Note added May 23, 2011: I'm even more thankful to have had this experience, now that we know Celebrity Events didn't offer anything comparable for As the World Turns fans - and probably won't for other soaps if they go off the air. I say "if" because I'm still not prepared to give up hope for All My Children and One Life to Live! I've been an avid OLTL viewer for years, and having Kim Zimmer there is "icing on the cake."




For my own sake, and for other Guiding Light fans who may be interested, I'm going to type up my recollections of the "So Long Springfield" event held at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino in Connecticut on March 7, 2010. This won't be fancy, nothing "literary"...just a record of a great experience I don't want to forget!

Stars we saw: Kim Zimmer (Reva), Robert Newman (Josh), Bradley Cole (Jeffrey/ex-Richard), Grant Aleksander (Phillip), Beth Chamberlin (Beth), Marcy Rylan (Lizzie), Michael O'Leary (Rick), Justin Deas (Buzz), Jessica Leccia (Natalia), Liz Keifer (Blake), and Jerry Ver Dorn (ex-Ross, now Clint Buchanan in One Life to Live). One of the show's directors was there, too.

The estimate of fans attending was about 1000. The opening Brunch (new to this event, not included in earlier ones on the tour) was limited to 180 people. I don't know how closely a gathering of 1000 matched the organizers' target; from a participant's point of view, it was too large a crowd to permit everyone's getting the desired photos and autographs in the allotted time. We needed a second day! But Celebrity Events was clearly trying hard to avoid some of the problems that can crop up in these situations.

Thinking of photos...the ticket mailing had confused people by saying cameras wouldn't be permitted. The head of Celebrity Events cleared that up quickly. It had been a mistake. Photos could be snapped at any time, even during musical performances; just no video.

I have to include a note about the hotel. We all know that some buildings (mostly old ones) follow the quaint convention of not having a 13th floor. Mohegan Sun takes it further: no 13th or 14th! The floor numbers skip from 12 to 15. And in an apparent tie-in, their listing of available TV channels omits the numbers 13 and 14. Ch. 13, I discovered, was actually ABC.

And a personal note: I was decked out for the day in a "So Long Springfield" t-shirt, and carrying a "So Long Springfield" tote bag. I assumed almost all the attendees would be wearing that "uniform." Instead, I didn't see anyone else dressed that way! In fact, people were asking me where I'd bought the merchandise. (The most obvious place, the online store at the Celebrity Events SLS website.)




First, items that seem newsworthy at the date I'm typing this...

Daniel Cosgrove (Bill), who was to have attended, had to cancel because of a family emergency. Here's hoping whatever it was turned out well!

Good news: Jordan Clarke (Billy), who'd suffered a stroke, is well enough now that he recently told Celebrity Events he wanted to come to Mohegan Sun. But ultimately, he couldn't fit it into his schedule because of a promise he'd made to go somewhere with his wife. To visit her mother, I think.

More on the health front: Grant told us Justin recently had hip replacement surgery! But Justin was there, of course, and he's getting around just fine.

Kim is writing a book (with a co-author) about her career experiences. I didn't hear a title, but she said they have an editor and publisher lined up, and she hopes it'll be out by Christmas. That became a running joke. She said a couple times, "I don't want to answer that, because it's going to be in my book." Then the guys started ribbing her, repeatedly saying they couldn't tell us this or that because "it's gonna be in Kim's book." Of course, that was in fun, and almost all questions really were answered.

I'm sure anyone reading this knows Bradley has a short-term role coming up on GH, beginning March 17. I like Bradley a lot, so I've been watching GH for the last few weeks to learn what's going on.

We saw a promo clip for the proposed sitcom Michael is shopping, Steamboat. Kim, Justin, and Beth are set to be in it, along with Michael himself. I have mixed feelings about it. I hope, for their sake, it "sails"; and if it's on TV rather than the Web, I'll watch it. But I confess I'd rather see these actors in drama series than in a sitcom.

