Despite being a reasonably heavy sleeper, I heard all sorts of banging noises throughout the night and especially what sounded like many scaffolding poles being dropped. Upon walking out of the hostel onto to a closed-off Hollywood Boulevard, a whole set of infrastructure had been built to stage the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. People seem to take these film premieres very seriously. Already by 8.30am there were people set up for the day in deckchairs along the perimeter fence. Many wore costumes and all sorts of signs seemed to be in the process of being drawn.
Escaping all the kerfuffle, I walked up to Runyon Canyon Park. Although no more than about a half an hour away from Hollywood Boulevard by foot, it certainly felt like you’re in the sticks. Apparently coyotes, mountain lions and rattle snakes have been spotted here. The trail was full of dog walkers, along with beautiful people exercising, barely breaking sweat. I certainly was by the time I’d reached the top, where the view of Hollywood and across Los Angeles was great. Someone handed me a business card and asked if I was on the lookout for some lifestyle coaching. I suppose it’s that sort of place!
After the James Corden debacle the other day I didn’t want to miss out on seeing the taping of tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. With the queue starting about 50 yards from the hostel front door, I made sure I was there with plenty of time to spare time and had no problems getting in today. Jimmy Kimmel is easily my favourite of the late night US talk show hosts. He comes across as a nice bloke, is funny and a great interviewer. When talking to audience members off camera he seemed friendly and sincere. Being here provided a nice insight into television. The warm-up person’s job is to get everyone cheering but even he joked about how it’s a bit contrived. Everything is largely filmed in real time. During advertisement or segment breaks a makeup person will come out or someone may tidy up the furniture. Ann Wilson from Heart was singing and for some reason Black Hole Sun, her tribute to Chris Cornell, had to be rerecorded. However in between takes a load of ping pong balls had been fired across the studio so for the purposes of continuity these had to be cleared up. Tonight’s main guest was Johnny Depp. While a fine actor, I’m not sure if I particularly like Depp who lived up to his slightly eccentric/bordering on strange demeanour. Linkin Park also played on a stage in the car park behind the studio. I don’t mind some of their older tunes but the newer stuff isn’t the best.
Walking back to the hostel the circus around the film premiere seemed to be in full flow. The hostel kitchen was directly above where all the action was taking place and we had a great view of Johnny Depp getting mobbed. I now realised why this hostel charges big bucks. While noisy, you also get a great view of what’s happening in Hollywood. If you’re into that sort of thing, it must be great being here for the Oscars.
Perhaps my favourite thing to do in LA is visit The Comedy Store. I explained how it works in the blog entry the last visit I was in LA but essentially there will be at least a dozen comedians, most of whom have been on television, performing 15-minute stand-up sets in a tiny club. All for the princely sum of $15, plus you have to buy at least two drinks. Tonight the big names included Joe Rogan, Aresnio Hall and Bobby Lee. As usual it was a great night out.