So I had a little bit of a different set up to the tech this week. You are all: why, why would you add something new the week you have a celebrity on? Me: because without fail this show changes every week. You might not see the change, but every week I try something different to make the show better.
I usually asked the actors to sign onto the zoom call 30 min before the show starts. Then sign into the game room so I can share the code with the audience. Then they can turn their camera off, walk away, get a drink whatever. But I know they are all in and my producer's brain doesn’t work overdrive.
Jay’s assistant text me that the link I sent wasn’t working. So I sent her the meeting id and she said that worked and he would be on after he goes to the bathroom. I was so excited…he was for sure going to do this.
He logs on and immediately I noticed he had no film set up. Not that this is a big deal, it just surprised me that this far along in the pandemic he didn’t at least have a ring light or a mic. This is when I first realized Jay Mohr does not do tech. It was 5:30pm his time when he logged in. Immediately we are all yelling at him directions. “Grab your phone” “Jay do you have your phone” “Jay log into your phone” we are all yelling “helpful” things at him. He starts rubbing his head back and forth. He looks frustrated. He said “Can just one person tell me the letters”. I step up, put my hand up for everyone else to shut up. I say “K as in Karen” and he smirks. This I think might be the only time I made Jay laugh at all.
We get him logged in. Then I say “Ok, turn your camera off I am going to start the stream”. He is not sure how to do that. OH BOY. I say with a Mom tone trying to teach her 9 year old a new word: “Jay, look at the bottom of the screen see how it says start video” he replies “It says Stop Video”. I say “Yeah yeah, now you hit that baby and wait for me to bring you back. Sit tight cool”
I do not wait for a response I start the stream. During the pre-show I usually am in the chat with the cast, checking the stream, and RTing the show. I was careful about what I picked this week. I knew how excited people would be about Jay seeing something they made. It was like we had him tied to a chair and we could pry his eyes open and force him to watch. To be honest, we can’t see each other during this part of the show, so as far as I know he could have got up and left the room. He does ask in the chat “When do I know to come on?” Someone told him, when Angie says your name. I didn’t see any of this going on because I was starting the show.
START OF SHOW
I start the show by introducing myself, trying to stimulate the chat, then into the comics. As I said before the show has evolved a lot. Now I ever everyone the same question after I introduce them. This week it was at Second City. I didn’t send Jay the question because of two things. 1. I didn’t want to bother him to try to write a joke for my show. 2. I figured I would turn it around and try to convince him to buy the Second City for me. Of course Jay and I have never Improvised together. So why would I assume after chatting with the guy over the phone that he would read my mind and know where I was trying to steer the bit? Because that is the kind of Claudia bish I am. Assuming everyone knows what I know in my head.
So I intro everyone one like I always do and ask them in some variation “Who do you think should buy the Second City?” They all say something fun, until we get to Mark and Mark wasn’t to have a therapy session live on air about our beloved home. I shout “FUN SHOW THIS IS A FUN SHOW” then move on. When I finally get to Jay I have written his bio. I didn’t ask him for one, there are a million online to pick from. But I wanted to let everyone know he was just a regular guy. You know a regular guy worth 8 million. So here is how I introduce him:
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a very special guest for you this evening. He is a life coach, a high school wrestling coach, and the newest owner of The Second City in Chicago please welcome Mr. Jay Mohr.
He comes on, I wait for him to mention the Second City. We have the ever so briefest of pauses. I launch into my first bit. I figured my running bit could be “I mistake him for other actors of his time” so I say:
“I loved you in Cobra Kai, sweep the leg, Johnny”. My thought on the bit was the actor is all blonde and 80’s icon . Jay was blonde once. This joke will work yes?
He picked up on the game right away. He launched into how he watched at home just like me…meaning he didn’t get the part…something like that. I got him, I knew he was hip to the game. The game meaning the set up of a pattern that will now run throughout the show to get laughs. We call it a runner. I felt relieved that we were on the same page. But then he said
“Why did everyone else get to do a joke and you guys are like roasting me?”
Shit, I thought, am I about to use Jay Mohr as a prop? Yeah I think I might be. I launch into the monologue. We have only one out of the four jokes are about Jay. Roughly here it is:
Jay Mohr is here with us tonight. We all drew straws before the show to decided who would be allowed to be pregnant by Jay Mohr and it is Steve Gadlin.
Quick side stop on this bit. This actually was us doing bits in our Facebook chat before the show. We have a chat with just the actors on the show. So we had a fun argument before about who Jay would get pregnant. Marz was pushing hard for Steve. I thought it was funny so threw it in. I feel like the bit landed ok, Jay and Steve played with it. Whew.
