Kristin and I just got back from our LA trip to promote several shows that will be on Tulsa’s Channel 8 starting in September. (Full disclosure: Kristin is actually still in SoCal for a little R&R. Hey, it’s rough mixing it up with the stars.) Hit game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will be back on 8 next month, so the station sent us out West to rub elbows with Alex, Pat and Vanna. Yeah, we’re on a first name basis now. We also tossed in a new ABC sitcom called “The Neighbors”.
As soon as we touched down, photojournalist David Peterlinz, our promotions guru Larry Nitz, Kristin and I headed for the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. The plot for “The Neighbors” sounds interesting. A family buys a home in an exclusive New Jersey town home community. Hidden Hills is so exclusive that a house hasn’t come on the market in 10 years. But one finally did and the Weavers got it! It’s clear from day one that the residents of Hidden Hills are a little different. They all have pro athlete names like Reggie Jackson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Dick Butkus and Larry Bird. Over dinner, the Weavers discover that their neighbors receive nourishment through their eyes by reading books, rather than eating. Here’s a picture I took of their refrigerator. It’s full of books!
The Weavers learn that all their neighbors are aliens from Zabvron, where the men bear children (I’ve passed two kidney stones. Does that count?) and everyone cries green goo from their ears! You’ll recognize one of the stars, Jamie Gertz. She was in Twister. The girlfriend who was scared to death of tornadoes, and said ‘I’m out of here’. Yeah, that one. “The Neighbors” will air on Wednesday nights.
We had some free time that night, so our group headed for Hollywood to take in Jimmy Kimmel Live.
We spent about 45 minutes in the Green Room before watching the taping of the show from the audience. Gordon Ramsey, Jordin Sparks and Andy Grammar were Jimmy’s guests. Afterwards Kristin and David wanted to hang out in the alley to see Jordin Sparks as she left.
I spotted Catwoman, and got a picture with her instead. Purrrfect!
The next day we headed to Sony Studios in Culver City, where they tape Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. I met Alex Trebek 10 years ago when Jeopardy! was in New York City taping its 4000th show and the Tournament of Champions. Alex didn’t remember me. (And I thought he knew everything.)
Jeopardy! is entering its 29th season with Alex Trebek as host! I chatted with him about his health (his second heart attack recently). He says he’s doing fine. Trust me, he is smart. It helps to have a team of researchers and writers.
We watched the taping of several shows. One of the contestants was from Oklahoma. (I’m sworn to secrecy, so don’t ask how she did.) I think the show(s) she’s on will be on sometime in November.
The following day the gang went back to Sony Studios, where right next door to Jeopardy! is Wheel of Fortune (now entering its 30th season). As soon as we got there, Kristin and I shooting promos for future Channel 8 shows. (Note: If you’re ever on the show, the Wheel is harder to spin than you may think.)
The Puzzle Board is bigger than I thought. This was a nice touch:
Kristin and I talked to Pat Sajak and Vanna White before the show tapings. Did you know Vanna has worn more than 5000 gowns over the years? And she’s never worn one twice! I mentioned that to Pat and he said he too has never worn one of Vanna’s gowns more than once.
Betcha you didn’t know that Pat Sajak was a weatherman in LA before Wheel. I used to watch him during college in the 70′s.
You’ll start seeing all of our promos and stories on our LA adventure in the coming weeks on Tulsa’s Channel 8.
By the way, it wasn’t all work and no play for us. We hit the beach late one afternoon.
Drove up the Hollywood hills on another day.
And even ran into Chris and Becky Lincoln where Route 66 ends. It sure is a small world.
Here are a few more pictures of our trip. Enjoy!