My trip up Super Bowl Boulevard February 14, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Broadway, Football, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Last Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Seattle Seahawks resoundingly defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII by the score of 43-8. It was the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
Two days before the Big Game, I headed to nearby Manhattan to walk the NFL’s Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered by GMC. The “Boulevard” spanned Broadway between West 34th and West 47th Streets. It was open to the public between Wednesday, January 29, and Saturday, February 1, the day after I was there. I had my Nikon D5100 (and two lenses) along for the walk to take pictures with.
The pictures in this post were taken outside the remote studios of ESPN, NFL Network, and FOX Sports; inside the Xbox One tent; by the Super Bowl Toboggan Run; by Extra Points, where fans could kick footballs through a goalpost; and a few other landmarks along the way.
On the second floor, there was a massive array of tubes that contained milk chocolate, peanut, peanut butter, and pretzel M&Ms in a variety of colors. Two of the tubes had milk chocolate M&Ms in the team colors of the Seahawks and Broncos. I filled a bag of all kinds of M&Ms in all colors; 2.87 pounds worth. It took me three days to eat it all.
Once inside, I bought a Super Bowl XLVIII polo shirt, cap (second from the left above), full size football with the Seahawks and Broncos logos on it, and program.
Despite the massive crowds and back stiffness that set in after an hour and a half, I had a great time walking Super Bowl Boulevard.
Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks on winning Super Bowl XLVIII two nights later.
Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall January 17, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Football, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
Previous Lisa Hilton recap: June 2011
Last night marked the second time I saw jazz pianist Lisa Hilton perform. The first time was about 2 1/2 years ago in Greenwich Village (see link above). This time, I was uptown at Carnegie Hall‘s Weill Recital Hall. It was my first time ever at Carnegie.
My journey began at around 4PM, when I left home to walk to the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station for a 4:27 Penn Station-bound train. I would have taken a later train, but I wanted to be safe in case any delays popped during my walk to the station. That’s what happened the day before when I had to take a train to Rockville Centre. But even though there were delays earlier in the day, there were none when I arrived. My trip to Penn Station was smooth sailing. No one sat near me after Freeport. It was a peaceful journey as I took in the sights while listening to my iPod, not a noisy one where I’m surrounded by chatter from people of varying ages. (The ride back was somewhat crowded, but not too noisy. And it helps to have studio headphones.)
I was in a railcar near the back of the train, which meant I needed to walk a little extra from the train to the LIRR Terminal. Once there, I had dinner at TGI Friday’s. Then, I walked up to the subway terminal and took the E train uptown to 7th Avenue and West 53rd Street. The second I emerged from the seemingly endless flights of stairs, I saw the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to the CBS late night talk show, The Late Show with David Letterman. I whipped out my Nikon D5100 and took a picture:
I was fortunate enough to attend a taping with my father back in December 2004, but that’s another story.
Thinking that the time when the doors to the hall are opened was the time to go inside, I waited outside the Weill Recital Hall entrance for 15 minutes. Two couples went inside while I was waiting. Finally, I opened the door and asked if I was allowed to come in. Of course, I was. I got my ticket, went up to the lounge adjacent to the hall, and waited for the hall doors to open.
According to my watch, I took my seat at 7:42. The Weill Recital Hall was not what I was expecting. It was an intimate hall with one row of orchestra seats, where I sat, and a balcony behind them. There were three chandeliers on the ceiling; my seat was between two of them.
The hall was completely acoustic. There were no speakers, no engineer, no amplification, nothing of the kind. I was in for a unique experience.
Lisa entered at 8:06, joined by Ben Street on upright acoustic bass and Billy Hart on drums. Lisa played a Steinway & Sons piano.
The set primarily featured music from her upcoming album, Kaleidoscope. Here’s what the set looked like:
2. Whispered Confessions – This one was my favorite.
3. Midnight Mania
4. Bach/Basie/Bird: Boogie Blues Bop
5. Sunny Side Up
6. Blue Horizon
7. Stepping Into Paradise – This was a solo piano piece. Ben and Billy left the stage and took a break. They returned for the rest of the set.
8. Getaway – This was another favorite.
10. When It Rains
11. Evening Song
12. So This Is Love
“Getaway” and “Evening Song” are from Getaway (2013). “Subway” and “When It Rains” are from American Impressions (2012). “So This Is Love” is from My Favorite Things (2005).
“Getaway” was first performed in a slightly slower tempo on In the Mood for Jazz (2003). “Stepping Into Paradise” originated on Getaway.
