I found this on another M forum someone posted, let's just say I totally spoiled myself lol!
"Arrived early, around 3:20 p.m., to find maybe 55 or 60 people in line. They were looking for 200, so we felt pretty good. Then we felt pretty cold. Then we worried if we were pretty at all, because the fake-stern handlers eventually reiterated that the dress code would be strictly enforced. 'If you're in a T-shirt and baggy jeans, that's not gonna fly, people.'
"Once our names and IDs were checked, we were led into 528 W. 57th (there is a small awning over the door with the logo for
The Marriage Ref
) and up several flights of stairs before being deposited in a small room with the news playing on a lone TV. It felt exactly like jury duty, which was interesting considering the theme of the show is that the host would judge marital conflicts after consulting with a celebrity panel.
"Once we signed our lives away, we were led back out in a very orderly fashion and marched into the large-ish studio. Some VIPs with black bracelets were in the front row, but nobody recognizable. We were seated about halfway back directly in front of the three seats where the stars would obviously be seated...score! Unfortch, my friend's view was blocked by a stationary camera. Otherwise, they were great seats.
"The set is cute and the logo reminiscent of David Letterman's in a strange way. Famous warm-up guy Joey Kola informed us we'd be watching, along with three celebrity judges, five segments on video (we wound up seeing four) of married couples explaining their major squabble, and that the celebs would then give their opinions on who was in the right before the host/ref Tom Papa delivered his verdict to the couples, who would be live via satellite.
"Kola told us about an already filmed segment with other celebs in which the husband and wife were arguing about the husband's Mariah Carey obsession. This seemed to be a major
missed opportunity—imagine what Madonna would have had to say about that? We also watched a couple of couples' stories that they were apparently testing to see if they got great reactions. They were pretty stilted and overly rehearsed.
"Finally, Kola introduced a very svelte Jerry Seinfeld, natty in a suit, who jogged out and did a short warm-up set for us that focused on how he never realized that the tone of voice he uses in any given situation would be a daily issue once he got married 10 years ago. It was classic Seinfeld and everything he said was warmly received.
"Following his brief remarks,
came out and spoke with us a bit. He's adorable and quite funny. Hard to believe he's married to a woman and is a dad. Anyway, we were also introduced to Maria Menounos of
who sat at a separate station and sporadically provided factoids pertinent to each case. (She was actually useless and has a BIZARRE laugh that was beyond distracting.)
"Then the A-list panel emerged: Larry David arrived in his trademark shabby get-up, Ricky Gervais looked tiny and much thinner in person and then there was Madonna, who came out looking like a million dollars in large bills. WOW. Madonna's hair is similar to how she wore it on the Hope for Haiti Now special and/or in the '4 Minutes' video, kind of wavy or crimped-looking. Her skin-tight gray dress with sequins on top was superhot. That plus her death-defying (and deadly) heels combined to deliver the kind of bombshell the show would continually refer to (Papa at one point said, 'I never thought I'd say this, but not now, Madonna!' and she was introduced in terms referring to her sex appeal as well as her status as 'one of the world's greatest entertainers').
"From the beginning, Madonna was remarkably at ease with David, Gervais and Papa considering she can at times clam up on talk shows and these were all gabby professional comedians presumably prepared to generate quips or handle hecklers (which Madonna turned out to be). When Seinfeld returned during breaks, she also teased, 'Oh, here comes Uncle Jer!'
"Without going into too terribly much detail on each filmed segment, the first involved a couple warring over a husband's refusal to clean up the basement vs. the wild-eyed wife's use of sex as a weapon, another saw a wife demanding her husband get rid of an old couch he owned with his ex while he wanted her to part with her dead hubby's prosthetic leg and ashes, the third was about a wimpy husband's intimate chats with his nasty mother about his wife and the last one focused on a hostile husband's demand that his wife stop parading around her five-foot pet iguana (which she dressed up in cute-as-hell hats) around the house.
