To promote and celebrate the expansion of comedies on their network, TBS held A Night Out for members of The Television Academy; guest stars included Conan O’Brien, Rashida Jones, Samantha Bee, and Jason Jones. The event was held at the New Museum in Soho and included a red carpet, panel and preview, and after party.
The stars hit the red carpet and the room erupted into flashes from photographers and rapid-fire questions from journalists. I tried to reign in my inner fangirl as Rashida and Samantha neared my post on the carpet. They were both a delight to talk with and exceedingly polite, even as they were rushed off the red carpet and into the auditorium.
Next was the panel and preview, moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper. The stars were led in one by one, all cracking jokes along the way. Conan was predictably the most vocal, commenting on everything from the cubic white chairs they were sitting in to the attire of Jason Jones, which was less than formal.
Clips from the special “Conan in Korea” were shown and Conan had a chance to talk about his experience there. He discussed how unpredictable foreign episodes can be and letting the jokes, and sometimes more serious moments, play out on their own without a lot of scripting.
Samantha Bee was touted as “the true successor to Jon Stewart” in the preview of her show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” which highlighted her sharp wit and ability to tackle with ease some of the more difficult political events that occur every day.
Jason Jones, who strolled on stage in jeans and sneakers with a beer in hand, was his usual brazen, sarcastic self. His show “The Detour” is based on his own experiences with his wife Samantha Bee and their children when they go on road trips. Oh, and it just so happens to have been created, written, and produced by Jason. The show was already confirmed for a second season even before the series was launched, which Jason describes as “the greatest thing ever, especially to have the faith of TBS to renew it before it aired.”
Lastly Rashida Jones was introduced, and after a quick mix-up by the moderator on what her show was called, we got to see some clips from “Angie Tribeca.” If you’ve seen Rashida on “Parks and Recreation” or “The Office,” this is a very different type of show. It is an irreverent version of typical police procedural shows that relies heavily on the complete seriousness of its characters, even as the bizarre and absurd happens all around them.
There were a few questions from the audience after the previews were over, but I think ultimately everyone just wanted to get to the after party that was held in the Sky Room on the seventh floor of the museum. Celebrities and guests chatted, drank, and enjoyed the view of the city through the windows and out on the balcony.
These stars and shows are clear leaders in comedy and television, and were a great way to cheer me up in the middle of the week. I’m excited to see the changes TBS is making to its network and hope to see these wonderful shows and their stars at the Emmys in September.
Special thanks to Chelsea and Eileen from Turner, and Molly from BWR.