My original plan for returning to Penn Station involving taking the M7 MTA New York City Bus back to 34th Street and walking to the LIRR Terminal from there. But when I got to the bus stop, I had a clear view of Times Square. I could see the Jumbotron, which still had up the “2014″ sign, complete with the New Year’s ball frozen in place above it. Forget the bus, I thought. I’m walking back and taking pictures. And I did:
I initially boarded the wrong train: an express that didn’t stop at Wantagh. Luckily, I was able to grab all my belongings quickly and exit the train (thanks to the doors not closing right away). I quickly found the right train on a different track and barely boarded that one in time. I was bound for home, capping a memorable night. I opened my eyes and ears to a new experience and I enjoyed it. Thank you, Lisa, Ben, and Billy.
2013 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2014 Hall of Fame Announcement October 22, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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Later in this recap, I share airchecks from Homecoming Weekend show and behind-the-scenes pictures from the pre-record.
I was at LIU Post on Saturday for their annual Homecoming celebration. I was there primarily for WCWP’s barbecue and announcement of 2014 inductees to their Hall of Fame.
I arrived on campus shortly at around 2:30. After getting situated I decided to head to Hickox Field for a little while:
Jeff Kroll described the above picture this way when I posted it to the WCWP Alumni Association Facebook group (account links removed):
We’re on the lower level of the press box…..hard to see clearly, but on the far right side, that’s Pat Kroll, sitting next to her is Dan Cox, standing next to Dan with the red shirt on (glad I had red on that day for identifying purposes) Jeff Kroll, and Neil A. Marks is standing next to me. Sat 10/19/13. Post 58 Pace 0. Pat was coordinating with Joel Feltman (down on the sidelines) for field interviews. (sign still says CW Post Campus!)
He later added:
If you look at the upper level of the press box, toward the left side, the third person in….that person is operating the scoreboard from what used to be the WCWP booth until the 2000′s. THAT was really home!
11/10 UPDATE: Jeff had one more thing to say about this picture tonight:
I received this note from Dan Cox today:
“I saw Bryan Collins today at the Field Hockey final. He told me the grandstand demolition begins next Monday. Looks like new press box by next fall. I hope!” If that happens, the press box goes with the entire grandstand. And this great shot will be a timely memory for those of us who have spent so many fall afternoons there. Thanks Mike Chimeri! Great timing to have taken that picture last month!
I’m honored to have taken it.
As Jeff noted, the LIU Post Pioneers dominated the Pace Setters (get it?) 58-0. I was at the field in time to catch the Pioneers’ second-to-last touchdown.
The extra point is good.
Satisfied, I walked back to WCWP. The Pioneers’ last touchdown came during my walk back. I could faintly hear the public address announcer declaring, “touchdowwwwwwwwn!”
The Hall of Fame plaque, introduced at this year’s ceremony:
The inductees are Rita Sands, Frank D’Elia, Bill Epperhart, and Ted David. Bernie interviewed Ted over the phone.
The announcement and interview with Ted can be heard here:
2014 WCWP Hall of Fame Announcement
Thanks to Zach Parker for taking those pictures during the interview.
Here is that pre-recorded interview, which was later edited by me, but my edit isn’t the one that aired:
Interview with Mike Chimeri & Jay Mirabile
I had a wonderful time at Homecoming this year. It was great catching up with my fellow alumni, and meeting some in person for the first time.
The rest of this album is devoted to my Homecoming Weekend show – CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri – which aired at 3AM on Sunday, hours after I left campus.
I made sure to mention whatever notes I wrote down, but unfortunately, I had to edit some out for time. Each pre-recorded hour had to be exactly 59 minutes long.
Here are all of the airchecks from the 2013 edition of CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri:
The file is downloadable here.
It’s mostly from the console when I pre-recorded the show, but I mixed in elements from WCWP’s stream as the show aired.
Boarding the iPhone bandwagon July 6, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV, Weather.
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On an unseasonably hot day in mid-April, I switched from an LG enV3 (VX9200) to an iPhone 5. Soon after, I bought an Otterbox Defender case for it (which includes a belt clip holster) and a Logitech wireless headset for extended phone calls.
I’ve downloaded 30 apps so far. Among them are two for radio, nine for sports, three for news, three for weather, and three social media. I bought two apps: a tip calculator (which was standard on my old phone) and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
On the first day I had the iPhone, it took a few hours to load all my contacts to iCloud. But they’re in and some are categorized by ringtone, something I hadn’t done with my previous phones.