Fans know Kim is no shrinking violet. She told us she went to a producer of B&B, and made a case that he should hire her. (I assume she could do that and Steamboat, if need be - if they're on the same network!) B&B promised they'll keep her in mind if a suitable role turns up. I don't know why she focused on that soap, with a half-hour length and necessarily fewer characters on the canvas. Maybe she knows the execs there best. (After I'd typed this, I read a rumor that she's going to play Rick Hearst's mother on B&B. Hearst was saying he doesn't believe it, but what Kim told us suggests it could be true.)

And Grant said he's on a list with either Y&R or B&B - I'm not sure which, but I think it was the former - of actors they'd like to hire if a suitable role turns up.




Now some notes about the Brunch...

The ads had said this would be "intimate," with limited seating. Registering very early (seven minutes after registration opened January 8!), I wasn't surprised that I got a ticket. I thought the event would be so small that there wouldn't be any sort of line.

Was I ever wrong! After walking around for a half-hour trying to find the place (Mohegan Sun is a maze, with maps that only confused me more), I found myself near the end of a line that looked very long. I would have guessed it was more than 180 people.

We were talking unhappily about what we feared was going to happen: that fans would be let into the restaurant in three or four shifts, and would have to eat quickly, while those still waiting cooled their heels in the corridor. But it didn't work out that way. They'd evidently arranged extra seating in the restaurant, and everyone was let in at the appointed time.

It was less than ideal, though. Some of us (including me) were seated in areas where we couldn't see the stars. The Celebrity Events honcho said they'd originally hoped to have a star at every table, but they couldn't do it. They needed smaller tables, and more of them, to fit that number of people into the available space.

It took some time to get the food served, and they did a Q&A while people weren't busy eating. Unfortunately, the sound quality wasn't good. I couldn't see the actors, couldn't even hear well enough to be sure at times who was speaking. But it was better than nothing - a good use of the time.

Also, they had the actors coming around to the tables. The intent was that every actor would get to every table. They were handing out autographed photos, and we were told we could take pictures of them, but not - at that time - slow things down by posing with them. We were assured that could be done later, in the Meet & Greet session in the afternoon. And the time for the Brunch, announced as 10:30 till noon, was being extended till 12:30.

It didn't work out as planned. Only four actors got to my table: Jerry, Justin, Bradley, and Liz - in, I think, that order. Bradley was even willing to personalize the autographs! I suspect the others just didn't think of it - no one seemed to think they needed to hurry. We got a big kick out of the fact that a man at my table was wearing a striped shirt identical to the one Justin had on in his autographed photo.

Sadly, I couldn't take good pictures - realized too late that a cell phone as small and limited-purpose as mine wasn't adequate. I normally use it only to call cabs when away from home, and to vote in text polls. So I want something small and lightweight, not so valuable or loaded with personal stuff that its being stolen would be a calamity. Of the 25 or so pics snapped with my phone at MS, I only kept four, and even those are poor-quality.

I had thought of bringing a one-time-use digital camera - dropped the idea because of the wait I'd have to see the pictures. (No one had believed the ban on cameras was for real.) As it turned out, fans were snapping so many non-closeup pics that I could have used three or four of those little cameras! But photos aren't that big a deal for me, anyway.




The Meet & Greet...

The afternoon Q&A was great; I'll get to its content later. After it, we were given instructions for obtaining those planned photos (taken by staff, using our phones or cameras) of ourselves with the actors. Even I was primed up for that!

We were told there would be five places on the "Concourse" over the Arena, two or three actors in each one, and we could have our pick. Eventually, if it went as planned, we'd get to all of them. To save time, there would just be one photo with each set of actors - no taking photos of them alone, or asking for autographs. It sounded great - much better than conventions I've attended where all those things were allowed at the same time, and lines took forever.

But it didn't work out well. There were no staffers or signs on the Concourse to indicate where we should go. Confusion reigned. From where any group of fans was standing after exiting the Arena, it was only possible to see one line. "Who's this line for?" The people in it said, "We have no idea!"

