by Miles Leicher
On Saturday night I found myself at the Producers Guild Awards alongside Real Time's head writer, Billy Martin. Billy and our other executive producers, Sheila Griffiths, Scott Carter, Dean Johnsen and, of course, Bill Maher, were all nominated for the award (and we couldn't be prouder).
Never mind who won in our category ('The Colbert Report'), I had a great time learning about what it is, exactly, that producers do: they try to explain to other people what producers do. Really, though, they do much more than that. You'll see.
We have a little tradition here at 'Real Time' where we recognize one staffer each week who was particularly awesome at his/her job. For their hard work and sacrifice in the line of comedy television, winners are awarded the "Real Timer of the Week" trophy, as well as the love and respect of their peers. But mostly just the trophy. Which they have to give back.
This week, one of our Segment Producers, Vanessa Gedney, deserves recognition for her expert handling of our guests' travel arrangements in the face of last week's unpredictable weather. Her reward? This:
Hey, Real Timer of the Week, get ready to be famous*!
What's your name?
No, I meant your "porn" name (first pet’s name and street you grew up on)?
Baskerville Sunset. Ugh, this pretty much ruins Sherlock for me.
How long have you worked here?
Since the beginning. I just started my 9th year.
What do you want people to think you do on this show?
The brilliant shadow puppetry at the start of the show.
What's the best part of your job?
Shadow puppetry? Where do I start?!
Seriously, though, I do love working with all the talent, which is handy because that's what I do. Everyone passes through my clutches at some point and it has been quite entertaining getting to know many of our recurring guests over the years.
Who's your favorite 'Real Time' guest of all time?
I don't like to play favorites. I love them all equally. Except for the ones I don't.
What's your favorite TV show? Don’t be a kiss-ass and say 'Real Time.'
'Northern Exposure.' I assume there is a scandalous movie by that name, and no, that is not the one.
What's your favorite behind-the-scenes memory? Try not to be too incriminating.
There are so many...For instance, I almost peed my pants last week when Miles Leicher tripped going UP the stairs backstage [Editor's note: I made an excellent recovery].
Coming in a close second was during our first season, when our make-up artist didn't make it to the studio and I had to crawl through a soap opera set to beg their make-up artist to help us. They were in the middle of shooting a tropical island wedding or something and there were tiki torches, grass skirts, and probably a pig roasting somewhere. It was a little like 'Real Time' meets 'Swiss Family Robinson.'
Where was Barack Obama really born?
Well, let me look. I've got his birth certificate right here...
*not actual fame