Who: Lori, Lauren, Theresa, and Rob
What:A house-less tour of Los Angeles
Where:Los Angeles, Pasadena, Culver City, Burbank
When: May 2-6, 2019
Why: 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
Sites Visited: 
Seinfeld
Breaking Bad
Jeopardy
The Karate Kid
Ellen


"It's an honor just to be nominated." 

You know how some people say that, but what they really mean is that they would skin their neighbor alive just to get their hands on an Emmy award? 

Well I am not some people. As a New Yorker who spends most sunny days walking through Google Maps because I'm too lazy to leave the house, that nomination gets me on the west coast, in the same city as Fred Savage and Conan, in the same auditorium as Kathie Lee Gifford, and there's not a single part of any of those facts that I will ever take for granted.

But damn it all to hell, there's only so much left for me to do in this state. Every house from every movie and TV show I'd ever seen? I'd been there. Every house from every movie and TV show that the majority of people had seen? I'd been there too. Not even because I really wanted to. But because I knew you wanted me to. I give and I give, and I gave and I gave, and now here on trip #5, my TV house well had run dry. 

So I had to plan elsewhere. No longer would I be driving to every Los Angeles resident's home at 6 in the morning so I could stand on their lawn with a selfie stick. This year, I'd be playing it cool. Seeing how those not riddled with obsessive compulsive disorders lived their everyday lives. Enjoying Los Angeles through the eyes of a normal person. 

Could I do it? Probably not. But oh what an adventure it would be. 

Along for the ride...  


Lauren, my trusty TV bestie, and identical cousin, who this year insisted on bringing her fetus with her everywhere.  


Theresa, who may not care much for early morning TV tours but who would stop dead in her tracks for any actor who'd made more than a 12-minute appearance on General Hospital. 


And new to the travels, and oh so very excited about it that he could barely contain himself... 


Rob. 

Rob, a first-timer to Los Angeles who didn't seem to understand the appeal of shrieking in front of celebrities and celebrity artifacts, was going to become my very best TV-Travels companion for no good reason other than I commanded it. Again, he was super excited about it.

On a Thursday night, Theresa, Lauren, Rob and I departed for Los Angeles -- Rob on a separate flight, because obviously, that's how besties travel -- and we inched our way to the west!

Now, on this particular day, I was dealing with a bit of a sinus infection that was causing me to have a very slight headache. To remedy this situation, I maybe shouldn't have taken a Claritin-D for the first time ever in my life, on an empty stomach. And maybe I shouldn't have washed it down with a bottle of orange juice. When I started to feel a little gassy on the plane, I maybe shouldn't have pounded down seltzer after seltzer to make myself burp out my ailments. And when my headache would not go away, maybe I shouldn't have snorted a cup of water up my nose to try and clear out my sinuses. Some might consider those things to be mistakes.

I just consider them to be the things that happened right before I puked all my insides out into a bag from Hudson News. Twice.  

But once that party was done, let me tell you, the last two hours of my Delta Flight 427 were glorious.  

And then we landed, and I was all like, HEY, LOS ANGELES! I'M BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER, ONLY THIS TIME WITH A TINY SCENT OF VOMIT!

Los Angeles, much like Rob was super excited about my presence. 


The next morning, Lauren and I woke up with the sun, as per our LA norms and met up with Rob for our first adventure of the day...


The Sony Pictures Studio Tour! 

No strangers to a good old-fashioned entertainment tour, Lauren and I had already been to the other two major studios that offered them, Paramount and Warner Bros. So on this trip it was only right that we completed the trilogy. The home to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune! The birthplace of The Wizard of Oz! Sony Studios would be so much fun!

Spoiler alert: It wasn't that much fun.

Led by tour guide, Dave who was in one boiler room scene of
Titanic in 1997 and whose pants-game was surely on point, Lauren, Rob and I were walked all across the marginally big Sony Studios lot and shown many, many things. 

Like the largest amount of concrete walls you ever could see. Big walls. Brown walls. Amazing walls. Walls, that we were told, were very important, because behind those walls, a lot of things were filmed. Dave even added an extra three minutes to our tour so he could show us the wall that was covering where they filmed the tornado scene from The Wizard of Oz. Can you even imagine how cool that is?

Well, you have to, because your eyes certainly aren't going to see it

Then, our main man Dave brought us to the studios that are part of every single ad for this tour -- Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune -- which are right next to each other and completely accessible to the public -- and then made us choose between them.

No way we'd have time to visit both, you see. Do you know how many walls they have on that Sony lot?

After much deliberation, we Sophies made the choice of Jeopardy and before being shown the actual set, got to spend some time on a fake one where Rob's inclusion on this trip would be forever commemorated in the form of this photograph:



It's important to note that Rob refused to stand anywhere other than in front of the podium with the highest winnings. But I'd like to say if given the opportunity, and maybe access to an Encyclopedia Britannica, I could be a very successful Jeopardy contestant. If every question centered on quotes from While You Were Sleeping. 


