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Good Question, Andy. How DO Those Louisiana Peeps Keep Getting Through?

Posted by tinselkitty on May 6, 2011

Andy Cohen just lurves to play it off as if anyone, anyone anywhere!, can call in and talk to the guest o’ the evening on Watch What Happens Live. Like, remember back a little while ago when that kid Ben got on and he was like the biggest Housewives fan? And then, holy coinkydink, Ben was related to it all somehow? Maybe through Isaak Mizrahi? Ah, who knows, I just remember Andy tried to cover it up for awhile but then one night he was all, hey did you know? we didn’t!

So Andy did it again tonight, wondering how all the people from Louisiana get through on the phone lines. Our fine friend, Terry Aley, has just recently written a post about this very subject! I know, right? How cool is that. And now I shall bring it to you so we can all enjoy the same information and snort along in our drinks when Andy is trying to play dumb. It’ll be our own version of his drinking game. Mwahahaha!

From Terry Aley – (who’s awesome by the way and I try to get him to tweet back and forth with me but I never can which means I must be a huge tweet loser and that I should just go home and eat worms and drink freckle juice)

I never gave much thought to the screening process for viewers who call in to ask questions on Watch What Happens Live. Until yesterday when someone pointed out the bizarre process of what happens once you’re on the line with a screener. I would have guessed they announce the phone number on the show (or the show leading up to WWHL), if you have a question for one of the guests you pick up the phone and call, a screener answers and you tell them your question. If your question is a good one, they put you on hold, put you on live a few minutes later, you ask your question and that’s that. If you call in and your question is a snoozer or you sound even remotely mentally unstable, they politely thank you and end the call. So Jennifer, a viewer watching the Real Housewives of New York City (WWHL immediately follows this show on Bravo TV), sent me an overview of what happened when she called in to ask a question on Watch What Happens Live.

I called about 15 minutes or so before the RHONYC was over. This was my first time ever calling. A lady answered the phone and asked me who my question was for and what it was. I told her that my question was for Alex [McCord] and it was “Why are you being so nasty this season?”

The lady on the phone then said how about you ask “Alex, does Simon egg you on?” And I told her that I guess I could ask that question instead. She then asked me my name and where I was calling from and told me that I had to be put on hold for a little while. After about 20+ minutes had passed the lady came back on the phone and told me to ask instead “Alex, are you embarrassed by your behavior at Sonja’s house last week?” I was then informed that I would be put on hold again because I needed to practice the question before I could ask it to Alex. I ended up just hanging up after all of that.

I thought the whole premises of the show was to be a live show with real questions, but I guess even WWHL is scripted. Pretty lame if you ask me. I will never call back again after all of the BS that they put you though to ask a simple question, and then not even being able to ask the question that I wanted to in the first place

First of all, why would anyone need to practice asking a one sentence question? You just ask it. WWHL is the lowest budget talk show on TV. There’s at least a 20% chance the lights will go off on any given episode of the show. Or one of the two cameras will fail. Very public access TV. Which is fine because I like train wreck TV. I’m not saying this is bad. Now I could understand if the caller used the word “nasty” and the screener said something like “We’re trying to keep this lightweight on the show tonight” and asked that you tone your question down a bit and rephrase it yourself. But then the screener appears to know in advance the kinds of questions she wants people asking on the show so she gives the caller two suggested alternatives. You can’t give out the questions to people who call in to a live talk show to ask questions! Well maybe you can.

So what they’re really looking for are people to call in and ask questions the producer wants to hear.  Kind of like, we’ll put you on TV if you ask our question.  I have no evidence they’re doing this all the time. But it makes me wonder how many of these WWHL questions are real viewer questions and how many are scripted out in advance to control the feel of the show. Like the producers have a meeting earlier in the day to discuss the content, and part of that conversation is “Which questions should the callers be asking tonight?” It would kind of be like a newspaper editor receiving a letter to the editor, then contacting the writer and asking them to change the content of the letter to fit a certain editorial viewpoint. If you like the letter to the editor, you print it. If you don’t, you don’t use it.

