A few months ago, Amy Shumer asked me to play a judge again in a new sketch for the 3rd season of Inside Amy Shumer on Comedy Central. Entitled “Cosby Court”, the shoot was a couple of weeks ago and it was long and fun. Amy plays the defense attorney in the court of public opinion. I had only a few lines, most of which were “overruled.” The day started off with good news and bad. My call time was 7:45 AM, which always kills me because I am not a morning person. The good news is I had to be at 96th & Broadway to be picked up which is 10 minutes away by subway. I hosted a show at the Cellar the night before and didn’t get a whole lot of sleep.

I made it on time for the ride to the same courthouse used in last years court sketch in Yonkers. An intern in a white mini-van was waiting to carry me and the woman who played the prosecuting attorney. With jazz playing softly in the background I put my seat back and tried to get some rest. I found out on the way back the driver was also a comic but she was in full driver mode and thankfully didn’t try to crack any jokes.

We pulled up at the YMCA where we checked in, then walked 2 blocks to the make up and hair trailers. I didn’t need any major work so after flirting with the hair lady it was back to the holding area for breakfast. Soon it was time to go to the set for rehearsal. No problems there and back to holding we go. I didn’t know any of the other actors beside Amy but the guy who played delivery man knew me from “Louie.“

Now it’s time for the taping and back in the van we go. I remembered the director and the guy who put the microphone in my shirt and they seemed happy to see me. After the first hour I got real sleepy and had to fight nodding off several times. I failed at least once when I heard the director say “Ok William, no more sleeping!”
Ouch. I was awake the rest of the way, but it took all of my concentration. At the end of the sketch I was to join a conga line with the jury as we chanted “Cos is great! He gives us chocolate cake!” This took a while for the different camera angles. I put in a few moves I had from those Funk Nights at the Café Wha? and we were done. Or so I thought.

They still had to shoot close ups of my reactions to the attorneys. I had to be bored, then amused. A full 12 hours after leaving my crib I was finally wrapped. It was an exhausting day but a good one and hopefully the sketch comes out as funny as it felt.

William Stephenson

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