 
The real Jeopardy set, sans lights and the illustrious Alex Trebek, I do have to say is pretty darn bleak, but I did get to learn that Trebek uses a crayon to mark off categories instead of a marker because a marker makes too much noise on television. You're welcome, folks. That's knowledge you can't just get off the street.

We then were able to walk onto the set of The Goldbergs, which is a show I do not watch, but wish I did if only just to screen at the TV, "I WAS ON THAT SET!" Of course, no photos allowed inside, but just picture a lot of 80s furniture and things stolen from the Golden Girls set, and you'll be fine.

As part of the tour, we also got to go to the Sony Museum, which if you could get away with paying way less money and just seeing that, would probably be enough. 

 
You can see a whole bunch of Breaking Bad props. 



And the clock from Groundhog Day




(Please, please, please someone develop a museum where I can just sit inside replicas of TV sitcom living rooms and finally live my best life).  


To make up for their lack of legitimate studios, Sony also provided a side street of famous motor vehicles.

Walter White's RV! 


And this Ghostbusters car! 



And another Ghostbusters car! 

Then, because Sony is a special place, we all got a parting gift before we left -- an actual print of the green screen photo we were forced to pose for before the tour started. In other studios, they would probably charge you a pretty penny for this 5x7 masterpiece, but at Sony, FREE!



Of course at other studios, they might show you enough sites to make up for the $50 tour price, but hey, you gotta take what you can get. 

Competing to be my TV-Travels correspondent at the apartment complex from Karate Kid, that's what.  

For five years, I'd dragged her to every house in America, kicking and screaming, and then this year, all on her own, she put reason aside and visited the fake home of her celeb-crush Ralph Macchio from 1984. She even tried to get inside the complex so she could get closer to the pool. 

My little cult is gaining members, guys. I've never been so proud. 


In the meantime, Lauren and I were not done introducing Rob to the studio worlds of Los Angeles, and Rob was not done pretending to be apathetic. So off we went to Burbank for the tour to end all tours... Warner Bros. 



Four years ago, I had taken this tour with a few others and ran around the fake studio neighborhoods like a 3-year old who'd been let off her toddler leash. Then last year, I went back with Lauren and completely lost my mind. We saw the swamp where Kermit sang The Rainbow Connection, took a photo on the Fuller House steps, in front of Sheldon's Big Bang Theory apartment building and I stood where Kirk Cameron stood all those years ago on Growing Pains. It was amazing. It was incredible. I almost didn't recover from it.

This year? Didn't get to do any of that.

Tour guide Ulysses mentioned the fake Warner Bros forest which held the Kermit the Frog swamp, but then he didn't drive by it. We caught a glimpse of the Fuller House house as our tram swung by quickly, but no one got to stop. Growing Pains was never even mentioned, which I'm sure would make Tracey Gold so damn sad, she'd stop eating for weeks (<--- bad joke alert.).

That being said, Warner Bros. is and will always remain an entertainment sanctuary for all those who visit. You just may have to go back 4-5 times to get the full tour experience. 


New to this tour for me:

The NYC buildings and fire escape, which not only made room for a whole gaggle of orphans in Annie from 1982, but for Tobey Maguire in SpiderMan as he hung upside down in the rain trying to make out with Kerstin Dunst while also trying to breathe. 



And this Aquaman throne that seemed to be a big deal to people who had actually seen the movie, but to me, was just a colorful chair that sort of looked like a fish. 


 

                                            

Just like last year, we also got to visit the set of Ellen where Lauren and I got to take yet another photo in front of her stage (but this time from another angle!). Unlike last year, however, we got the added bonus of watching producers test out a new game to be used in a future episode... 

People are going to be throwing velcro balls! 


Onto a gigantic blown-up bulls eye! 

Think you get to see crap like this at Sony Studios? You certainly do not.

So even when you disappoint me, Warner Bros, you delight me in ways I could never even dream of.   


"And we'll linger on. Time can't erase a feeling this strong" - Mariah Carey



Once the studio portion was done for the day, Lauren and I cut Rob loose (any more excitement could have hurt him), and reunited with TV-Traveler Theresa at the only place people can get an affordable cheeseburger and maybe also see John Stamos, Craig’s. 

The last time we were all at Craig’s, a paparazzi hot-spot located in West Hollywood, we were caught by TMZ’s cameras following Amy Adams out the door and wandering aimlessly behind Paris Hilton's mom. It was hands down, bar none, the greatest thing to EVER happen to me, and for years I've been desperate to relive that joy.


Sadly on this night, however, no movie, TV or even commercial stars were in the mood for pasta served on plastic tables hidden by a tablecloth, so no TMZ videos featuring my background work were in the cards for America. But how about something way less exciting but still pretty good for a Friday night?

Befriending the paparazzi.