The Nike Running app has been instrumental in getting me to run three miles (or more) every day. Most of the runs have been outdoors, but I ran on my treadmill on a rainy day last month. And with temperatures now hovering near 90 degrees each day, I may have to do more indoor runs on my treadmill or step machine.
The iPhone’s camera has come in handy when I don’t have my Nikon D5100 on me. Most of the pictures taken with the phone are of recently replaced Town of Hempstead street signs and new traffic lights. Some examples:
The one downside is the internal drive is only 13.5 GB (gigabytes) (billed as 16 GB). It makes me wish there was a microSD slot for an additional 16 GB, or even 32.
Regardless of that, I’m glad I finally boarded the iPhone bandwagon. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.
2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 20, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
Previous Hall of Fame Ceremonies: 2012
The second annual WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony featured the inductions of Maura “Bernie” Bernard, Steve Radoff, Harry Lowenthal, and Bill Mozer. Like the inaugural ceremony last year, this year’s ceremony was held at the Tilles Center Atrium. Unlike last year, the sun was shining brightly outside.
…but he wasn’t the only one.
It was an emotional speech.
“Let’s hear it for the 2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Class!”
It was quite a day! Congratulations to Bernie, Steve, Harry, and Bill: the WCWP Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
My Sandy experience November 10, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, DVD, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
The nightmare known as Hurricane (or Superstorm) Sandy was thrust upon my attention on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 24, hours before seeing pianist David Benoit perform at the Iridium Jazz Club. The first report I read about the storm had a few scenario options, which included turning east out to sea and taking a sharp westerly turn toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S and combine with an approaching cold front. By the second report, the latter scenario became more likely. With each passing report until it made landfall in South New Jersey on the evening of October 29, more and more models showed that worst case scenario. And with each passing report, I grew more and more paranoid and fearful of what would happen.
Sandy was so large that its effects were first felt through cloud cover on Saturday, October 27. The following day, October 28, showers and minor wind gusts began. I couldn’t stand hearing the wind plowing into the windows and wall from my Wantagh home’s east-facing bedroom. So, I slept in the basement that night.
When I woke up early on October 29, the worst still hadn’t arrived, but the wind was still strong, around 30 miles per hour with gusts in the 50s. Somehow, the power did not go out during the morning. But by 1:30 PM, the power began to flicker off and on. And at 1:45, the power went out to stay and wouldn’t return until nine days later. As the wind continued to howl upstairs, now approaching sustained winds of 45 mph with gusts to 60, back in the basement, I used my Sennheiser studio headphones to listen to audiobooks on my CD-playing Walkman. But spoken words were unable to completely drown out the sound of wind. So, rather than waste battery power on my iPod, I used the Walkman, which runs on AA batteries, to listen to music. I took two pairs of CDs that I used for my two recent WCWP Homecoming Weekend shows and a dozen albums. When I wasn’t listening to news radio for the latest on Sandy, or sports radio to forget about Sandy, I was listening to my CDs.
My parents, sister, and I were prepared with plenty of bottled water, bags of food, canned goods, AA batteries, C batteries, D batteries, and a generator. We didn’t use the generator until after the height of Sandy, which came around 8PM, shortly after it transitioned to a post-tropical cyclone. As the worst winds pummeled the house, gusting as high as 85 mph, we congregated in the living room where an extension cord ran from the generator in the back yard to the middle of the room. There, I plugged in a power strip and we plugged in a table lamp for light, and all our rechargeable electronics. For a little while, we watched DVDs on my sister’s laptop. After a couple of hours, my dad turned the generator off and we all went to sleep. I returned to the basement for that.
Outside of a tree falling in my next-block neighbor’s back yard, two shingles falling off our roof, a toppled-over garbage pail on the side of the house, and branches and leaves on the grass, I was clueless as to the extent of damage in my area. But a tree fell a block east of our house, which is why our power went out, and a few trees fell one block north and west.
At around 11AM on October 30, I walked around the exterior of my house to take aftermath pictures.
I fixed the pail that blew over about a half hour before taking pictures.
When the power strip wasn’t connected to the extension cord, either the microwave or coffee maker were plugged in.
The tile-less table was moved slightly by the high winds.
I was in the basement listening to a CD on my Walkman and could hear my dad in the kitchen saying “Tree down!”
