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Studio 60 Fodder

Studio 60: The Disaster Show

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip returns from its long hiatus with a vengeance this week. And it brings the funny. After an extended montage of the season's greatest moments, there is an extended pan through the studio, landing in the host's dressing room. And the host is....Allison Janney! Playing herself (though likely taking faster than she does in unscripted life). Cal has just told her something horrible has happened, but it will be fine.

He then goes to the cast and crew and tells them there's been a Wildcat strike. Basically, the propmasters' contract is up at midnight, but the show's propmasters walked out 10 minutes ago, largely thanks to Danny's comment to them, "For the love of God, you're just prop guys; you're easily replaceable!" Never, never piss off crew when their contract is up. Or, really, ever.

Cal assures the cast that the prop table is already set and all the props are in running, so they don't need to worry about performing any propmaster duties, which would in fact, be crossing picket lines, which we certainly can't have. However, he manages to break the table (he does not have good luck with tables), so now the props are mixed up and broken. To make matters worse, it turns out that the cue card guys belong to the propmasters union, and they're on strike, too.

As Tom warms up the crowd, Cal is giving Allison a pep talk. Unlike Cal, she already knew that the card holders are in the propmasters union. Cal assures her that she'll have cards, but he gives her an earpiece so he can talk to her from the booth.

Simon reveals to a number of people that his girlfriend just broke up with him in his dressing room. He was planning on going with her to Hawaii with Tom and Lucy. Tom suggests he find a girl in the greenroom to take to Hawaii.

Harriet's Nancy Grace sketch is sabotaged by some propmaster who has not yet left the building.

Jack Rudolph wanders through Matt's office before going to the booth to talk to Cal, who is busily trying to run the show. After he confirms that she can hear him by getting her to thank the crowd in response to him, he tries to feed Allison her monologue through her earpiece. It doesn't work well. She forgets what show she's on and what city she's in, but at least she remembers she spent the last seven years of her life starring on The West Wing. The monologue is blessedly cut short. We find out that Danny is in the parking lot trying to smooth over the situation with the propmasters and that Matt is helping the cast basically come up with cheat sheets for their lines. We never see them through the entire episode.

Jack reveals to Cal that there's been a bomb threat. Apparently someone who saw the dress rehearsal was offended by the sketch "Mohammed, the thin-skinned prophet." Only they can't air the tape of the dress rehearsal because it was recorded without the color blue, and a tool belt was dropped during one of Macy Gray's sets (she's the musical guest), stopping the taping. So they can't stop the show, but the audience won't be allowed to leave their seats.

During a sketch, Allison tries to bribe Tom, but her prop wallet is empty. Tom is no help at all.

Harry says she won't date Matt, giving Jeannie permission to date him before taking it right back.

In the greenroom, Simon is looking for the sort of girl who hangs out in a greenroom and is so starstruck by him that she flies across the Pacific Ocean with him the next morning. The first woman he finds seems pretty hopeful until it turns out she's married. He then runs into Claire, a woman he dated once before but never called back because he lost her phone number. He reveals that he just broke up with his last girlfriend. Claire won't go with him to Hawaii, but he wants to take her for coffee. However, it turns out she's leaving the country the day they come back. Finally, she is convinced to go with him.

Jack comes back with the bomb squad. They have a single German shepherd, which coincidentally "speaks" German. One of the bomb squad members wants to know if they're running any electronic equipment, which earns him a dumbfounded look. Jack reveals he's drunk, and Cal allows 10 seconds of dead air.

In another sketch, Allison has money this time, but when she's supposed to be shot, both sound and special effects aren't working, so she flails wildly for no particular reason. Her improvising to save the sketch is not especially successful.

The rest of the cast reveals to Harriet that they "don't know how much more" they can take. They don't know why she and Matt aren't together.

Simon, the giant-sized stud, finds Stephanie in his dressing room. She's decided she's wrong and she actually wants to go to Hawaii with him after all. He agrees to take her. He is a dope. A studly dope, but a dope nonetheless.

Jack reveals to Cal that the bomb threat was called from within the building with a cell phone that was left at the studio. They called the owner of the phone, who is coming back to the studio to pick it up.

Jack, still drunk, tells Allison how much he loves The West Wing, which she points out has been off the air for over a year (um, over a year?). He then says he loved her on Chicago Hope. She points out that he's thinking of Christine Lahti.

Simon goes to Claire and tells her that he's taking Stephanie to Hawaii after all. She slaps him.

Harriet reveals that she got mad when Matt dated other girls. When they weren't actually dating. Also, Matt thinks it would hurt morale for a cast member to date an executive producer. Which is interesting, given the way he had been pursuing her. She realizes there must be some other reason they aren't dating.

Lucy manages to talk to Stephanie and manages to reveal that he's taking someone else. Not unlike Allison, she does not improvise her way out of the situation well. Stephanie slaps Hawaii.

Speaking of Allison, she's in another sketch with Tom. The sound and special effects from the earlier sketch finally occur.

The doofuses who called in the bomb threat are arrested. They were trying to be funny and don't even know who Mohammed is.

The show finally ends. Allison starts yelling about what a disaster this was, but Cal has (wisely) cut her mic. He asks her if she didn't have the time of her life anyway. As at the beginning of the show, she affirmatively answers him. "Thank you."


Posted by on May 26, 2007 12:11 AM
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