Every night at Craig’s, a gaggle of paparazzi, cameras in hand, wait outside the restaurant for someone even remotely recognizable to walk by them and give their life some purpose. Because this night turned out to be a dud, three gals from The People’s Court seemed to be more than enough to hold their attention for 10 minutes.

On the corner of Melrose Ave, Chris, the dude from TMZ and his pap buddies told us how Friday nights are terrible for celebrity sightings and how no one can explain why this restaurant is so popular. Then because they're cooler than every star who failed to show up, they let the tables be turned and posed for this photo:


So J.Lo if you're reading this (and I'm sure you are), be cool to the guys with the cameras. It's hard out there for a pap. 


The next day, instead of once again driving to Brenda and Brandon's house from 90210 for the third year in a row, I was able to really switch it up and enjoy one of the most insane perks of being Emmy-nominated: the Emmy gifting suite.

Now, for those of you who don't know, because you're regular people, an Emmy gifting suite is where hundreds of product vendors stand behind tables, and I, a person who once flipped her shit at a Walmart trying to get a $6 box of Tupperware on Black Friday walks up to these vendors and is given luxury items for free.

Luggage. Dash cams. Every bottle of lotion you could ever smear your face with. A Facebook portal. A sound machine. Again, all given to me, a person whose idea of luxury is getting two items off the dollar menu at McDonalds instead of just one.

By the end of the day, my euphoria had gone through the roof of Ballroom C and I could barely stand because of all the stuff I was trying to carry in my delicate chicken arms. But then out of nowhere, I saw him...

JEREMY MILLER.


Ben Seaver on Growing Pains. Fictional brother of Kirk Cameron. The voice of Linus on This is America, Charlie Brown. JEREMY MILLER.

Is Jeremy Miller on a daytime television show? No, no he is not. Was he nominated for an Emmy or with someone who was nominated for an Emmy? Nope, not even close. He was there solely as a gift to me.

And he was delightful. His catering company would be catering the party after the Emmys and he told me all about how he loves his work and what he does, and how it's good for him to keep busy because he's in recovery. That's right, Jeremy Miller is a recovering alcoholic, and he divulged that info solely to me, a regular person carrying a knapsack of free shampoo. And also to People Magazine, like 5 years ago.


Besties for life.

We spent about 4 hours stuffing our backpacks with slovenly excess, and then once we were done, we made our way back to the hotel to do something even fancier than slipping extra phone accessories and scarves into our pockets... 

                                            

We got busts made of ourselves on Hollywood Blvd. 

That's right, like Nefertiti or one of those Roman Gods, we got our heads sculpted by artisans on the street so that 50 years from now, kids can visit garage sales all across the tri-state and find the clay remnants of unrecognizable women. 

I had passed by these sculptors in the early morning on my way to get a Randy's Donut and the concept seemed cool enough on its own. But then they told me it would only cost $20 to get one of myself and then it seemed incredible. When I brought news of this back to my fellow producers, instead of the usual eye-rolls I'm normally met with when I'm looking for ways to clutter up my apartment, I was joined on the Blvd by... 



my bust-friend-forever Michele.


Kathy



and Lauren.


Not etched in clay for the rest of eternity? 


Rob, who was still so jazzed from the Sony tour that he wasn't able to sit still for 20 minutes.

His loss, America. HIS LOSS.


The next day, as the clay from our busts dried by our windows, we put on fancy formal wear and made our way to the reason for the season, the whole point of the joint... the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Usually at these big-time awards show, I am scooting around the venue like a bloodhound trying to sniff out all the honchos of daytime. But this year, I was above all that nonsense. Instead of bombarding the stars of morning television, I could sit back, relax, and watch them from afar.


Oh look, it's Oprah's favorite medical guru, Dr. Oz!




And Sharon Osbourne and Sara Gilbert!



And this actor I know that I know but OH MY GOD, WHO IS HE?!??!



And over there, it's Tamera Mowry and Adam Housley! Last year, I had an hysterical breakdown in front of them at a WB after party and now I was calm, cool, collected, and at least 200 feet away as per the restraining order against me that was surely in her purse.


At 5, it was then time for the ceremony and all the way from Row U, I threw my support to the cast of Sesame Street who was being honored for 50 years on the air, to our nemesis Judge Judy being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and yes, even to Lauren Lakes' Paternity Court who shocked a whole auditorium of onlookers when it walked away with the Emmy for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program over maybe possibly a show more deserving... 

So while we ended the weekend Emmy-less, and I know one day I'm going to have to get into welding and carve Lauren a fake one in my shed with a blow torch, I did make it back to the east with...

my very own Delta barf bag.



An entire suitcase full of goods.


CLAUDIA'S VIOLIN TEACHER FROM PARTY OF FIVE!



Awesome memories with one cool group of peeps.


And two new best friends.


So all in all, I can safely say it was an honor to be nominated.


But next year, a win would be nice.


Thanks for the mem'ries, Los Angeles! Hope to see you in 2020! 




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