On a slightly lighter note, wanted to share a glimpse of behind the scenes from this morning. Peter and I camped out in the control room for the first half hour of the show. The control room is where the show is, literally, controlled. To paint a picture for you, it is a room underneath the studio full of floor to ceiling monitors along one wall. The executive producer, director and many other important people sit there each morning to coordinate what exactly shows up on your screen. It is a pretty lively bunch and the banter you overhear on any given day is a show of its own.
For a clearer visual of the control room, check out a tour of our new high-definition studio and control room that ran on Meredith's first day: WATCH VIDEO
This morning the show was flowing smoothly when Meredith and Lester brought up the upcoming jackpot in the lottery. Al was saying that he'd like to get in on the tickets some of the crew members had purchased. In the control room, while local weather was broadcast to you at home, our director Joe Michaels spoke into Al's ear taunting him he wouldn't make the pool this time around since he hadn't put in twenty bucks. Joe Michaels has access to a microphone directly to the anchors and stage managers' ears, which can lead to some very spontaneous moments on and off the air.
As soon as Al was back on camera he held up a crisp twenty-dollar bill and announced he was running to the control room to pay up. Joe got up from his chair, grabbed the door and held it closed. As Al bounded up a brief tug of war ensued - until Al succeeded and announced to all of us, "I win because my heart is pure!" and quickly delivered his money for the pool.
I asked both Al and Joe Michaels to describe each other for the blog, and while they both jokingly suggested a word I cannot type here, Joe went on to admit that he loves Al's willingness to do anything in the moment. Al, in turn, said that Joe is, "My one true love."