"David established himself as a self-described misanthrope (his usual character), Gervais would occasionally express wonder at the weirdness of the situations and Madonna had a steady string of funny non-sequiturs about not liking the couches she was seeing. Almost immediately, the two guys were opening making fun of the pointlessness of the show itself, and even Madonna cracked wise about the two hours or so they spent riffing—when one live-via-satellite spouse rhetorically asked, 'How much time've ya got?' Madonna faux-snapped, 'Not a lot!'
"Madonna had terrific chemistry with the host—she sassed him, at one point commanding him, 'Tom, take control!' when the panel had gotten wild. 'Oh, like all the shows you do are so normal!' She just smiled and allowed him a 'touché!'
"But she was also clicking big-time with David, with whom she had a mock adversarial give-and-take throughout the taping. After David described himself as a misogynist, Madonna said he shouldn't be on the show and declared he was probably threatened to be seated next to her, a woman who would stand up to him. Upon saying this, she stood up and struck a hand-on-hip pose that generated a lot of applause. She also taunted David for his casual dress sense (as Gervais noted, David and one of the contestants' hotly-contested prosthetic leg had similar taste in socks) and gave him the finger when a joke about his misogyny led him to say, '***CENSORED*** you!' to her face. 'I don't hate men, I just hate you,' she teased.
"Is an appearance on
Curb Your Enthusiasm
out of the question???
"During the breaks, all three stars were swarmed by groomers. Hysterically, when she was offered a coffee mug of water during the first break, Madonna quickly said, 'I don't drink from cups. I only drink from the bottle.' She seemed to enjoy getting reactions from the audience even if she rarely interacted with us beyond a couple of small waves and an air kiss to the audience seated above and behind her (think
). Her manager Guy Oseary was hanging out, rocking a salt-and-pepper beard. Liz Rosenberg was there, but I did not see her.
"Not sure if the edited show will do bleeped comments or will be cleaner, but Madonna led the way into smut. (You go, girl!) She explicitly accused one husband of being gay, wondering if he'd seen any of her shows and quizzing him about his flaming-red tie. 'Ask him who picked out his clothes!' When he proudly proclaimed he had himself, Madonna was smug. 'Does Madonna approve?' he asked, and Madonna just said, 'Need I say more?'
"She had the best line of the entire night (and the least likely to be used) in saying that this guy—whose overbearing mother was interfering with his marriage—was pussy-whipped 'by the wrong pussy.' She took the Oedipal allusions a bit too far, later declaring that an argument-inducing pet iguana was just a big phallic symbol. She also got big laughs when she said 'he's not missing any meals' in response to a hefty husband who said his wife's pet was fed better than he is. (Gervais had started the insulting ball rolling by declaring the guy to be a 'fat Jerry Seinfeld' look-alike.
"Probably also not about to be used—Madonna talked about how the British don't like to talk about sex. But when it was pointed out to her that Gervais had just agreed with her in saying that the iguana looked like a big cock, she said it's like how the British will use the word '***CENSORED***' without meaning it that way. (Someone should have said, 'Is that what Guy told you?' but nobody really tangled with Madonna.)
"The only times Madonna seemed off were when she had no idea who Dick Morris is (David referred to him with a toe-sucking reference that went over like a lead balloon anyway) and when she had to ask the famously divorced David if he'd ever been married. It must have been all these comedians could do to never reference Sean Penn, Guy Ritchie or Jesus Luz.
"But for those minor dips, she had lots of peaks, such as when someone was saying all the marital problems were moronic. Madonna said, 'Ninety-five percent of the people who have marital problems have moronic problems.' That's the point of the show—none of the issues are presented in a way that can be anything but funny. Yet the real humor comes from watching (divorced!) celebrities try to offer advice and sketch out parameters in an effort to decide who's right.
"When it ended, all the principals gathered mid-stage for a couple of quick photos. 'Let's Stay Together' was playing and Madonna sidled up to David and was in such a good mood she did some dancing in place, which drew cheers.
"After the panel departed, Papa had to redo a couple of things, then Seinfeld came out to thank us briefly on camera. Then we were cut loose.
"The show was a hell of a lot of fun to watch live. No way to know how it will play, edited, on the small screen, but if it fails, it will not be for a lack of thoroughly game star power. Madonna was just fantastic on this."