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I went to a filming of Two and a Half Men!

Two and a Half Men poster outside Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California
Two and a Half Men is filmed in front of a live studio audience. I've been a fan of the show for years, and so I thought it would be fun to attend a filming. When I saw free tickets to the show available on tvtickets.com (the website where, at the time of this writing, the general public can get free tickets to Two and a Half Men filmings), I quickly clicked through and got tickets for me and a friend.

About one month later, on April 5th, 2012, we arrived at the Warner Bros. Studios' Gate 3 parking structure in Burbank, California, two and a half hours before the 7 PM showtime. A security officer directed us to park in the structure and then walk to an outdoor waiting area.

The warm Southern California sun beat down on us as we joined a queue of about fifty people. In front of us were two girls from Norway, behind us, a couple from Chicago. Together, we waited.

About two hours before showtime, we were escorted by Audiences Unlimited representatives to another waiting area, inside the parking structure. Unlike the first waiting area, this one had benches to sit on while we waited. Our IDs were checked, our tickets were taken, and we were issued numbered passes. A security officer stamped our hands with a Warner Bros logo stamp, that was only visible under blue light.

About a half hour later, we were finally escorted to Gate 2 of the Warner Bros. Studios lot!
Gate 2 of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California
Security officers checked people's bags and led us through metal detectors. Then we we filed past soundstages and movie trailers, making our way to Stage 26, where Two and a Half Men is filmed. On our way, we caught a glimpse of a part of the studio's backlot that reminded me of a New York City street.

After a final chance to use the restrooms, we passed through another metal detector and then entered the Two and a Half Men soundstage. The audience bleachers were only about half full when we entered, but they quickly filled to capacity. Big black barricades blocked the set from view.

About twenty minutes before showtime, the audience warm-up guy, Mark Sweet, directed our attention to the numerous TV monitors above our heads. The lights dimmed and an episode that had not yet aired was played for us without any commercial interruptions.

After that episode was over, Mark introduced the cast and the producers. Since my friend and I were in the second to last row, and the audience jumped to their feet when the introductions began, all that we saw were the tops of the actors' heads. Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, and Ashton Kutcher waved their hands above their heads, so at least we knew they were there. Note to self: if you ever star on a hit TV show with a live studio audience, wave your hands over your head during the introductions so the people in the back have something to look at.

That night's episode was the final episode of season 9 (episode 24: Oh Look! Al-Qaeda!).

Just before the filming began, crew members removed the big black barricades that had been blocking the set from our view to reveal Walden's kitchen. A woman holding the slate said, "Cold open ... take one ... cameras A, B, C, and X ... common mark." And then the filming began!

After a few takes of a scene involving Alan (Jon Cryer) and Jake (Angus T. Jones), with an entrance toward the end of the scene by Walden (Ashton Kutcher), it looked like they had gotten what they wanted and were going to move on to the next scene. Ashton left the set.

A few minutes later, they decided to do the scene again. Jon and Angus played the scene just as they did before, but, this time, when Ashton made his entrance, he was naked (except for a flesh-colored modesty pouch that had been enhanced with a super-sized addition to make it anatomically correct). The audience erupted in surprised laughter. We got one more chance to watch a take of the "nude" version of the scene before they moved on to the next one.

Between scenes and takes, a DJ (Ken Millen) played music, and Mark (the warm-up guy) picked volunteers from the audience to provide entertainment (by dancing, singing, or making animal sounds) in exchange for candy. Midway through the filming, the people from Audiences Unlimited handed out a small bottle of water and a slice of pizza to everyone in the audience. The pizza was room temperature, but we enjoyed it anyway.

The Two and a Half Men filming finished up about two and a half hours after it began. Our evening might have been shorter than usual because more than half of the scenes had been "pre-taped" (recorded earlier). Those scenes were played for us on the monitors so that we could follow the story and they could record our laughter.

Of course, the live scenes were the most exciting to watch. It was interesting to see some of the jokes change from take to take. It was also fun to watch the actors between takes, as they smiled and laughed with each other and with the producers. It looked like they were truly having a good time.

When the show was over, the actors took their final bows, including some actors who had only appeared in the pre-taped scenes. Again, my friend and I had to settle for looking at the tops of the actors' heads. Then Mark announced that Angus, who had been on the show since he was about nine years old and was now eighteen, was graduating from high school. A huge cake decorated with a large diploma was brought out and presented to Angus.

After that, our time at Two and a Half Men came to an end. My friend and I made our way into the cool night air outside Stage 26. Security officers and Audiences Unlimited representatives directed us toward the parking structure and wished us goodnight.

It had been a good night. I'd enjoyed seeing the talented cast of Two and a Half Men in person, including a bit more of Ashton Kutcher than I'd bargained for. Not that I'm complaining!
Two and a Half Men poster outside Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California

I did this on April 5th, 2012 in Burbank, California, USA.

~ Jen (California, USA)

Jen is also known as J.W. Lynne, a best selling author of twelve novels.
Check out her books on Amazon:

THE UNKNOWN: Eight kids learn the shocking reason why they were kidnapped.

ABOVE THE SKY: A girl lives in a world where touching her soulmate is forbidden.

WHAT HE DIDN'T TELL ME: A traumatized girl meets a boy with a horrible secret.

IF I TELL: A teen wonders if her father is a serial killer.

: A teen is locked in a bunker to take a simulated trip to the moon.

WILD ANIMAL SCHOOL: A girl falls in love with a boy at an exotic animal ranch.

KID DOCS: An experimental program turns kids into doctors.

**Not sure which book to choose? Visit our book recommendation page!**

**Jen's books are available on Kindle Unlimited.**

Besides reading books and dreaming up stories to write, Jen's favorite activities are singing along to musical theater soundtracks and hiking in California's beautiful parks.
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