But the absolute worst hit areas were waterfront communities. Main floors and basements were destroyed. House and building fires that started after flooding began couldn’t be contained and had to burn out. Knowing all this gave me survivor guilt. I felt guilty that my house was hardly damaged and all I lost was power, while my friends in places like South Freeport, Baldwin Harbor, Island Park, Long Beach, Lido Beach, and Massapequa lost everything that wasn’t on the second floor or higher. The Rockaways and Staten Island were hit just as hard.
An example of how hard Freeport was hit can be seen in this video of damage to the Nautical Mile (Woodcleft Avenue), via The Weekly Freeporter YouTube channel:
Guilt aside, I developed cabin fever after two days at my powerless house (outside of generated power). So, on the night of Halloween, after riding out Tuesday night in my increasingly cold bedroom, I made the trip to a family friend’s house in Rockville Centre (power had just returned after only two days). I went on to spend the next week there while power was out at home. Of all the times for power to come back, on the afternoon of November 7, it was as a wet snow-producing nor’easter began to affect the Northeast. But unlike Sandy, the center of this nor’easter was far offshore and the winds were not very strong on Western Long Island. Somehow, the wet snow bent but did not break tree limbs and it gradually melted or fell off the following day.
While power returned on November 7, cable did not come back until two days later.
Laura Donovan: The Domino Effect Of Hurricane Sandy: Why One Natural Disaster Changed Everything For Me
Peter Hoare: How Hurricane Sandy Ravaged My Town (Long Beach)
Brian Simpson concert recap 2 September 9, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Golf, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel.
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John Dillard on bass:
Courtney Williams on drums:
I was on hand for the first set. Here’s what Brian and the band played:
1. It Could Happen
2. Here With You
3. South Beach
4. Funkology (by Matt Marshak)
5. Can’t Tell You Why
6. Blues for the Houndstooth Pub (written for the show)
7. Let’s Get Close
8. Saturday Cool
Fasten your seat belts because it’s time to ride through the set via my cameras’ viewfinders. That’s right, I used two (but not simultaneously).
It was another wildly enjoyable set! Thanks to Brian, Matt, John, C-Will, and Brian for a great show.
(By the way, I was wearing a souvenir shirt I bought last Sunday at the final round of The Barclays, a PGA Tour event held this year at Bethpage Black Golf Course.)
The Barclays at Bethpage Black recap August 27, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Golf, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
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For the first time in three years, Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale hosted a PGA Tour event. This time, it was The Barclays.
The weather this year was much better than it was at the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championships, especially than the latter. It was rain-free.
After Nick Watney’s third round struggles, I predicted that Sergio Garcia, the leader going into the final round would win. I was wrong.
Unlike at the two U.S. Opens the Black hosted, cell phones were allowed, but had to be on silent or vibrate. My phone was on vibrate as I provided live updates throughout the day on Facebook. Here’s how that went:
11:23 AM: “I’m headed to Jones Beach where a shuttle will take me and my dad (and other passengers) to Bethpage Black Golf Course at Bethpage State Park. We’ll be catching the final round of The Barclays. Golf Channel coverage runs from 12:00 to 1:30, followed by CBS from 2:00 until play concludes, which should be around 6:00.”
12:03 PM: “I’m on the bus headed to Bethpage Black. I saw some license plates in the parking lot from as far away as Michigan and Tennessee. Also, New Jersey, Connecticut, [Massachusetts,] and Maryland.”
12:21 PM: “Almost at Bethpage Black. I plan on following the second-to-last pairing: Kevin Stadler [son of Craig] and Brandt Snedeker ['SNED-uh-kur'].”
1:32 PM: “I ended up following Phil Mickelson and John Senden for the first two holes, then stopped at a concession stand. We’ll catch up with Stadler and Snedeker at the 3rd.” Despite shooting a 76, the fans loved him, as I could tell from the wild cheers I heard at 17 later in his round.
I put my phone down until Stads and Sneds were halfway through.
3:32 PM: 9 holes down, 9 to go.
Then, I waited another five holes before writing another update.
4:46 PM: “Crossing Round Swamp Rd. 4 holes to go.”
After the pair’s second shots at 15, Dad and I jumped ahead to the last three holes. Then, the updates became more frequent…
5:02 PM: “Skipped to 16th fairway. CBS’s [course reporter] Peter Kostis is to my right.”
5:18 PM: “Up to 17th green. Live CBS feed is on video leaderboard.”
5:26 PM: “Now at 18th fairway. Again, a leaderboard with CBS’s feed is straight ahead. The green is to the left.”
