Pop Culture Clash
by Chris Pierce
A TV Taping of ABC’s “The Chew”
On Monday May 9th my wife, brother-in-law and future sister-in law where in New York City, my wife is a huge fan of the talk show The Chew so we had gotten tickets to attend a taping. The Chew is a show that focuses on food related and lifestyle topics. It is hosted by Iron Chef’s Mario Batali and Michael Symon, Carla Hall from Bravo’s Top Chef, Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not to Wear and Daphne Oz, the daughter of Dr. Oz.
This was the first time I attended a taping of any TV show so I was not exactly sure what to expect. We were told that we had to be at the studio on W. 67th street by 8 a.m., from there we waited in line for about a half hour when we were led inside to the security desk. They checked our names and id’s against the list that they had, we went through a metal detector and were lead into a holding room where we spent the next half hour.
Around 9 a.m. they led us into the studio and took us to our seats. At that time the warm up coming came out. His name was RC Smith and he was really funny and energetic and his job was basically to make us as energetic as he was. He basically told us what would happen and what they would need us to do.
After that the stage manager came over and had us do a few things. First they did a couple spans of the audience with us clapping and smiling. From there we had to clap for 1 minute straight, I felt like my arms were going to fall off. Then we did a minute of soft golf clapping and then 15-20 seconds of laughing at absolutely nothing.
The theme for our show was BBQ. The show kicked off with each co-host talking about what they did the previous week on vacation. From their Symon and Batali then cooked a mixed grill of, petrovac, lamb chops, calves liver, leberwurst, skirt steak and chicken wings that they made on the grill. They pared each with a sauce. Each person sitting in the front row behind them was able to eat the mixed grill. The studio smelled amazing. At the end of the segment they told us everyone in the audience was getting a set of grill tools that they were using.
The next segment they had guest Piper Perabo from USA network’s Covert Affairs. She cooked a swordfish paillard with arugula and tomatoes with Batali while they talked about the season premier of Covert Affairs. The third segment was a contest to come up with the best viewer summer dish. Three contestants displayed their dishes which were then judged by Oz and Hall. They choose BBQ ribs by a contestant they called Boogie. The next segment was Boogie cooking those ribs with Oz and Hall. Lastly, Kelly made a whiskey sour drink and closed the show. Each segment of the show lasted about 5 minutes. There were two segments that had to be done over, one where executive producer Gordon Elliot forgot to tell the hosts something and another where Oz flubbed a line and asked to start over.
The most surprising thing to me was that they actually did take a break during commercials, I figured they would start taping right away after they said they were going to commercial and just insert the commercials during editing. A few times during the breaks Hall came out into the audience to talk to people and dance with Smith. Symon and Hall came out to pass food around to other members of the audience. We were so close but yet so far in tasting the amazing looking food. During each break Smith told jokes, had us clapping to music, singing and dancing along. He even busted on audience members when he asked where they were from or what they did for a living.
Once the taping was over they dismissed us row by row, section by section we went back through the holding room where they handed us the grill tool set we were promised. When I looked it up online the set was worth $100, not a bad deal.
Overall even with not being familiar with the show, I really enjoyed the taping and would absolutely go back to an episode of The Chew again. My only one real problem was that the taping was over at 10:30 and I really wanted a BBQ lunch.
The Chew on ABC
Get Tickets to the Chew on ABC