At the beginning of every show, Kevin comes over to the audience to give his “Here is what you do if the fire alarm goes off” speech. These instructions involve going right, left, straight and diagonal. You must move through hallways and doors of red, blue, green, and yellow. Take some twists and turns, up and down some stairs, and follow the glowing signs and huzzah! You are safely of the building. Every time I go I swear that I will pay close attention and actually figure it out, and every time I go I start to fade out after the first turn. Truthfully, I’m not convinced that Kevin’s directions are for real, and if they are, well, we’re all in a lot of trouble.
2. A Place where Everybody Knows your Name.
The first time I went George asked my name. The second time I went he knew my name. The third time I went not only did George remember me four months later, but some of the other staff also knew my name. Plus, George remembered who I had come to the show with before, asked about them, mentioned some things we had talked about in the past, and generally flustered me completely. I was amazed. George, and the rest of the staff at The Hour, really make you feel welcome, appreciated, and a little bit special.
3. He’s Even Funnier Off the Air…
George’s jokes and stories on TV are funny. George’s jokes, stories and his question and answer with the audience in between takes are better. He’s so incredibly laid back, so comfortable and willing to talk about anything that I’m often laughing so hard, I’m crying.
4. Hugs, Photos, Conversations and those Red Chairs
I love to watch the show – on TV or live – because I always learn something. I find a new book to read, a new movie to check out, a new political or religious organization to hate or to love. However, on TV you don’t get a hug from George at the end of the show. You don’t get to become a photo whore and take 50 pictures of and with George. On TV you can’t have 5, 10, 15, 20 minute conversations with George about anything and everything. Finally, and most important, on TV you can only admire those nice red chairs from afar, but when you are there and George is in a particularly good mood you can sit in them, you can sit in them with George and chat for a while (and they are quite comfy).
5. A true "Happy Hour"
For me, seeing the show live is worth missing an afternoon of work, worth the hour on the GO Train from Hamilton, and worth the scary freight elevator that takes you up to the studio. Seeing the show taped live, meeting George in person, having him remember you and take the time to talk with you - it’s worth whatever it took to get you there (skipping school, working overtime, using a vacation day, lying to your parents/partner/kids) It’s all worth it. If you haven’t gone, go. If you have gone, go again. It’s different and better each and every time.