Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tram Take-over: Kathie Lee Gifford!

Yesterday I picked up a shift at Universal and when I was called out to give my first tour around 10 a.m. there was a strange buzz in the air. My manager and his manager were both on the load line, the emcee was trying to get the unamused guests excited that they'd be having a "special tour" and we waited and waited and waited...
But no trams came.

As it turns out, Kathie Lee Gifford was there to sort of give a tour and tape a segment for the 4th hour of the Today show that she now co-hosts. Several of my coworkers were just annoyed that it was creating an unnecessary wait for the guests, but I was actually excited to see her in person!

After about 10 minutes they sent out a Japanese language tour. I was told Whoopie Goldberg once did the same thing and caused an hour and a half load line backup! That sounds a bit embellished, but who knows! After another 10 minutes they decided to resume "regular" un-special tours. The poor emcee had to turn all his hype into the introduction of the guide. Thank goodness it was not me who had to deal with disappointed, confused and pissed guests who had been in the "next" spot for over 20 minutes! I hopped on the tram after that with guests who were still in the queue and probably oblivious to the fact something odd was going on. It's amazing what tourist don't hear, even when your trying to get their attention over a microphone!

When I returned about an hour later Kathie Lee had gone out; I was on a break at that point and I the thought did cross my mind that I could lurk around the unload area for her tram to return, but no...
My stomach was killing me and honestly, what would be the point? I suppose if I was a huge fan of hers, and if my ultimate career ambition was to host, I could have found a way to say hello. But since neither of those things are true, it wasn't worth looking like an ass, potentially getting in trouble, and quite frankly peeling myself off the couch I was on!

Upon further research I found that Kathie Lee and her co-host Hoda Kotb are both here in LA trying to rile up some publicity. A line from the Today show website reads: "Move over Brangelina, TomKat, McPalin... there’s a new couple taking up Us Weekly real estate: HodaLee!" Riiight...

I'm told Kathie Lee sat in the guide seat, on camera and made funny jokes while a veteran guide who was on mic, but off camera, delivered the actual information. I'm sure it was a really fun tour; they said Kathie Lee was very sarcastic, probably making great jokes that real guides aren't allowed to make! I think the segment will be on the Today show Monday or Tuesday.

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