Day 112. I’m Creating A New Late Night Talk Show

Monday, June 13, 2011

In April of 2006, I asked my friend, Jeff, who runs the Skinny Improv, if I could start a late night talk show. He said, “Sure.” I said, “Okay, I need to get married first.” I knew how much work it would be and I knew how much Michelle would kill me if I started it then. I got married in July and started the Mystery Hour in November of ’06. The first show featured Matt, who was the editor for a local magazine, and Doug, who was a lawyer running for state senate. I didn’t know if anyone would show up or not. But, a professor from Missouri State got wind of it and told his students they could get extra credit if they attended, since one of the guests was a candidate.

I sat backstage in a leaky ceilinged hallway watching people pour in. The show was nearly sold out. After an hour of low budget glory, the show was over. I was stoked. It was the most exhilarating/natural feeling things I had experienced. Writing a comedy show and then interviewing people could not have felt more natural to me. I was hooked. We had a show once a month until I moved this past February. Most of them were sold out. Most of them involved adult braces. It was never quite as exhilarating as the first time, but always as natural for me.

One of my many friend of a friend meetings when I first moved here included a good quote. Marc, the guy I was meeting with, said, “The successful actors I see out here aren’t the ones that are just going around to auditions, hoping to be chosen. The successful ones are the ones who are doing something on their own and making it happen.” Then, he vanished, in a puff of smoke.

The most natural feeling thing that I’ve done was hosting The Mystery Hour.  It was one of those things I could spend hours on without realizing it. When I was planning my move, I was throwing around different ideas of how I could pull one off here, because I’m pretty sure they don’t have open auditions for the 5 late night talk show host positions.

Well, on June 25th, I’m going to have my second premiere of a late night talk show. I’m doing it at my friend, Ross’s, loft apartment. It’s going to seat like 20. It will be intimate, for sure. I’m calling the show, That Guy From…It’s going to feature a guest that you will maybe recognize, but won’t know off the top of your head. It will be a guy you know from something, but you can’t put your finger on it, so you just call him, that guy from…(We will also have on females. That Girl From…). Yes, we will be filming it.

We’ll have a monologue, comedy bits, guests, and a musical guest.

I have a request out for my first guest, and already have a musical guest lined up. We’ll see how it goes, but I have to just start creating something on my own. We can fill up 20 seats, and we’ll go from there. We’re starting small.

I just need to get a hold of some professors.



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7 responses to “Day 112. I’m Creating A New Late Night Talk Show

  1. Sounds perfect, man.

  2. It’s good to have a plan.

    This is a good plan.


  3. Shannon

    That’s awesome! I’m so excited for you! I hope you get a huge turn out (but not too big), and lots of publicity. Invite Ellen DeGeneres. 🙂

  4. Derek

    Three words: live web streaming!

  5. Andy Walser

    Get that guy from lost who grew up in Tama!

  6. Hey Jeff,

    Welcome to LA! I’m so glad you find my blog. I’ll be adding you to my blogroll as well and keepign tabs ony our awesome proress.

    It’s official. I think we will be friends and I have a list of my top 4 reasons why ( I like even numbers)

    1) you’re funny and totally not creepy (I hope)
    2) You’re an actor (hooray)
    3) You’re father taught tennis (My boyfriend’s a tennis coach) and your mother helped Bosnia refugees (I went to Bosnia last summer with a non-profit and I’m writing a movie set in Bosnia)
    4) You’re making things happen.

    LA is tough but if you’re ready to put in work (and it seems like you are) and aren’t hoping to have “made it” in a year, you’re in the right palce. Write, act, direct, juggle, do improv, but never let them put you in a box. And believe me they will try. So when someone says, what do you really want to do? Give them whatever answer you think will get you the job!

    Be sure to check out Brandi Ford

    We haven’t met but I wished I had her business acumen and utilized social media as well as she did when I moved here.

  7. I’m with Derek (as usual). Live web streaming. Check out UStream as an option.

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