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13 Responses to “Good Question, Andy. How DO Those Louisiana Peeps Keep Getting Through?”

  1. Coffee FIRST said

    I had read that post by Terry Aley and had wondered even before then about the actual criteria of asking a ‘live’ question. M’k, and those questions are so spontaneous..not. How very Bravo of them!
    IIRC even when the little ‘Ben’ kid began calling in to the show, Dandy Andy claimed he met this adorable 10 yr old fanatic HW fan on the streets of NY, (what Mother in their right mind would allow a child to watch this, prey tell.?..)he was so enthusiastic that he was almost calling in once a week/and could get through??? Walks like turds, smells like turds…Is turds… Ta-daa.. It’s Bravo and Andy!

    We had already learned little ‘Ben’ in question was Isaac Mizrahi’s cousin!! OMG, What an amazing f**king coincidence! Bravo adores thinking we’re idiots.

  2. Bananas said

    So now that we’ve learned how they operate what’s to stop someone from saying one thing to get on the air and then asking what they want when they’re ‘Live’?

  3. GingerTee said

    I agree Banana,go thru the process and then ask your real question. They control the comment section but even their control has not been able to help with public opinion on Jill, Kelly and LuAnn

  4. Dani said

    Geez, another illusion shattered. First I find out Santa is fake and now this. Andy why you gotta be so shadey? But seriously, it probably gives more credibility to the idea that the HW shows or their agenda is more scripted then we might believe. You know how all these HW’s are always blaming editing, well just makes you wonder a bit.

  5. @tweatcum said

    @Bla, you’re nuts if you think TK writes that illiterate loco blog. That site can’t even make a clear and concise point from beginning to conclusion. So laughable you would try and tie them together. All they do is incinuate and post other peoples tweets with no real rhyme or reason for it.

  6. Olive the Other Reindeer said

    Dani,,I wrote a comment at lunch be it disappeared,,,,

    Look at my name,,and u tell me there is no Santa??? but,,but * lower lip quivering,,,,well this is plain ol’ Olive,,cuz Dani went and did it now,,u screwed the pooch,,*hand to forehead,,oh how cruel…!!!!

    But seriously, I am not at all surprised at this screening of calls,,u can’t get a comment posted on the house wife site,,at least I never could,,I’m sure they want to make sure no one goes off on one of them,,,there are times,,like when LuAnn was on and I wanted so badly to ask her what the hell is a countess versus a duchess,or lady…or whatever,,,and why she feels so entitled…

    I got my eye on u Dani,,,,,for signing off as plain ol’ Olive,,with no reindeer.

  7. Dani said

    Uh, no Olive, uh, I meant those mall Santas. They aren’t the real deal. Shame on me, I should have made myself clearer. You know, those cheesy mall santas with the fake beards and bad attitudes that always made my kids cry. Those are the Santas I’m talkin about. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

  8. Olive the Other Reindeer said

    *wiping snotty nose,,,,,lower lip quivering,,,asking Dani,,,,Santa is real right? *sniff

    hahhaha,,u r too funny

  9. Oy Vey said

    @8 too funny

    @9, Santa is alive and well at my place all year long! We’ll just keep that mean old Dani away from him and all will be good. Here now blow, and that’s a good girl. Everything will be ok.

  10. Dani said

    Dani hangs head in shame. Yes Olive, there is a Santa Claus.

  11. KurlyHairedB said

    Next thing you are going to say is there is no Easter Bunny. I know for a fact that there is, cause I got an Easter basket this year filled with my favorite candies and only the Easter Bunny, my husband, the kids, my dad, and all my family know my favorite candies.

  12. Dani said

    KHB, LOL. I am not touching that subject with a 10 foot pole.

  13. Olive the Other Reindeer said

    *runs to Oy ,,,,and gets hug,,Dani is soooo mean Oy….* sorry for the snotty nose,,,

    Dani you better be telling me the truth! LOL KHB…see you know,,,the great conspirator Dani,,lol….

    u are all too funny and cute,,,hugssssssssss,,,,

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