I got in The Line, as did everyone else standing near me. Much later, someone hurrying by told us it was a line for Justin and Jessica. Fine, but not most fans' first choice. Since we couldn't see any other line, we were still debating whether there were four others, or the plan had been changed, and this line would take us first to Justin and Jessica and then continue on.

By the time we finally reached Justin and Jessica and had those pics taken, we'd learned the other lines did indeed exist. We moved on from the Justin-and-Jessica line to the end of the very long Kim-and-Robert line. That, I think, was most fans' first choice. It was moving slowly, because Kim, bless her heart, was giving big hugs to everyone. At one point the CE honcho hurried past us, laughingly telling us he was bringing Kim some liquid refreshment - it looked like a beer! I was able to buy a glass of wine while I was standing in line.

We learned that some fans were running around to the heads of the various lines, standing behind the official photographers, and snapping photos from a distance of stars posing with other fans. That was permitted, but I found it hard to imagine anyone's wanting a shot of their fave so badly they'd settle for a long-distance one of him posing with a stranger.

I eventually got my hug from Kim, and was able to pose with her and Robert. A fuzzy shot, but one I'll keep. By then, the other lines were closing, and a lot of fans were unhappy they hadn't gotten more photos. I would have liked to pose with Bradley, and with Grant...and heck, I love Jerry, too! There simply wasn't enough time to do it all, with that number of fans. In retrospect, it might have been better to have all the stars at one long table.




The evening program...

Overall, I'd rate it as terrific; but I don't suppose anyone could be expected to enjoy all parts equally.

I didn't care all that much about the "game show" and other comedic silliness. I could laugh at it, but I could have done just as well without it. And I think some fans who wanted to "participate" may have been annoyed when they were brought onstage to play "customers in Company" or whatever, and actually given nothing to do but sit there.

In the "game show" bit, where the fans onstage really could do a little something, one of the fans they called up was a very elderly woman using a cane. She needed to sit down, and didn't contribute anything at all. I found myself wondering: had she really volunteered to go up there, or was she pressured into doing it to represent a certain demographic? If the latter, it seems almost offensive.

But what came later was mind-blowing...sensational musical performances. Bradley played the guitar and sang, Robert and Kim both sang. Kim finished up, of course, with Bradley accompanying her on guitar, and she brought the house down. But I'd known she could do that - she's like a force of nature! Somehow, while I knew Robert has been in musicals, I hadn't realized how good a singer he is. An amazing baritone -I 'd guess that if he worked at it, he could have sung opera. They sang some things that were "special," emotional. But Robert had us in hysterics with this:

Some enchanted evening...

You may see a soap star...

You may see a soap star, across a crowded room...

And somehow you know...

You know even then...

That you'll never see him on TV again...

The part that goes:

Fools give you reasons,

Wise men never try...

He sang as:

P&G gave us reasons,

CBS didn't even try...

And, really, singing all this in a voice worthy of an operatic baritone!

I swear, the musical performances alone were worth the price of admission.




Q&As, etc...

I'll lump together all sorts of things here, as I remember them...Q&As from both the Brunch and the afternoon, and interesting things the actors said during the evening session.

First, from the evening session - a question put to them by that director who'd come along: what stories did they have about their joining the show, their auditions?

I found Kim's story fascinating. I'd never known any more than that she'd previously been on at least one other soap.

She was on one whose name I forget; and then, later, on OLTL. She said she loved her role on OLTL, thought everything was going fine - and then they dropped her. The details of this story will be in her book. But she was so angry at how she'd been treated that she vowed never again to work in a soap, or at least a New York soap. She and her family moved to L.A.

Then her agent sent her the breakdown for this new role being created on GL, saying, "Please read this. I know you'll want to do it!" She read it, and decided she did want the part.

It turned out that head writer Pam Long, who'd created the character and written that breakdown, didn't want her! Long wanted a "fiery redhead." Fortunately, Kim had screen-tested with Robert and Jordan, and both of them were plugging for her. She's sure they got her the job.

