Let's talk staged media

A while ago I started a ranting thread claiming that Survivor 2 was completely staged shite. The responders pointed out that staging occurs on a regular basis with film productions. In light of this, let’s discuss those productions that are staged, but for which some people might not realize how rehearsed they are.

For instance, until I saw the Larry Sanders show on HBO, I didn’t know that late-night talk show hosts go over the topics of an interview beforehand. I guess I just thought they came out and shot the sh*t for 10 minutes :smiley: . There was a Conan interview I saw a while ago, even, that was obvious that a certain joke was word-for-word set up. That’s why it sucked :rolleyes:

Also, Hollywood Squares- I think The Simpsons hit the nail on the head with the gag about the sheet of jokes and the sheet of answers. They assign certain celebs with certain questions, with pre-assigned jokes. The answers, the celebs have to know or not know. Maybe.

What else you got?

Insert moon landing joke here.

Well, pretty obviously there are the “fixed” qyuiz shows of the 1950s.
I read an interview with some celebrity where they said that their appearance on some show – I think it was Dr. Ruth’s – was a complete set-up. Wouldn’t surprise me.
I donm’t think the TV talk shows in general are complete set-ups, but it’s clear to me trhat it’s not spontaneous, either. The interview questions are copme up with beforehand – thatr’s pretty obvious from the way Jay Leno or david Letterman couched their questions – “I think I heard that you…” But I don’t think that, aside from such ground prep like this to minimize “dead time” that they do anything more. Some of Leno’s comedy bits between the monologue and the interviews have pretty clearly been set up, but not all of them.

Sometimes the talk show host does such an obvious set up Ray Charles could see it. Once when Sarah Silverman was on Conan O’Brien they had this exchange:
Sarah: I went out last Friday with man that had only one testicle.
Conan: Did you have a good time?
Sarah: I had a ball!

Exactly, Revtim! When I said

It was in this interview with that woman from Curb Your Enthusiasm who swears a lot, and what happened was your basic sitcom set-up of that joke where someone goes on a long discourse arguing something, then a question is asked testing their allegiance to it, and they quickly deny it. Like if I were to talk for paragraphs about how horrible it is when people beat each other up over something like an argument, and then you ask ‘well what if someone claimed [your favorite sports team] sucked?’ and I immediately responded that I would beat the crap out of that person.

It was so staged, stupid… I felt embarassed. I really do feel embarassed for people on television, as dumb as that is.

I seem to recall a disclaimer in the end credits saying that some celebrities are given the answers beforehand.

My first response disappeared somehow: in response to

I meant to respond that the producers did get in trouble for recreating immunity challenges with actors.

I just thought of a big one: Jerry Springer. That guy paid off like all his guests, I bet; they were all actors. At first, there was some reality to it, but later on it was so unrealistic that it was obviously staged.

Day time talkshows in the Springer/Maury/Ricki model are partly staged and partly alcohol fueled. Apparently drinks are free backstage.

Another one that some people fall for:

Radio phone call pranks. Usually these are on morning shows, and it’s often really obvious what’s going on. I once heard one where a guy got his character wrong (I think he called his ‘sister’ his ‘girlfriend’) and the hosts had to keep up with it but managed to mock him ‘in context’ so to speak.

A lot of people think they aren’t staged because things happen that’d be too difficult to script. These people are improvisational artists, though; they’re pretty much given a basic sketch of a character and play it as best they can. You’ll notice that the radio hosts often describe the set-up in detail while on the phone, even though it isn’t necessary. Apparently this is pretty much how Springer et al. set their shows up.

It never seemed to me like Conan O’Brien was pretending all that much. It’s as if he half-expects the audience to be in on it, while not wanting to ruin it for the rest.

I’m convinced that just about any “secret revealed on TV” thing that talk shows do it staged. I saw someone I went to high school with on Ricki Lake one time. It was like this “secret crushes revealed!!!1111oneone” thing. When I had a chance to chat with him later, he said it was basically all staged and he knew about everything before hand. Even told him to “act suprised”.

Oh oh! Back in 2001 there was a reality show on UPN where the premise was: Several teams of two had to escape being hunted by a team of “colorful” expert hunters. Like a prison break type situation. Vince McMahon (of WWF/WWE fame) was one of the producers. But when the powers that be wanted to stage certain parts and reshoot things, McMahon balked and left the project.

I always thought it was amazing that the king of “sports entertainment” prowrestling got in a huff about wanting to fake stuff.

That’s so 1960s! The modern version:

Insert Presidential press conference/speech joke here. :smiley: