Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do you hear what I hear?

...It's the sound of my heart breaking. Why you ask? Well, I took a tour of NBC studios at Rockefeller Center in NYC today and learned that my favorite NBC show, 30 Rock, is in fact not filmed at 30 Rock. Not anywhere near 30 Rock. It's filmed in Astoria, Queens, which let's be honest, might as well be North Dakota.

When the page (yes, they have pages give tours just like on the aforementioned show) told me that neither Tina Fey nor Alec Baldwin ever grace the hallways that we were walking as Liz Lemon or Jack Donaghy, I felt my heart shatter. Now, as I've had time to reflect, I can understand why they don't shoot the show there. The fact is that 30 Rock (the building) was never meant to be a TV studio and couldn't accommodate 30 Rock (the show). The space is limited to say the least and, along with all New York real estate, is incredibly over priced. So, I can forgive Tina Fey for moving her show out of town. But it does take the fun out of watching a little bit, right? I figured since my heart was broken I'd break all your hearts too.

So, you're probably wondering where all the photos are. Unfortunately they don't let you take photos during the tour. Something about copyright (they should ask the editor at Cooks Source for advice on how to get around that). This photo of one of the entrances to the building will have to suffice:

I can tell you that yes, it's true, TV studios really are much smaller than they look on TV. The biggest studio we saw was actually Dr. Oz's, which is kind of messed up, since his show is TERRIBLE. I was expecting that they'd give out free colorectal exams in his studio, but that wasn't the case. I guess they save those freebies for the actual audience (You get an exam and you get an exam and you...!!!).

The highlight of the tour was definitely the set for Saturday Night Live, which is very impressive. I could picture the night's host coming out of center stage to deliver the monologue and Chris Farley crashing through a backdrop. Our tour guide told us that the studio has near perfect acoustics, so perfect that big time singers like Sinatra used to come there to rehearse before their performances on the main stage at Radio City. She also told us that if your favorite band sounds terrible on SNL it's probably a sign that they're awful since the acoustics are so good in that studio. Sorry Ashlee Simpson.

Okay, wrapping up here... Before we went to tour the NBC studios, we took a quick spin through the American Girl store, where they have these bizarre doll holders in the bathroom stalls, right above the toiler paper holder:
Isn't there something disturbing about hanging your lifelike doll beside you on the wall as you go to the bathroom? What's doubly bizarre is the fact that this contraption included an inscription that read, "Patent Pending." Really? You need to patent that? Like there are so many people out there itching to copy that idea, have it cheaply produced in China, and sell it at the mall? I don't think so. But it's true. I looked it up. There is a patent pending on behalf of American Girl LLC for the "ornamental design" of a doll holder. Go figure.

What does deserve a patent is the Dyson hand dryer that was also in the bathroom. My mother kindly demonstrates the technology below. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest inventions of our lifetime. Congratulations creepy guy who does the Dyson vacuum cleaner TV commercials.

This is Part I of my NYC blog post. Check back for my report on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Hotcha!


  1. I remembering finding out that West Wing wasn't filmed in the West Wing, not a huge surprise, but disappointing nonetheless. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the dyson hand dryer, incredible.

  2. The worst offender, of course, was Seinfeld. Shot in California. Disgraceful, really.