THE OTHER SHOW (TMS)...
Mendez Tour of The Ed Sullivan Theater and Taping
We exit back up the aisle and down the stairs to the lobby. The audience is
led through the theater and out the side doors onto 53rd street. We turn
right, instead of left, and tell the page that is blocking the route,
Tony wants to see us. She lets us pass by and I drag Sharon down the aisle
towards Tony with (TMS Producer) Walter Kim on the digital video camera
shooting the Tony Mendez Show. Tony begins talking to us and Sharon is
speechless. Tony has fun and shows her when to talk, when the microphone is in
front of her. I pull out a gift for Tony. (I had decided while planning the
trip that Tony could use a genuine Tony Mendez Show mug. It
could be used on the TMS to hold the microphone.) I told
him that he could place the microphone in his new mug and his mug lit up. We
had totally surprised him. The screen shot of the mug was used to promote our
appearance on the TMS. We proceeded onstage
and took the required pictures of us behind the desk. Sharon sat
the guest seat that Warren had occupied during the panel segment. I sat behind the desk and acted like I
was interviewing her.
I first decline the offer of coffee. I was already
so excited I told them I would never sleep if I
had coffee. Pat and Tony shared it was indeed decaf.
Sipping it, I realized I was actually drinking
the same exact brew Dave had for the show.
Alan takes a sip. It placed us in a
very small group in time, at least, for the moment.
Okay...special for the Dave is "god" group. Hey,
Dave does have this thing about lists of ten and
the coffee sharing may rate as communion.]
We are introduced to Corky Ramirez
while in the green room. Pat shows Tony something new. It's a wall located
within a closet where mannequins are
stored. We have seen these body parts on the TMS. Pat informs us there used to be a door Jackie Gleason used for access to Studio 54 a number of years ago. Tony is impressed
by this bit of information. It's cinder-blocked now,
done when the renovation of the Ed was made for the Dave. Next stop is the
control room with dozens of monitors, switching boards and computers.
***[George makes his second appearance.
He shared he didn't mean to leave so quickly earlier
in the tour. I look up and there is a band member.
Sid...right there on my left is... Sid. It was like the moment I realized Will
Lee was standing next to me on the curb. I no sooner shake his hand than
Anton appears right behind him. Anton. Zippy was right there in front of me
too. It was just something that didn't seem real. These
people would just seem to pop up right in front of me. Chez stops in and visits every so
often in alt.fan.letterman. Alan talked with him about the newsgroup.]
Sid is there and we are
introduced to Anton. Sharon talks to
him. Alan Cheznovitz appears and I thank him for his insights and answers he
provides us in afl. He makes a comment about how he doesn't have a
life because he posts there. I tell him that we are worse, we post every day.
Felicia comes out of the green room with a small posse and Tony goes in and
brings a basket of cookies. He offers us some, I touch one and put it back
and he yells at me about doing that & makes me take it back. Just before
Tony heads us out the door, Pat said to wait one minute, he wants to get
something to give us. He returns with a script from the show.
***[Before we go through the door, leaving the big Ed area, I ask Tony
if I may touch him. He is a real "Untouchable Host" on the "TMS." He
grants permission and gives me a wonderful, real hug. He tells me the
tour is not over just yet. We then go through a door. A tiny
little room outside the second green room. I forgot that Walter
has the camera running. At some point, Walter said he was almost
out of tape. He had been recording most of the tour. It is time to go
back to the world outside. There are still guests in the room. Tony grabs
the basket and treats us to cookie time. Pat returns with a
show script and hands it to me. I look at Pat and thank him. I then hand it to Alan,
telling Pat...I will give it to Alan because he has people to share it
with. Pat then raised his eyebrows and tells Alan he had better
not see it on eBay. Good-byes were said and out the door we go...I throw a
kiss to Walter. I know there is a crowd of people outside the door. I know
this because we exit around them--they are all very quiet. Tony yells at us
to get a life...I yell back, "You too."
I am in a daze.]
Tony says goodbye to us and as we go out the door, notices that it is
raining and asks if we have umbrellas. We don't and he says to just get in
the limo that is waiting to take Warren. I protect the script from
the precipitation and leave, thanking Tony for the experience. The door
closes behind us and as we walk towards the fans waiting behind the
barricades, Tony shouts out "Get a life" to our laughter and confusion of
those waiting in the rain. I must say,Tony Mendez is truly an extremely
fine human being, no matter what the staff says. He made our trip to the show
one that will never be forgotten and we truly appreciate all that he did. It was
an extraordinary experience.
***[Everyday I remember something else that happened...something that was said or a moment that crossed my mind. There
was no hurry in the tour. I look back at the photo of the Ed stage and I
see Pat Farmer there. He is touching something on the floor as he was setting up
the ghost light. No dark theaters allowed. I don't
remember Pat leaving us on the tour. He had to have left us, because he was
there on the stage in the photo.]
We go past the office door and Dorothy of Security (from a TMS episode) is
there. We pass by and stroll to Kinko's to post the Psychic LSQG. With that,
our secret will be out that we were at the show.