I wasn't sure what to expect when I stepped into the Bravo Clubhouse, home of the “Real Housewives” franchise, but I knew there would be cocktails.
The clubhouse, near Greenwich Village in New York City, is where host Andy Cohen typically interviews and plays drinking games with a real housewife and a B-list celebrity for his talk show “Watch What Happens Live.”
I visited the clubhouse in November to watch what happens (live) on the set of the show, which jumps from two to five episodes a week starting Sunday.
Like any swank clubhouse, Bravo’s has a bartender. I asked him for the clubhouse special (not a real thing, but then again neither is a “real housewife”) and he gave me a Maker's Mark and soda.
(I like to think that is reference to a real housewife making-her-mark, but again, that is speculation best left for the gossip rags.)
A few minutes before the show aired (typically 10 p.m. in Chicago), about a dozen audience members grabbed their drinks and shuttled onto the small set, which looks much bigger on TV. Maybe the camera adds 10 feet.
Before filming began, Cohen and guests bantered while show assistants encouraged big enthusiasm, which involved a lot of clapping and some catcalling.
The show I attended featured Lisa Vanderpump, the British restaurant owner on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and Matthew Broderick, best and apparently only known for his turn in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Vanderpump and Ferris reviewed that night’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” engaged in a ping pong competition (Broderick wore an eyepatch to make it fair) and took questions from callers, most of whom didn't realize that Ferris Bueller is movie character and Matthew Broderick is a real human.
Broderick was actually promoting his role in “Tower Heist” but the joke was on him—especially since Vanderpump dressed her dog Giggy in a Ferris beret. Unfortunately, Sloane was not in attendance.
Taping of the show flew by faster than ping-pong balls. After it was over, the guests answered a few more questions from callers and posed for photos.
Meanwhile, I grabbed my cocktail (barely sipped because I like my bourbon on a store shelf and not in my stomach) and thought about spending the rest of my vacation at the Art Institute to save this memory of Ferris.Copyright © 2015, RedEye