Jay use to be on (list of TV shows he has done) making this Twitch stream of 36 people the most popular show he has ever done.
Side stop. This was one of my writers jokes. I thought it was great because if we are gonna punch down at Jay Mohr we got to hit ourselves too.
After tonight Jay will write a new book called Gasping for Punchlines.
Side stop. Come on that is as soft of a ball as I could have thrown. I thought that was gentle ribbing. Maybe I am wrong, but I didn’t think anything up to this point was too hard.
We launch into the game. It always takes 3 or so minutes for everyone to warm up. I usually have to remind them it's ok to talk or I will never shut up. Silence is the enemy. So we are sliding into that sweet spot of doing bits but also talking over each other. It is a note I often get from my writers and from a producer who is interested in the show. But at this point I don’t feel like we need to “work on it” because this is still just for fun.
I think things are going ok. Jay loses his first round. He started to complain about the points. I said “Ok Charles in Charge take it easy”. This is the second bit I wrote for the runner. Tags would include a few Chachi jokes that we never got to. He starts “Oh what who am I in this Scott Baio…” he keeps going on but I only catch like ever few words because he is kind of far from his mic. He says the words “…am I the daddy in this.” and my brain sparked. I could easily piviot from the “not knowing who he is game” to the “fan girl flirty thing” hot second no problem. If it isn’t working I can always swing back or try to figure out another bit. I say “Jay I just want you to be my Daddy.”. Now what I don’t realize is I am doing something when I say this. Changing a slide or something and my face is off-camera. You can hear what I say, but it is really quiet. He replies “You do not want to open this door little girl, trust me”.
What happens next I only realized after rewatching the video. He tries to get me to say Daddy again. And I am honestly NOT catching it. He says “Hey Ang say that D word again.” So I say “Deez Nuts” because that is a show runner that comes back a lot. Then Mia says “Doppelganger” because we just had a question “Who is Jay Mohr Doppelganger?” I did not catch at all that he was trying to tee up a Daddy bit. I kept the show going. At some point I did call him Daddy again, but it was a while down the line and I think it caught him by surprise as if we had moved on from that bit. Ahhhh but I like to beat horses till they are good and dead and ready to be cut up and feed to my enemies.
He asks “Hey Angie do you always wear pigtails on the show?” I quickly reply “Why do you ask?” as I twirl one pigtail. Now I feel good about dropping the other bit because I feel like he has got to have some Daddy stuff in the cannon, he did a tour called Daddy Issues.
Also so side step. How often do you think mid 40’s housewives get hit on (hard stop) by someone they defiantly masturbated to as a teenager. Who is also a movie star and hot. Yeah doesn’t happen. So yeah I liked it. Prolly a little too much. My poor husband was exhausted by the end of the week both physically and emotionally if you catch my drift.
The show runs on and I know I have one more Jay Mohr joke in the cannon for the intermission game. I continue to play the “Am I a good girl daddy” bit to death. But he was getting frustrated. See unless you talk or make noise you don’t come up on camera for the audience. But we can see each other the whole time. So I saw him looking at this phone rubbing his head back and forth. He throws out a “How do the points work”. I think this actually stumped all of us. I don't’ think any of us ever thought about the points. The game was just background so we could do bits. But Jay is an athlete so he must (I assume) be competitive. He wanted to win and he wanted to know how to maximize that win. I could feel us all stammering to try to answer. I keep the show going and figured everyone else would fill in the blanks. He starts asking more questions. “How do I know who I am voting for, can I vote for myself?” FUCK I should have done a rehearsal. I should have insisted on a 10 video call. Now we have to spend time trying to get him up to speed. FUCK FUCK FUCK.
Steve steps in. “Jay, we don’t know who we are voting for till the points are tallied” I keep the show going. Besides me reading questions we all get silent. Jay says “Jesus I didn’t think this was a get off my lawn moment”. He is not having fun I can tell. We basically all just start talking on top of each other like he just struck out at the little league game. “Hey, the points don’t matter” “Don’t worry about it” “It’s fine Jay don't’ worry”. None of us were answering his questions. We knew the break was coming soon. We push to the end of the first half of the show. Matt wins. As his prize, he gets to pick two people to play the intermission game. He picks Jay and Sommer. This is also Matt's first time in the game so he only really knows me and Sommer. And I can tell Sommer is very high. So this is gonna go swell.