follows, primarily, the trials and tribulations of a billionaire, beach-side Malibu resident, of which there are apparently many.
Though, this particular piece of information is not of direct importance, as when I went to the taping the starring role was not taken by Ashton Kutcher, but rather none other than he with tiger blood coursing through his veins, the Rockstar from Mars himself (citation definitely needed on that one), Charlie Sheen.
It was roughly 7pm when the show itself began, and any of you who may be considering going to a taping in the future, heed my warning, take some personal entertainment, whether it’s a good book, a Nintendo DS, anything in-between or all of the above, between awaiting the shuttle to whisk us away to our destination, and sitting around in the studio itself, there was a lot of downtime.
Though, to their credit, whilst in the studio they did provide some entertainment, but that was nothing more than previous episodes played on overhead monitors and a comedian who stayed on stage for around 15 minutes prior to the show, and at random intervals to soak up time during. I’d tell you the comedian’s name, but I’ve made it a point to drum him out of my memory.
The show itself was honestly enjoyable, it definitely lived up the the phrase “once in a lifetime”, though, that’s only because I wouldn’t want to do it again.
It lasted somewhere in the regions of three to four hours, the actors having to meticulously play out every scene in several different fashions, delivering lines in different ways, with different facial expressions, different tones and inclinations to their voices, sometimes we were shown scenes they had already shot on the monitors affixed to the ceiling above us for the purpose of recording our laughter, it was more of an experiment than anything, but it was a fun one.
The crew don’t take it upon themselves to offer you any food or beverage, you have to provide for yourself in that department, and, over the course of the three or four hours, I dare say those among us that didn’t think ahead to bring food were a good portion of those that left.
I, however, thankfully did think ahead, and didn’t allow starvation to best me, and stayed to the bitter end, for which I am glad, mostly due to Jon Cryer’s antics.
Between scenes, a good deal of the actors would disappear backstage or simply stand around awaiting order, Jon Cryer, however, who plays the ever-unfortunate cheapskate Alan Harper on the show took part in a myriad of antics with the front row of the audience, the camera crew, and just about anybody he could get his hands on. In fact, I don’t think I would be entirely out of place in saying a sizable amount of the audience got more laughs from Jon’s genuine playful nature than the show itself, not to put the show down in any way, I am a fan, but Jon was a show in himself in his own right.
To summarize, though I don’t think I would ever go to a Two and a Half Men taping again, I had fun, and so did 90% of the audience, so I like to think would gladly venture forth to the taping of another Sitcom I enjoyed given the opportunity much like I did with Two and a Half Men.
And I would definitely go were Jon Cryer involved.