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My Adventures on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson…and the Doctor!

This is my first ever blog post on our new site, so cheers. It’s been a journey putting this site together with Autumn and Rebecca, but it’s been worth it. We hope everyone loves what we’re all about and that you’ll continue to take this crazy ride with us.

Doctor Who - The Doctor

Since this is my first, I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to what my blog post would be about, and then this past week something crazy happened…an adventure with the Doctor…sort of.

So, what better to write about than my crazy adventure getting on the Craig Ferguson show where the Doctor from Doctor Who, aka Matt Smith, was the guest?

As a special treat for my niece Erica and cousin Marshall visiting all the way from Maine, my Mom, Stepdad, and I took them on vacation on their first-ever trip to Los Angeles.

Our first day? Walking around Hollywood like the obvious tourists that we were. You know, the Chinese Theater, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Movie Stars Home Tour, the Dolby Theater (looking out from the stage where they film the Oscars is an amazing experience)…

It didn’t take long for us to bump into a guy on the street offering us tickets. I became excited when he had tickets for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I’ll admit he’s my favorite host.

But perhaps I’m a little biased since I love the Scottish accent and he’s a fellow Whovian. So, of course, I said yes! I called my sister Autumn to have her look up who would be the guests.


“You’re going to be so upset when you see who’s going to be there tomorrow!” she laughed.

But really, I knew before she even said it aloud. Comic-Con had recently ended where Craig Ferguson had been the panel host for Doctor Who. It wasn’t much of a stretch for an actor from the series to come on his show as a guest a few days later.

“Matt Smith!” she said.

Suddenly, I felt very excited. Even though we didn’t have tickets for that day, my niece and cousin (both fans as well) decided to make it our mission to get on the show!

It would be our LA adventure even if we didn’t have a plan. Erica said it was her dream to see Matt Smith, so of course, we had to make it come true.

Later in the day, we bumped into the same guy. We asked him if we could have tickets for the next day instead. He happily obliged!

So one step closer…But we found out later that only two of us could go as my cousin was a little bit too young. So now it would just be my niece Erica and I.

The next morning, we had to choose what to wear. It’s kind of like that saying, “Dress every day like you would run away with the Doctor in those clothes.” So I picked something comfortable and cute as did Erica. And we were ready to go!

We wanted to get there early because we weren’t sure how many people would show up. It is the Doctor after all. We figured 1:30 would be sufficient. When we arrived, there was already a line, but not a large one. We felt pretty good about our chances.

There were people who had known about it for weeks, maybe even a month or two, and had bought tickets in advance. How lucky were we who just happened to be in LA and who just happened to get tickets without really trying?

The line began to grow and grow, and it was hot! And I mean scorching. Standing outside CBS Studios with the sun glaring down on you isn’t exactly fun. But the people in line with us were friendly and good conversationalists.

Erica waiting in line at CBS Studios.
Erica waiting in line at CBS Studios.

Soon the Craig Ferguson interns appeared with clipboards. It was then we discovered we didn’t actually have any “real” tickets, only standby tickets. They separated those with priority and standby into two lines.

So all our time waiting and we were sent to the back! Very disheartening. But the interns assured us we were likely to get in.

As time passed, our “likely” chances began to diminish to slim and then practically to none as more people showed up and got in the line in front of us. Eventually, it turned into hundreds. I could feel the disappointment from those around me. But at least we were third in line on standby.

I knew at that point it wasn’t going to happen. But hey, I met some really interesting people, so I didn’t feel upset. I met an intern who had similar interests and a love for nostalgic stories like me, a guy who worked for a major ketchup company (and told tales that both disturbed and intrigued me), and coolest of all an old soul who took dancing lessons from Gene Kelly.

He was there with his wife because they had wanted to see Craig Ferguson. They didn’t even know who the Doctor was, but they were up for the ride.

He began to regale stories of how he took dancing lessons from Gene Kelly when he was a boy (though he believed he was the worst in the class) and how it was Gene who introduced him to his career: Magic. And because of it, he’s been a magician for 75 years!

