'Tempe Late Night' brings fresh comedy to campus through both a live and internet show

The lights dimmed, someone called out, "scene one, take one" and the applause sign was raised — a normal beginning to a late-night style show, except this one is filmed on ASU's Tempe campus.  

"Tempe Late Night" is a late-night style show, modeled after the typical Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon format. As such, each show features skits, interviews, guest stars and comedy. 

Senior film major and "Tempe Late Night" cast member Chris Calamusa said the show tries to display a perspective of life at ASU in a way that is relevant and interesting for both ASU students and viewers who are not affiliated with the ASU community.  

“There’s plenty of people who I know from back home who watch the show," Calamusa said. "They ask me what ASU is like and I tell them to watch the show."  

In the style of a late-night show, "Tempe Late Night" is filmed live and with an audience. The taping begins at 9 p.m. and goes until all of the scenes are filmed to the satisfaction of cast and crew. Generally, the show is taped on the Memorial Union stage, though on occasion, an episode will be taped elsewhere.

Audience members see the show as a rough product, complete with stutters, dropped lines and re-dos. Outside of the outcome-driven aspect of the show, watching the live taping allows audience members to see the chemistry between cast members during and in-between scenes. And as a bonus, while scenes are being set up, a member of the cast will go to the mic and perform improv — usually either a joke or a story — which is something you wouldn’t get to experience by just watching the show on YouTube.

"Tempe Late Night" was started by senior business major Forbes Shannon and his friends Chris Calamusa, Alex Yardley and Jake Yardley. 

Shannon said the group used the summer to brainstorm and create the content for their shows this year.

“We did our first, really rough pilot episode in the spring and then we wrote about 26 episodes worth of content over the summer and we’re writing more now,” Shannon said. “We started officially this fall and now we’re on episode four of what we hope is going to be a 13 episode first season. We plan to do another 13 episode season in the spring semester as well.”

Although the group only started doing the show recently, the time they put in and their natural connection with each other is evident in their episodes and in the live taping sessions.

Jake Yardley, a business communication senior said that writing over the summer helped in preparing them for this run of shows.  

“Over the summer we did conference calls and we would write sketches every week and run through them,” he said.  “Even when we weren’t with each other we were still writing a lot.”

The group has continued their dedicated efforts to the show during the school year by each putting in 20 to 30 hours a week into the shows content and production, according to Shannon.

"The best part about 'Tempe Late Night' is that every week is a new show," Shannon said. "Every week we're better and eventually you'll start seeing it in the episodes. We've come so far so fast."

Reach the reporter at ckierum@asu.edu or follow @KatieKierum on Twitter.

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