By this time, the drunk fans that are wont to cheer too loud, yell catchphrases out of context (i.e. “GET IN THE HOLE!” on a tee shot at a par 4 or 5), paraphrase the “Olé” song using Nick Watney’s surname (as I heard on my DVR later), and heckle players they don’t like (Sergio Garcia) got to me:
5:34 PM: “It’s not fun when a reserved guy like me is next to enthusiastic and/or drunk fans.” Sober fans acquitted themselves well, as they always do.
5:36 PM: “Snedeker and Stadler are on the green. Sergio Garcia and leader Nick Watney are approaching.”
5:39 PM: “Last pairing in fairway. CBS’s [other course reporter] David Feherty walked by, got cheers.”
5:44 PM: “Watney’s on the green, Sergio’s in the bunker, to the delight of some fans. I feel sorry for him.” A “USA” chant broke out as if we were at the Ryder Cup, speaking of out of context. And there were two Spanish people standing next to us. I felt sorry for them, too. I finished the update by saying “[t]he crowd at the green is cheering.”
5:47 PM: “Sergio bogeyed. The stage is set for Watney.” He birdied!
5:49 PM: “Put it in the books.” That’s what Mets radio announcer Howie Rose says after a win. “Nick Watney has won The Barclays. Final score: -10.”
5:52 PM: “Feherty interviewed Watney for CBS [briefly interrupted by Nick embracing his wife], then off to sign the scorecard and back to 18 for the trophy presentation.”
5:53 PM: “Leaderboard reads ‘Congratulations Nick Watney, 2012 Champion’ with a headshot of him.”
5:58 PM: “CBS’s Ian Baker-Finch is [hosting] the presentation.”
5:59 PM: “The champion is back.”
6:06 PM: “After getting the trophy, Finchy [one of Ian's nicknames] interviewed him. He ‘couldn’t be happier,’ ‘overjoyed.’ He thanked volunteers, fans, and wife. After the interview, he hoisted the trophy.” His cousin Heidi, of the soon-to-launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles, was also there.
With The Barclays complete, it was time to go home.
6:07 PM: “Now, we’re walking to the shuttle bound for Jones Beach.”
6:24 PM: “The shuttle is departing…”
6:48 PM: “Walking to the car at Jones Beach. Next stop: home.”
7:19 PM: “I got home about ten minutes ago. Phew.”
I ate a hearty meal of pasta and watched some of my DVR of CBS’s coverage, but not before taking two pictures.
Here are the post-round links:
Doug Ferguson: Watney wins Barclays; Garcia 4 back
Jason Sobel: Watney becoming more comfortable in spotlight
Barclays photo gallery
Rex Hoggard: Watney’s psychologist credited for Barclays win
The day after, I returned to Bethpage by bus and by foot, taking these pictures along the way:
After the above picture, I made my way back to Quake Meeting House Road. The inside of the park was closed until three days later.
The Barclays returns to Bethpage Black in 2016, part of a four-year rotation with other New York area courses. I hope the weather is as great as it was this year. Congratulations again to Nick Watney, your 2012 Barclays Champion. Best of luck in the final three FedExCup Playoff events.
NOTE: I decided to write entirely in the past tense rather than the present except for “yesterday” referring to when the final round was played. I did this despite “the day after” being today and “three days later” being Thursday, among other examples.
NFL Network coming to Cablevision!!! August 16, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Media, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV.
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Effective tomorrow, NFL Network and NFL RedZone will be added to Cablevision’s lineup. Via NFL.com:
BETHPAGE, NY and NEW YORK, NY — August 16, 2012 – NFL Network and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), the largest TV provider in the nation’s top media market, announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement for carriage of NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel.
NFL Network will make its debut in Cablevision homes beginning Friday. NFL Network will be available on channel 150 in both standard-definition and HD for customers who subscribe to iO Preferred, iO Silver, iO Gold or the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak. NFL RedZone, which airs on Sundays throughout the regular season, will be offered in both standard-definition and HD on channel 151 as part of the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak, which is now included in the new iO Gold package, which was launched last spring. …
Cablevision customers like myself have been waiting for this day since the network launched nearly a decade ago. I learned of this from Steve Somers on WFAN twenty minutes before publishing this post.
Thank you very much, Cablevision.