As the interns began to process everybody, it became abundantly clear we weren’t getting in. The announcement saying as much came soon after. Only half the people there were let in, so the rest of us could leave with the promise of a front-of-the-line priority ticket for the next time we came.

So we left. And that’s when this story becomes just a little bit strange! First, we had lunch at the best vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever been to: “Vegetarian Grill.” As we ate with an Andy Samberg lookalike sitting behind us, we talked about our experience and remained positive about it!

Then with my Mom, Erica and Marshall, I walked into the famous Farmer’s Market in LA (which is nearby CBS Studios). When we walked through the entrance it was like entering a portal fantasy. It was urban and plain before we entered and beautiful with brick streets, dancing water fountains, quaint shops, and music afterward. It was a whole different world; a magical one. It’s like Disneyland without the rides. There were people everywhere.

We went to check out the music, but they were no longer playing so we decided to walk back and leave! And believe it or not, in the Farmer’s Market with THOUSANDS of people there we see a few of the Craig Ferguson interns approaching us on the street.

At first, I thought, “Oh gosh, if it’s another person offering me free standby tickets for the next day…” But no, suddenly they’re making us a surprising offer (all without recognizing us from the line earlier in the day).

It turns out that they were actually looking for a few people to fill extra seats for the show. Why and how when it had been completely full, and over a hundred people were sent away, I do not know. But there it was. We were literally being offered to see the Doctor on the Late Late Show by the interns in the middle of a crowded Farmer’s Market. Meant to be? Definitely!

All four of us happily agreed to “help” them with their sticky situation.

The next thing you know, we’re all (even Marshall who they waived permission for because he looked older) walking back to CBS Studios, excited and self-conscious because our makeup was melted, hair a mess, and bloated from eating. Nonetheless, somehow our LA adventure was bringing us to see the Doctor! And kind of like the Doctor, all without a plan.

What was even more awesome about the experience was we got to go a different way into the studio than everyone else. We went the back way, through the Artist’s entrance, dropped off our camera (sorry everyone no pictures allowed!), went through the studio, and into the set where they sat us in the back. As someone who loves film and behind-the-scenes stuff, I was fascinated by the workings of the studio. It’s a lot more normal looking than I imagined it to be.

We were there later than the rest of the audience so it was pretty close to starting. They had a comedian prepping the audience on what to do and how to act. All the while he told jokes and danced around making it a lot of fun. As for the set, it looks exactly as it does on TV. Just you know with cameras and wardrobes.

A few minutes later, the show started. After that, it all went by very quickly. Craig told his jokes, did his skits, answered his mail, etc…and was very warm and witty. I will say that “the commercial breaks” aren’t as long as when you’re watching it on TV. They just need to film it as if they’re going to a commercial and then prepare for the next shot.

And then it was Matt Smith’s turn to come on as a guest. You could tell just about everyone in the audience was there for him (poor Teri Polo), and the excitement was in the air. I don’t really get star-struck, so I calmly soaked in the experience.

He entered waving, with short buzzed hair (I prefer this look on him actually) and a grey suit. He was handsome and charming and went on to talk about leaving Doctor Who and what he plans to do next.

Matt mentioned the 50th-anniversary trailer, which seemed to cause some tension in the room from the audience (one person clapping out of turn), and at the end, he waved at everyone.

It’s clear behind the scenes that he and Craig Ferguson are good friends. Off camera and after the interview ended they continued to talk a little and give each other hugs like old mates.

Teri Polo, funny and interested in projecting to the audience, was the final guest. She was very scantily clad but in amazing shape. Sadly, everyone seemed to be there for Matt.

After they finished filming, Craig stayed behind to chat with the audience for a couple of minutes. He was very friendly and wanted to make sure everyone had a good time and felt welcome. If anyone is curious, the interns told us that Craig Ferguson is a big family guy and super nice!

Then we all excited, went back out through the Artist’s entrance and left feeling like we were the luckiest people in the world.

So there you go…my strange adventure that led me to the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and the Doctor. And all without a plan.

Did anyone end up watching the episode? What did you think of Matt Smith? 

Top Photo Credit: BBC



By on July 28th, 2013

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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