Carson Daly's Taping Disrupted by Writers

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This cames to me from some Hollywood sources Tuesday but I didn't get time to post it until now: On Tuesday night, a group of striking writers (including some well known names, including one Oscar-nominated screenwriter and one creator of a TV cult series) infiltrated and interrupted a taping of NBC's Last Call With Carson Daly. This may well have been the first time the show wasn't boring if it had aired.Carson, of course, was the controversial first of the late night network hosts to return to the airwaves during the WGA labor action because NBC threatened to cancel his show. (Talent-free Daly is not a member of the WGA unlike the other hosts.) During an interview with former NFL great Jerry Rice, a WGA member incognito in the audience heckled Daly, claiming he "needed a writer" to ask better questions. Production assistants and NBC security swooped down on the scribe and escorted him from the building. The writer didn't resist. nbc02.jpgA clearly disconcerted Daly asked whether Rice would be willing to start the interview over again, which he was. After reintroducing Rice to the audience, who repeated their cheers, Daly was horrified when another incognito writer stood up and loudly declared: "I feel so bad for the striking writers! Can I please leave?" The scribe also pointed out Daly's use of cue cards and asked who was writing the show now. NBC security, still expelling the first troublemaker, instantly scrambled back into the studio, then hurriedly ejected three more WGA members from the audience. Daly, now visibly rattled, had no impromptu comment to offer the perplexed audience. Rice was also upset because he was perplexed, audibly asking: "What's going on?" A tense Daly responded with a nod, saying darkly: "I know what this is about." After that, someone associated with the production took the stage to declare, "Anyone else interrupting the show will be prosecuted" and urged "any other striking writers" in the crowd to "leave now." Over 20 people -- though some sources say just 5 -- scattered throughout the stands dutifully shuffled out. The audience gasped. Daly paled. Ironically, one member of this departing group had been given a prize moments earlier for being "such a great audience member." The award was a gift certificate to El Pollo Loco. Moments later, a traumatized Daly asked Rice whether he'd "mind starting the interview again." For the 3rd time.

  1. "Carson Daly Almost Ran Me Over at NBC"
  2. WGA Scolds Carson Daly For Returning 'To Support Staff' And Seeking Scab Jokes

21 Comments »

  1. Well that settles it, THERE IS A GOD.

    P.S.

    I just knew the DGA would not stand with WGA & SAG, I never see any directors who don’t write in numbers out there walking or talking for the strike. More of a reason to have one big creative union that reps us all so we can not be conquered and divided. That way a strike really means everything stops, which of course means, it never would get to that point.

    Comment by Audio Verite — December 13, 2007 @ 3:44 am

  2. “This may well have been the first time the show wasn’t boring.”

    It had to happen someday!

    I’d actually watch that episode, except they probably excised the good parts from the broadcast version.

    Comment by Steve S — December 13, 2007 @ 4:05 am

  3. Nice. Now will the writers go after Letterman/Leno/O’Brien/Kimmel if any of them go back to their shows? Or would that take, I dunno, balls?

    Comment by Kenneth York — December 13, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  4. It appears that the studio’s accounting practices have infiltrated the writer’s guild…it was more like 8-10 not the 20-25 that has been reported. It’s bodes well that no one in this town can count!!!

    Comment by Roach — December 13, 2007 @ 7:44 am

  5. Wow! I’d love to see this. Any chance this video made it onto YouTube or somewhere on the web for viewing?

    Comment by davidvogler — December 13, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  6. Carson should not go on the air. He should show reruns like the other guys. The writers who wrote those reruns could use the residual money during the strike. Carson said he went back to work so his staff of 75 wouldn’t get fired. What about the 4 striking writers? You took away their residuals. What are they to do during the strike? Carson doesn’t care about the writers if he took their residuals away by doing new episodes.

    Comment by pro WGA — December 13, 2007 @ 9:24 am

  7. “P.S.

    I just knew the DGA would not stand with WGA & SAG, I never see any directors who don’t write in numbers out there walking or talking for the strike. More of a reason to have one big creative union that reps us all so we can not be conquered and divided. That way a strike really means everything stops, which of course means, it never would get to that point.

    Comment by Audio Verite — December 13, 2007 @ 3:44 am

    good point, but maybe there are a large number of folks who don’t agree with the strategic decisions the WGA has made in regards to how this negotiation has been handled. i agree we all have the same goal here, we should be working together, but the WGA decided to strike in november rather than wait for the other guild’s contracts to expire in July. that would have been the real demonstration of unity. instead a unilateral decision was made that is costing us all big bucks. maybe it’s time to rethink the strategy, and take a course that we would all support. we don’t disagree on the issues, just the timing.

    from all the statements of both sides of this negotiation, i have not seen any movement towards a resolution to this, only an escalation of rhetoric. i hope that there is a real effort backchannel to find a solution here, because from everyone’s public statements, im not seeing it. that said, i’m praying for a great resolution for all of us! we have a common enemy; work with others to find a creative solution that will get everyone talking again!

