For the week of South by South West, Jimmy Kimmel brought his show down from California to the Long Center in Austin, Texas. The set up of the stage reflected the highlights of the city, with Kimmel’s desk stating Austin as “The Music Capital of the World.” Guests for the week included Seth Rogen, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Nellie Wilson, Lil Wayne and many more.
I had the pleasure of attending the third day of the taping on Wednesday, March 12th which featured guests, Robert Duvall, Rachel Ray with musical guest, Damon Albarn. The entire crew was friendly and the staff made sure we were entertained throughout the wait time till the show.
By 3:30 PM, we were given our tickets for the taping and luckily, I was in a first few rows on the floor of an auditorium that included a mezzanine and balcony. The soon to be audience spent time in the lobby to snap pictures with the backdrops and purchase limited edition merchandise.
From 5 PM to 6 PM, the crowd enjoyed the funniest clips from past Jimmy Kimmel Live shows. Then, a man from the Jimmy Kimmel staff came to hype the audience up and brought members to share a special talent they had. Most of the audience resided in Austin, Texas and displayed talents such as wiggling ears, quivering lips, licking elbows and everything else that is not normal. The man himself was confused as he passed out hats and shirts to the participants. The show band, Cleto and the Cletones, began to do their sound check.
Surprisingly, in the row in front of me sat Bushwick Bill from the Geto Boys! For those who don’t know, the Geto Boys, who also consists of Willie D and Scarface, are a legendary rap group from Houston, Texas. The hype man called up Bushwick Bill to the stage to rap accompanied by the house band. It was a treat for everyone in the crowd, and then it was time for the show!
The man himself, Jimmy Kimmel, graced the stage and greeted us before starting his monologue. After was a segment called “How Do You Say Guillermo?” Watch it here:
Then arrived to the stage was the first guest, Robert Duvall, who brought along Matthew McConaughey’s brother, Rooster. Later, Rachel Ray came on to promote her 7th Annual Feedback Festival at Stubbs BBQ on the upcoming Saturday. On a side note, the line for the festival started at 3 AM, with doors opening at 10 AM. Performers for the Feedback Festival included, Cee Lo Green, Foxboro Tots (Green Day’s alter ego band), Blondie and Rachel Ray’s husband’s band, The Cringe.
Closing out the show with a mini concert for the audience was Damon Albarn! Check out his performance here:
Overall, the Long Center is a great venue and the show was an enjoyable for an audience of all ages. I would highly suggest attending a Jimmy Kimmel Live taping, if you are ever in California, or if he comes back to Austin again!