Jun 14 / 2011
The trip to the Jimmy Fallon Show started Sunday afternoon. Flying in a spacious exit row is the way to go.... especially when Michael Condrey is sitting next to you. You need all the distance you can get. The food was excellent, service good, but Condrey's incessant whining and crying every time we hit a little turbulence drove me crazy. Finally somewhere over Idaho I hit him over the head with my dinner tray. When he woke up three hours later I told him a piece of luggage fell out of the overhead bin.
We landed at JFK around 10 pm EST, waited for Condrey to grab his Hello Kitty suitcase he had checked in and found our driver.
I believe our driver's name was Al, a happy fella with a thick NY accent. After about 15 minutes of driving, Al hated Condrey too. 10 more minutes and Al pulled the cab over and kicked Condrey out. Reluctantly I went too because I knew Condrey would get mugged. Luckily we were only blocks from our hotel.
The next day Monday we headed to NBC in the heart of the city by Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center and 30 Rock.
We went around 2:30 for rehearsals, signed some papers and got ourselves acquainted with the studio. Our great crew of Mike Mejia and Josh Selinger had been there since the morning setting up the equipment and playing the build since we were playing live. We were shown a tiny room that said "Modern Warfare 3 The Jimmy Fallon Show" on the door.
Crazy little room, maybe 7 foot by 7 foot, with cereal boxes on the wall and little toys and trinkets glued to the walls, light switches, whatever and a very ornate paint job. It was so weird that it was cool. This was our own dressing room. There were three blue guest bags for us with a signed thank you note from Jimmy, a mug and tee shirt.
Down the hall was the "Green Room". This is where we really hung out. It was supplied with food and drinks and they even did a special delivery to Starbucks for us. They were fantastic hosts and everyone we met had a smile on their face.
Eric Hirshberg, Robert Bowling, and I rehearsed a few times. We observed where we would stand, where the monitors were and how the 6 or 7 minutes would play out. Then Jimmy came out in street clothes to do a final rehearsal. He's a great guy in person just like he is on the show; personable, creative and really funny.
As the time drew closer to the actual taping, the halls started getting louder as they filled with people. The producers were running around, the bands were playing and the talent started arriving. Will Smith was there with his wife who was a guest as well. He drew a crowd and Eric had a conversation with him.
Just before we went onstage we had to go to the makeup room. They put some on Condrey, even though he wasn't on air, because he requested it. He was in there for about 20 minutes. He came out looking like a bean pole with a plastic Barbie head glued on.
We all waited in the green room. There was John Rafacz, our senior PR guy who along with Josh set everything up and did a wonderful job with Mike Mejia, Robert, myself, Eric..... and Barbie.
Eric practiced and fine-tuned his lines, but he's pretty much a natural at it as well as passionate about what he's saying so he was just basically doing it for timing.
Time is very precious live so every word needs to be right. We watched live in the Green Room the show and saw all the skits and the guests. It was surreal and very exciting. Nobody was even nervous.
Simon Pegg then went on and we knew we were next. Robert, Eric, and I walked onto the stage. I could hear Condrey in the Green Room crying because he wasn't on the show. We walked out during a commercial, took our places and got a little powder to stop the shining on our faces.
Cameras were all around, the band was playing and the crowd was cheering. Walking onstage was such a cool and memorable moment. I'll never forget it. Jimmy was great and made us feel right at home. Our bit went just as rehearsed. The time went in a flash without a hitch. Immediately after our bit we quickly got a group picture with Simon and Jimmy. And before we knew it our time was up and we walked off stage.
We did a quick little interview for the show's blog just as the show was ending. Backstage after the show was a flurry of people running around, the bands carrying their instruments. I felt bad for Condrey because nobody, not even the security guard, would sign his tee shirt.
We left the building feeling great. We'd had our few minutes of fame on national TV, met some great people and showed MW3 which we're so proud of. And to top it all off, Jimmy loved playing it!
I love being in the game industry.
Highlights of the show's full episode can be found at http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com
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