leno.

i think rusty and i had previously had the conversation about thinking it would be cool to get tickets for the tonight show, so i checked into it. i searched online, i made some calls, and i decided to go down to nbc early this a.m. to get non-guaranteed tickets. on the drive to burbank, dad told me that the days of leno hosting the tonight show were numbered, which i had not yet heard. i had my doubts we’d actually get in, but i thought i might as well try…
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i left burbank with 2 non-guaranteed tickets with the instructions to return around 2 to stand in line again. i wasn’t sure how this would work out logistically since rusty was flying into LAX at 12:45. could he get off the plane, snag his luggage, both of us grab something to eat, then head over to burbank, find parking, and make it there by 2? once again, i wasn’t so sure but now i was even more determined to try to make it work. it was now a personal mission–leno only being the host a few more times, and actual guests i wanted to see.

i got to LAX right on time, met rusty at baggage claim, waited on the luggage, then headed towards burbank. not surprisingly, i didn’t make it out of LAX without getting on the right road (it seems i can never follow the signs to get me where i want to go when i leave that place) so i took an alternate route to the valley. we made it to the studio just minutes after 2…to stand in line.
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we all stood in one central line until the ushers separated us into what seemed like 4 or 5 lines. we quickly assumed which lines held the guaranteed tickets and which did not…then we speculated if we thought we’d make it in. we felt pretty confident so we didn’t mind waiting. and made it in we did…along with only about a dozen or so in line behind us.

the tonight show taping did not disappoint.
we were seated in what seemed like a very intimate setting…each seat having a great view of everything around, except maybe the ones in front which were blocked by the large cameras filming the stage. leno came out before taping just to chat with the audience–to give us the drill, to answer any questions, and take a few photos with some of the guests. so down to earth.
kevin eubanks and the tonight show band began to take their place as john melendez came out to give final instructions and warm up the crowd.

then the taping started. 60 minutes, no more…insert commercial breaks while we were entertained by the band. it ran seemlessly…but i guess they do this everyday so they’ve got it down to a science.
the monologue.
dennis miller…hilarious. it was so entertaining to watch he and leno bantering back and forth. at some times, it seemed that he was the host and having his own monologue…funny!
friedo pinto…beautiful. she was just like you would have expected. humble, down to earth, genuine, sweet. the more she talked, the more i wanted to see slumdog again…and when we saw the clip, it was over. i’m going to own it…
ar rahman…A-mazing!! what talent, what passion, what else is there to say? at the close of the show, they open up a thrid “secret” stage where he performed the oscar-nominated song “jai ho.” and let me say that it wasn’t just a solo performance…the band, the singers, the indian-inspired setting, the dancers. totally a must see (just click on thurs feb 19)…

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