By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
It’s 8:27 in the (425) for the taping of “The 206.”
Lights flash. Cameras roll.
A garage where fire trucks once screamed through bay doors is the venue for skits and giggles.
“The 206” is shot in front of a live audience inside a former fire station in suburban Bellevue.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for preshow mingling in what is now Mighty Media Studios. If your name’s on The List, a friendly woman in a cowboy hat ushers you inside the renovated bunkhouse to flock around the spread of Italian eats and makeshift bar with beer and wine.
Who knew a hose house could be so fun?
“The 206,” named after Seattle’s area code, is a reboot by “Almost Live!” comic frontmen John Keister and Pat Cashman.
Here’s how to tell who’s who: Keister has the bald dome. Cashman has a full head of to-dye-for brown hair. New in the mix is Pat’s spitting-image son, Chris.
The trio barely glance at the lines streaming on the TelePrompTer. These guys are so at home in front of a camera it’s like they’re standing around your living room, casually hanging out and cutting up.
The show, which is shot in the 425 area code, is an equal-opportunity fun-poker at all towns. Buxom Puyallup. Oddball Olympia. Laughingstock Kent. Cow patch Monroe.
Mostly, it’s humor with a component in reality, then exaggerated or deadpanned for effect.
In addition to live sketches, the show cuts to prerecorded skits, which are shown on monitors so people in the back can see.
The audience stands up during the show. Get in the front row if you’re short or want to be full frontal in the backdrop.
What you see on the set is pretty much what ends up on the TV episode, which airs at 1 a.m. Sundays on KING-TV after “Saturday Night Live.”
It’s a fun event, even without the wine and beer they juice you up with before the show. You’ll laugh, even at the slapstick jokes such as the old bra-on-the-head routine Keister does.
When it’s old-school cohort Cashman’s turn, he does a skit where he plays a doctor, talking somberly about urinary stress incontinence.
“Does this ever happen to you?” he asks as the camera cuts to a close-up of a face in the audience.
Yeah, that’s how most people want to be remembered in their five seconds of fame.
It can happen to you. Tickets to tapings are available online, but there’s a waiting list. So get on it.
The laughs are free. So is the wine, beer and eats.
But that “206” T-shirt will cost you $20. Bring your wallet. You’ll want one.
Airtime: 1 a.m. Sundays with repeats at 11:30 p.m. Sundays on KING-TV.
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org.