(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
unlocked 09.11.07 - YouTube link added 01.28.09
11:45 PM, Saturday, February 10th, 2007:
"You stoked for tomorrow!?", Keith asked expecting the same ferver in return.
I was admittedly burnt out. The struggle of producing the Living Room Live bits was wearing on me, and I was meeting with my supervisor from NY the next day and this email lead to it:
I'll be in LA for Grammy week, so we need to grab breakfast or lunch--got some other ideas I think you will like : ) (and that's all I can say about that)
I had written a long letter explaining some problems I had with "Living Room Live" and ways I wanted to help make it better, and I assumed they were going to give me more on air-time with the bit for next time...just couldn't tell. It was clear they were gonna make some sort of offer, but something told me to not be too excited about it. I mean, I'd take it - it's a paycheck, but again at this point I was burnt out. Sick of banging my head against the wall, producing ridiculously ambitious webisodes only to have them forget to play the promo in the morning. But, I was still curious. I was hoping that it would get me excited for the last few episodes as having the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel always helps...
...doesn't help too much when the light is so blinding you have to fall to your knees and shove your eye sockets into the gravel. Ahh, but I am a bit ahead of myself. And don't even think of skipping ahead. Enjoy the story, this shit only happens once.
So I confuse the hotel restaurant we're meeting at, and then am completely lost trying to find the right one (Beverly Wilshire). Luckily Charlotte knows Beverly Hills like the back of her hand and helped out on my phone that was dying. Barely make it, rush to get there and sit down. Normal pleasantries, she was putting out an Anna Nicole fire on her blackberry and then she brought out my email about Living Room Live. Was about to go into that and then decided, nah she'll tell me this other news first. As nonchalantly as I would decide totell you about something Cebe chewed up or how my leaf blower gets poop of the driveway really good. I'll paraphrase, but it was literally this matter-of-fact.
So I was meeting with Vinny Favale who is the VP of late night, Letterman and Fergusen, and I asked him if he had seen The Egos on Living Room Live. He hadn't, so I emailed him the page. He called back that afternoon(which is unheard of for someone so busy) and said:  "This guy is incredible. We gotta put him on after Fergusen, and I have a name for the show: Up & Adam, let's meet with Steve (Friedman) over lunch and discuss it". They did and they want you to do whatever you can think of in those 30 minutes. Just go crazy. Mwah Mwah, mwah mwah mwah mwah, mwah mwah? Mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah. MWah? Mwah - mwah...mwha. Mwha mwha mwha. Mwha mwha mwha mwha.
It's interesting having a conversation with a Charlie Brown teacher. You never actually see them in the cartoon so it was quite an honor to actually watch someone while you hear the horn blowing. I was able to comprehend quite a bit from her mannerisms, and just like Charlie was able to respond at the appropriate times even though I heard nothing.
I had the wherewithal to ask her to repeat a few things and she reiterated it for me. It would start in the major cities first, and then on the strength of that it would be sold to the other affiliates. Basically, they were gonna drop this on me in NY when I came out, and Steve figured if they told me now, I would already have 1,000 ideas by NY so when I met with Vinny I would have stuff to share with him. Now, if I told you that I was incredibly calm would you believe me? Hard not to be I guess when you physically can't HEAR anything anymore to get you excited, but I wanted to act like someone who deserved this, not someone who just won the lottery. And in this setting, I really was comfortable. I will admit that I was starting to tear up at parts and had to stop thinking about it to not lose it. That's the thing with chronicling your life like a book - your heart is always aware of how much you put into this "journey" at every given time. So every event gets shaped into a 670x90 rectangle picture next to 7 years of struggle on the spot. My brain however was out the window. I did manage to ask one question.
"So, after I meet with Vinny, who... who are we pitching this to?"
"Vinny. He's the VP of late night. It's his idea. Up & Adam."
And then she wanted to talk about Living Room Live. It's like handing someone a winning lottery ticket, and then going over the phone bill. Incredibly though, I was very calm, we talked about all the points I had brought up. It was all positive and honestly, would've been more than enough to write home about had she not just said they want to give me my own late night talk show. Seriously folks, with the calmness of a doctor telling a patient he had cancer she dropped that puppy. When I showed any sort of disbelief she would just say "Adam, your Godfather is Steve Friedman, you're going to be a star." Matter-of-factly. She isn't using that term lightly. She isn't saying it "LA". This woman is from NY. They all saw what I did with the webisode, which was literally 10 times more than they even dreamed, and they're giving me the exact same opportunity... on my own national television show. Going up against Carson Daly.
The 90 minute "brunch" ended and as I was waiting for the valet to bring my car up, out jumps a very grumpy looking Larry King. And I nonchalantly said under my breath (he was across the street): "Oh, don't be so sad Larry, this is a good day"... like it was normal. Of course it was. I'm living in this celeb-reality right now and it feels like I'm flipping channels on my TV. A TV I'm gonna be on now.
Well I jumped in my car and of course called my father. So that's what the tears were waiting for. All the imagining of what it would feel like to tell him this news couldn't prepare me for how it felt. An exhale of 7 years of holding your breath... I'll never forget how different this reaction was. I've grown accustomed to "You're shitting me" over the past few months and a few other times in 7 years. It's that reaction of "wow, but I expected it". This was "you are lying to me." He really needed me to say it twice. And honestly, I'll never get that reaction again as long as I live. Because after this? Nothing will suprise me. This is the huge one. If down the road other pitches work, or I'm involved in other projects, if I get different time slots - it'll go back to the excited:  "You're shitting me." Nope, this will most likely be the only time I can call my pops with news so ridiculous that he actually believes I'm joking.
Unfortunately the second person I called, Charlotte, turned into such a long call that I wasn't able to call my mom or anyone back east because it got too late. I'll save that for tomorrow, but needless to say that Charlotte freaked out as well. And that just set this in stone. Of course she knew who Vinny Favale was and we had an incredible brainstorming session about the sit-com, the late night show... we are a helluva team on this level.
Anyway, I am going to pass out from exhaustion. This will of course be locked for a looooooong time. Presumably when everything is announced publically. And also, it's time to prepare for the end of The Journey. Something tells me that 5 nights a week on a late-night CBS talk show means the demise of this project...
...but how amazing is it that I've kept it up this long? What. A. Story.
PS - That wooden "Late Show" thing in the video is something Marty Moose made for me for my 23rd birthday when I was doing "The Late Show" on CD101. Looking at that the day that I not only get my own television talk show, but on Letterman's network no less, and the fact that my show will probably be promoted on Letterman, and I'll probably be ON Letterman at some point this year... in my wildest dreams I did believe this was possible, but I do mean wildest.