I was invited to hangout in the green room at the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show taping. It was the day after the big show where Matt Damon took over hosting duties, you know, the show with the A-listers and Robin Williams dry humping Kimmel. Today was also the day Kimmel got his star on the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The walk to the green room is familiar – it’s the same hallway you see the stars walk through as they prepare to go in studio, that’s lined with framed photos of Kimmel and his various guests over the years. One photo that caught my eye was one of Kimmel and Oprah. By the way, the green room isn’t green. They rarely are. And this one wasn’t a small cozy, quiet room you would envision. It was more like a crowded bar where people literally where just hanging out, sitting on comfortable sofas enjoying conversation and libations. And yes, the bar comes with the requisite cute bartender who makes whatever drink and refill to your heart’s desire.
There’s also a game room to the side with a pool table and video games, and of course the green room is outfitted with flat screen TVs everywhere to watch the show piped in as its being taped to be aired later that night. There was a lovely table replete with tasty finger foods that kept magically replenishing, such as fig, prosciutto and gruyere paninis, as well as cute mini cupcakes. Whenever the lady with the cart of refills of food came to the table, people quickly queued up.
“Revenge” star Josh Bowman and Nicki Minaj were the guests on tonight’s show, and afterwards she performed on that familiar theater outside that we always see on TV. It was raining in Los Angeles, but it was still a fun time.
If you are planning a trip to Southern California, while you may not get invited to hang out in the green room, maybe check out getting tickets to “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and then explore Hollywood before or after the show. If you’re a star gazer, just look down, and you’ll at least see stars on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Walk a few doors down to the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and have a drink or stay there and enjoy this wonderful old building. It’s the site of the first Academy Awards and it’s where Marilyn Monroe lived for a while in a room overlooking the pool. There used to be a large mirror that used to be accessible to the public before hotel renovations, that Marilyn used to use and a cleaning lady once said she saw a blonde woman in the reflection.
And be sure to check out the oldest restaurant in the Hollywood Musso and Frank, which is just down Hollywood Boulevard from the hotel and the Kimmel show. It opened in 1919 and it’s also a great place to sit where stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age sat and enjoy what looks like the same menu they had. Literary greats like William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, T.S. Elliot, Aldous Huxley, all hung out here. Enjoy a martini and highball the way regulars like Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, and Charles Bukowski have enjoyed. As for Hollywood elite, there were many from old Hollywood that frequented Musso’s, such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino. Chaplin’s favorite meal was the Roast Lamb Kidneys. Later on Greta Garbo and Gary Cooper would be seen having breakfast together. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall ate here as well. In the ’50s it was Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, Jimmy Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth and Groucho Marx that ate here.
If you come check out the show, you’ll not only be helping that local economy, which appreciates its tourists, but you’ll also have a great time taking in a really funny show.