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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Jimmy Kimmel Live
Jimmy Kimmel Live
American Airlines sketch

Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Fourth's the charm...
After three previous attempts, the perservering Carla of Headquarters Casting booked me on the ABC late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. Actually, she did call me first to make sure I was available. Thankfully, due to a low workload, my temp assignment had literally already just ended, like, that morning, and I had only just gotten home a little while before Carla first called to see if I was available to go right over and work it tonight. I reminded her I could be there within five minutes, so she called them, then called me back to say it was a Go: I was booked.
"You'll be wearing a suit," she began. "And you'll be peeing your pants," she added hastily.
She said it fast and I truly wasn't sure I heard what she said. "I'm sorry, did you just say — ?" I started.
"You heard what I said," she replied quickly.
Due to the nature of the character's role, I would be an Under 5 role, meaning half a step below actual principal (less than [under] five lines), and therefore were it ever to re-air, I would receive residuals.
At the El Capitan Theatre (where the show is done live in time to air live on the east coast, the recorded show then shown for each of the subsequent post-midnight time zones), I arrived around 3pm and was brought upstairs. There were five others, each of us with a little piece of the puzzle of Just What Would We Be Doing? for the show. Eventually we learned we'd be part of a pre-filmed sketch jibing American Airlines and its recent removal of normally provided pillows for its flights. However, we had been sitting around for a few hours: a couple of them had done this show before and had expected we'd be done by 6:00-6:30pm. But it was already coming on 6:00pm, and not even contract paperwork had been brought to us, not had anyone officially checked us in. A few of the others were a bit miffed at how "this was a 'Rush Call'," yet no one seemed very rushed to need us there. As at the time I lived within a couple of block's walking distance, I had no problem with their keeping me there as long as they liked.
Then staffer Norbert arrived with paperwork for us, except for me and for Cheryl, who had been told she would be auditioning for the role of the stewardess, but now it was being implied that she might not even be used. Thankfully they did use her, and Norbert brought her and my Under-5 paperwork.
Sometime after 7pm we were brought down to the parking lot where the section of plane cabin was set up. The segment director Wayne McClammy placed me in the front row at the window, and Cheryl on the aisle, an empty seat between us.
The brunette actress (I didn't get her name), was rather funny in her delivery, which gets more and more manic as the scene progresses. The sketch is a Training Video, in which, apart from pillows, we learn that to stay awake, passengers would be provided with amphetemines. Standards & Practices had already kiboshed that, so they became "Crispy Caffiene Treats," though her character's behaviour gets far more loopy than just buzzing on high level caffiene tablets.
Bathrooms have also been removed, so "please hold it," and she looks over (albeit to the row behind me) and grimaces, then smiles and continues as though it's really no big deal.
She informs us (the passengers and camera) that the safety instuction cards (normally in the seat pockets) have been sold on eBay, and that instead of oxygen masks in the event of cabin pressure loss, we'd have to use helium balloons. At this mention, golden helium balloons (with smiley faces on them) pop up and we pretend to suck on them.
Another sight gag that was shot was, if we felt it was too hot, not to worry: just "crack open a window."
A passenger (right behind me) did so, causing billowing winds and papers to fly all over the place.
To get our reaction shots, the seat rows were turned around to face the camera. I was brought upstairs during this interum and khaki pants were put on me, to best show the peeing. I was unsure if that would get on the air. While funny and "shocking," it might be A Bit Much for Disney-owned ABC.
Back down at the set, inexplicably, the tall Norbert was in the formerly empty seat between Cheryl and I. Oh well. I figured only someone using freeze frame would notice he wasn't there in the other shots.
As it was, we shot our reactions to the stewardess's announcements, and then we got to me. We shot a few takes (medium shots and close-ups) of my Being In Extreme Urinary Distress, and suddenly relaxing in relatively embarressed release. We then added my exchanging glances with Norbert (mine being a bit more self-conscious).
The actual urination bit was an insert shot, with which I was relieved (to coin a phrase), as should S&P find the sight gag far too funny, the insert shot could simply be omitted. A tube went down my pants, ending at my knee. The special effects guy wondered why they wanted me to come across as John Holmes, but Wayne's position on it was that if it actually was shown spreading from my crotch, S&P would definitely refuse it.
Meanwhile, pants was the only thing of wardrobe I had: the sock and shoe (into which the very cold Water ran) were still mine. With that shot done, we were complete and the sketch was wrapped.
Pleasant segment producer Patrick thanked me and escorted me back up to wardrobe where into my own dry pants I could change.
(I was not given a callsheet, so I had no idea of anyone's surname who I met/with whom I worked so as to credit them properly herein.)
We wrapped at 10:30pm; after changing and turning in my paperwork I actually left at 11pm.
It was far too late to call back my brother Alan to let him know the sketch wouldn't be on the already-done That Night edition of the show. During a short break in the filming, I was able to call a then-soon-to-be ex of mine in Missouri that it'd be the following night. I figured Alan would realize that if it wasn't on tonight, it would probably be on tomorrow night's edition.

Thursday, February 10, 2005
Alan left me a message, indicating he'd taped last night's show, and that the sketch wasn't on. He did deduce though that most likely it would air tonight. I called and spoke with him and affirmed that that was in fact the case. He was now prepared to record it.
Meanwhile, I emailed friends and acquaintences countrywide to inform them to watch tonight's show when it aired at 12:30am, as that was the time my then roommate had relayed to me, I hadn't looked it up myself, but did indicate to people that are in earlier time zones to verify and check their own local listings for the ABC talk show's start time.
By 11pm my roommate was set: he could record it right onto his computer hard drive, from which a DVD could be burned. After a regular Thursday night of watching The Apprentice and ER, I settled back waiting to watch the show to air in a little while —

Friday, February 11, 2005 12:15am
My roommate was watching Alan Alda on The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno, and at the commercial at 12:15am, we switched to ABC — just in time to hear the last line of the sketch! My roommate had mis-read the schedule: the show did not start at 12:30am, but at 12:05am! (I had not yet retrieved the logo at the top of the page...)
We had completely missed it!
I went to bed all but spitting bullets.
Thankfully my brother was able to get it; the edited sketch itself had been extremely truncated, and while it shows my Extreme Concern for being unable to use a restroom, predictably they did not actually show any apparent urination.
I still need to convert it to QuickTime to add it here for viewing, and to my knowledge it's not available on YouTube as is the other Jimmy Kimmel sketch on which I worked....

As the peeing passenger...

As the peeing passenger...

As the hapless peeing passenger on Jimmy Kimmel Live; Norbert and his dreads at the left.

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