8/18 UPDATE: Here is the Steve Somers monologue that tipped me off to NFL Network’s arrival on Cablevision. After talking about the Mets and Yankees results, he got to the big deal at the 9:02 mark. My transcript (listen along):
As you have heard [earlier in the day on WFAN], Cablevision has taken on the NFL Network, giving the face of the NFL Network, Rich Eisen, the opportunity to extol the virtues of the cable industry in general, and the NFL Network in particular, as we heard on his live infomercial, apparently sponsoring Joe and Evan this afternoon. Rich will also appear with Joe and Evan sometime soon, where we will actually hear from him discussing football! …
Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts filled in for Mike Francesa all this week.
Trust Us with Your Life; UPDATE: Canceled!; UPDATE 2: Not officially canceled.; UPDATE 3: I give up. July 12, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Media, Music, Personal, Sports, TV.
8/1 UPDATE: Trust Us with Your Life has been canceled.
8/2 UPDATE: Or has it? More on these updates at the bottom of the post.
2/19/13 UPDATE: I give up. I’ll assume it’s canceled.
4/1/13 UPDATE: Whose Line is it Anyway? reboots this summer!
If you like improvisational comedy, you’ll love the new ABC series Trust Us with Your Life. It was developed by Dan Patterson, one of the people behind Whose Line is it Anyway? It’s hosted by Fred Willard and stars improv veterans Wayne Brady, Jonathan Mangum, and Colin Mochrie. The first two episodes have also starred Greg Proops and Craig Cackowski.
The stars of the show create scenes based on stories recounted by each episode’s guest, which have included (and will include) Serena Williams, Jack and Kelly Osbourne, Mark Cuban, Ricky Gervais, and Florence Henderson (a guest in a latter season of Whose Line). There are improv games to go along with the scenes. If you’ve seen previous Drew Carey’s* previous improv series or tours, this sample of games played may sound familiar:
- Glee Club It! (like Showstopping Number)
- Putting Words in My Mouth (like Dubbing)
- Rap It! (like Kick It!)
- Dramatic Episode (like First Date and New Choice)
As a hardcore fan of improv comedy, I laughed hard at most of the scenes.
Unfortunately, post-Whose Line improv series have not lasted long:
- Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show was canceled on the WB after only a handful of episodes. The rest of the recorded episodes were run a year later on Comedy Central.
- Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza ran five nights a week for eight weeks, but did poorly on GSN. It was not renewed. But thanks to the five-night-a-week run, it is the longest-running post-Whose Line series.
I’m hoping Trust Us with Your Life breaks that trend and becomes a huge hit. Why watch serial sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows when you can laugh uncontrollably for 30 to 60 minutes a week with no conflict? Thank you, Dan Patterson, for giving us TUSWYL. I love it!
*-Due to Drew’s contract with CBS, he is not allowed to appear on TUSWYL since it’s on a competing network.
Blame this on Fred Willard’s incident all you want, but this is really about a majority of American viewers not looking kindly on improv comedy. The fact that Whose Line is it Anyway? lasted so long amazes me when you consider that its offspring cannot achieve the same staying power.
There are only two cable networks I can imagine the TUWYL re-emerging and perhaps achieving success: Comedy Central or BBC America. But that won’t happen, either.
All involved with the show – in addition to Green Screen and Improv-a-Ganza- should be applauded for trying. Among improv fans like myself, these are hits, but there aren’t enough fans like us to make a difference. It’s a reality we must accept.
8/2 UPDATE: I didn’t catch this until around 11:50 last night, but the TUYWL Facebook page said this about the show’s fate at 10:15 Tuesday night:
I would like to clarify something. “Trust Us With Your Life” has NOT been officially cancelled as of right now. The last two episodes were pulled from the schedule due to competing with ratings for the Olympics. The last two episodes may (or may not) be scheduled at a later time. If you would love to at least see the final two episodes of the season, feel free to write to ABC directly (in other words, not on here) and vocalize this. Thanks, all.
Notice the post says “the final two episodes of the season,” and not the series. I’d like to think they’re right; that Trust Us with Your Life is still alive and merely on hiatus. If so, it would fly in the face of those reveling in its demise because of who the host is.
2/19/13 UPDATE: I give up. I think I can safely say that Trust Us with Your Life was indeed canceled and is never coming back. And while Fred Willard continues to have guest shots on TV series, the performers he moderated, so to speak, haven’t been seen on TV since; at least not to my knowledge.
So, once again, a post-Whose Line improv series bites the dust. Maybe if Nick Cannon was the host, as he was on Wild ‘n Out, Trust Us with Your Life would still be on the air.