And then, after the show had hired her, supposedly with no strings attached, they tried to get her to dye her hair red. She refused. (Yikes - what if she'd given in? Once the color was established, she might have been forced, for all the years she was destined to play that character, to keep her hair a color she didn't want!)

At this point, I have to mention something that was said later in the evening. Jerry Ver Dorn, who's on OLTL now, had brought a gift for Liz Keifer. As most soap fans know, AMC recently relocated from New York to L.A., and OLTL moved into AMC's old studio space. When they were packing to move, Jerry, who's interested in the history of the soaps, claimed a box of old things that would otherwise have been trashed. And he found a large promotional portrait of Liz, from when she was on OLTL many years ago. So he brought it to give to her onstage. They were saying the studio had pictures like that of all the actresses in those days, and Jerry told Kim, "I didn't see one of you."

Kim said, "Robin Strasser personally burned mine...that's a joke!"

Hmm. A joke, yes...but can we deduce from it that she really believes Robin Strasser got her fired? Out of jealousy? (Can't wait for that book!)

Other audition stories: I can't remember any of the details of what Robert said, so I imagine there was nothing unusual about the process.

Bradley said the producers were originally thinking of him for the "evil" Winslow brother, David Macdonald for the "good" one! Then they decided to reverse it.

And he said that when he screen-tested with Kim, she was responding so beautifully - crying, in an emotional scene - that he was sure he must be doing very well, giving her something good to react to. He was very pleased, thought he'd snagged the role. But then he saw several other actors' audition footage (I was amazed they're allowed to see other competitors' tests!). And he realized Kim had given the same great performance opposite everyone, even a guy who was really bad. He went through a stage of thinking he wasn't going to get the role, then was happily surprised when he did.

Michael's story was a little different than what I'd always believed. He said he'd auditioned for GL in a general sense, not for any particular role. They'd kept him around to read scenes with other auditioning actors. And then, when they wanted to replace the actor they'd first cast as Rick, they called on him.

The way I'd always understood it was that they'd been considering him for Rick in the first place, but reluctantly decided - not yet having cast any of the four teen roles - that they should go younger. And they did cast actual teens as Beth and Mindy. But after they found the perfect Phillip in an actor who was, like Michael, twentysomething, Michael's age no longer seemed like a drawback. I wonder if there was any truth to that?

Anyway, Michael said he got the call about the role while he was with his mother. She was watching her favorite TV show...Guiding Light. And she kept shushing him, unwilling to be torn away from her soap, while he was trying to tell her he was going to be in it!

And he said that while it's always awkward replacing someone, everyone at GL was welcoming. Within a week, he and Grant knew they'd be "best friends for life."

What Grant said about his audition was that he wasn't clear at first as to whether Phillip was supposed to be Alan's biological son, or Justin Marler's. When he got it straightened out, he was glad the character was Justin's son, because he thought he looked a little bit like actor Tom O'Rourke, and that might help him get the role! (I always felt that in this case, they gave some thought to what the child actor who'd played Phillip - Jarrod Ross? - might look like at 18, in terms of coloring and so forth. The character was, of course, being aged.)

The actors said kind things about Tom O'Rourke, who's now deceased. Jerry said that after he joined OLTL as Clint Buchanan, he had a scene in which Clint was talking to a character - a business associate, or some such - played by O'Rourke, his onetime "brother" on GL. And he later learned that was O'Rourke's last TV appearance before his death. I must have seen it, and not recognized him.

Thinking of deceased cast members, one fan asked about the actors' memories of Larry Gates (H.B.). Great question! Clearly, they'd all loved him.

Some of the memories were humorous. Kim recalled filming a scene with Larry when she was pregnant (in real life), and he was elderly and in ill health. For different reasons, both of them needed to pee more often than usual. And throughout the scene, they were both squirming, trying desperately to hold it in!

Michael recalled one from an earlier date, when Rick and Mindy were teens; either they were making out, or H.B. thought they were. So Larry burst into the room they were in, and bellowed, "Stop messing with my granddaughter Monday!" Whereupon, of course, they all broke up.