    DGA guy

    Comment by hurting — December 13, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  8. wtf was a member of the NFL players union doing on a scab show? Wasn’t there a picket line ol’ Jerry had to cross?

    Comment by JDM — December 13, 2007 @ 9:59 am

  9. What a d**k

    Comment by anonymous — December 13, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  10. Here’s some truth about the going ons with Carson Daly (and if you have a source inside the show, they can verify this). When N.F. writes that the show was “going dark” for December, it was actually going dark for good. Daly then asked NBC what he could do to keep the show on the air. Slash the budget by half they answered. So he did. By letting people go. He didn’t go back on the air to save anyone’s job but his own. He didn’t even cut his salary.

    Comment by Daly's Shadow — December 13, 2007 @ 11:27 am

  11. Maybe it will pop up on YouTube. If it did, it would generate millions of hits, easy.

    I cannot tolerate Carson Daly. He’s as bland as the ripped plastic bag swirling in the wind on Highway 205. Why does this idiot continue to get paid luxuries? He needs to go to college to prove himself and contribute to society rather than waste everyone’s time with his talk show garbage that’s as execrable as Chevy Chase and Keenan Wayan’s defunct late nite talk shows.

    Comment by Daly Carson is 100% vapid moron — December 13, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

  12. I’m all for the writers. I bought pencils. I spread the word. I wear the T-shirt and if I wasn’t geographically challenged I would’ve walked the lines with a fancy banner in hand. The AMPTP have come out again and again looking the bad people with wide black hats and pointy ugly shoes, but this is a act that I think is below these good writers that I admire and love their craft and hope that they get what they have worked hard for. Crason (admittedly -in my very humble- not as good at what he does as others) is not part of the WGA and this act really brings out the writers in a bad light. An ambush *shakes head* that might be worthy of the AMPTP hiding behind their oak desks bought by easy earned money but to Cason Daly? It’s like picking on the weak.

    Comment by NM — December 13, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  13. If Daly loses this job, he should start renting out his forehead to movie theaters.

    Comment by Simon Scowl — December 13, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  14. Carson has nothing to gain from the strike, so I don’t blame him for resuming taping of Last Call with Carson Daly. The writers should leave him the fuck alone and save their heckling for talk show hosts who are members of the WGA and decide to cross the picket line.

    Comment by maitland — December 13, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

  15. There is a law that says you can’t use free speech while a crappy talk show host is trying to do an interview? Stupid Americans…

    Comment by Brad — December 13, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  16. Kenneth wrote: Now will the writers go after Letterman/Leno/O’Brien/Kimmel if any of them go back to their shows?

    Yes.

    Comment by Kitty — December 13, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

  17. NM: Don’t be silly. The WGA has been picketing and otherwise shutting down shows since the strike began (or have we already forgotten a tearful Eva Longoria delivering untold metric tons of pizza to the barbarians at her particular gate?) Infiltrating The (not Johnny) Carson Daly (but not The Daily) Show is no different… other than being a little riskier, a lot more unexpected and just as effective at getting the point across.

    The fact is that Last Call is written, and it continues (or will continue to be) written. All that’s changed between the first week of November and the second week of December is that now it’s written by scabs.

    Save your head shakes for the Chris Lehanes of the world.

    Comment by Simon Jester — December 13, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

  18. NM,

    “The AMPTP have come out again and again looking the bad people with wide black hats and pointy ugly shoes, but this is a act that I think is below these good writers that I admire and love their craft and hope that they get what they have worked hard for. Crason (admittedly -in my very humble- not as good at what he does as others) is not part of the WGA and this act really brings out the writers in a bad light. An ambush *shakes head* that might be worthy of the AMPTP hiding behind their oak desks bought by easy earned money but to Cason Daly? It’s like picking on the weak.”

    Or… it sends a message to any other latenite host thinking of going back to work that perhaps he should think twice…

    This is a labor negotiation, not a picnic. All politeness and respect have gotten the WGA thus far is scorn and ridicule and no attempt at a deal. Carson Daly is a sniveling weakling who hides behind altruism (”it’s for my crew! And my fan!”). It was exactly the type of move the guild members should be doing.

    Comment by Gloria — December 13, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

  19. What exactly could one be “prosecuted” for in this instance?!

    Comment by One Time Sitcom Writer — December 13, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

  20. The guy in the audience asked a very pertinent question, too, what exactly was on those cue cards, and who wrote it? The WGA should be investigating this.

    Comment by Anon — December 14, 2007 @ 12:39 am

  21. What exactly could one be “prosecuted” for in this instance?!

    Comment by One Time Sitcom Writer — December 13, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

    ———————-

    Disorderly Conduct.

    It should also be noted that those who wish to picket only have a protected right to do so on public property (such as the sidewalk). The interior of a studio is private property.

    What I would like to know is if you guys did this to Johnny Carson back during the 1988 WGA strike? Johnny stayed off air for only 6 weeks; his show aired new episodes for the remaining 16 weeks of the strike. Regardless, it is obvious Johnny’s choice had no impact at all on his career.

    Comment by DBHughes — December 14, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

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