Robert told us he doesn't have a good relationship with his father, never has had one. So Larry became a real father figure for him, and they were very close.

Jerry said he once acted in a play with Larry. And Larry was such a good stage actor that it threatened to turn other cast members into members of the audience - they were just standing there looking at him, admiring his acting!

Another topic: To my surprise, Kim said she really liked the clone story, because she'd been in a rut, and it gave her a challenge as an actress. She was sorry "Dolly" was killed off, when she was just beginning to find herself as a person. Less seriously, she said the writers had decided to clone her because she "looks like a sheep"!

I'd never thought of it from a performer's point of view. But I wonder if actors can see such things from our point of view? I saw the clone story (which followed an equally ridiculous one about an angel, aborted in mid-telling) as an unforgivable insult to viewers' intelligence. I was ashamed to admit I looked at such dreck - so I stopped looking at it. The clone story drove me away from the show for eleven years.

Grant said at one point Sunday that he thinks the network programmers don't have a proper appreciation of drama. That's true. But where daytime drama, in particular, is concerned, preposterous stories like that one contribute to the problem. (I confess, though, that I have since then put up with OLTL storylines that were almost as bad, just so I could have a daily hour of some soap opera to relax with.)

Bradley said he'd lost the facial hair before his last show because he'd just filmed a role in an episode of Law & Order SVU. The character was being shown at age eighty in part of the episode, and to do the makeup for that sort of thing, they have to do a cast of your face. (A later note: No, this must have been Robert - see below, re the problem I had hearing. Robert was the one who turned up in an SVU episode that required a lot of makeup. But I hadn't noticed any change in his facial hair in GL! His fair coloring must have made it less noticeable.)

Someone asked why the Law & Order shows use so many actors from the soaps. Someone (I don't know whether it was Bradley, because this was at the Brunch where I could barely hear) came up with the answer that they film in the New York area, and they've discovered that actors from the New York soaps are reliable and good at learning lines quickly.

Bradley said that as far as he's concerned, Jeffrey's story hasn't ended - he's still out there, pursuing "the real love of his life." I couldn't hear what he thinks the real love of Jeffrey's life is - but if we assume it's not Reva or Edmund (grins), it almost has to be something like "the thrill of the hunt." (I could see that with a younger Jeffrey. But my take on it was that after marrying Reva and having a baby with her, he was ready to settle down. IMO, it's wrongly letting the writers off the hook to say that Jeffrey's in his element running around chasing bad guys, so the ending was really OK for everyone.)

[A later note: According to Soap Opera Weekly, Bradley said kiddingly that Jeffrey is "chasing the real love of his life - Edmund Winslow!"]

And someone asked Bradley if the writers had ever thought of having Jeffrey turn out to actually be Richard. He said no one connected with the show had ever mentioned that idea to him.

Someone asked Kim if it was true Tom Pelphrey was a prankster on the show. She said no, she'd never had that impression of him. But he had the loudest, most infectious laugh she'd ever heard. The real pranksters were Daniel Cosgrove and Michael O'Leary.

And Michael had pulled one on her at Mohegan Sun! He'd phoned her in her room, pretending to be a drunken fan - said his wife was off doing something, and that gave him a chance to tell Kim he was really crazy about her. He was just wandering around with a Bloody Mary in his hand - could he come to her room? She said she usually caught on to Michael's pranks quickly, but this time he really had her going!

More seriously, someone asked her how she managed to separate all those TV marriages and affairs from her real life. She said she had affection for all her TV "husbands" - she'd put a fond hand on Robert's leg, and he grabbed it and moved it toward his crotch! But, she said, after work she put all that out of her mind, and went home to the best man - whom she's had for 38 years! (Wow - since she's only 55, they must have fallen in love in high school. I think couples who find each other in their teens, and really are right for each other long-term, are the luckiest people in the world.)

[A later note, added 8/23/10: I read things on Kim's website that made the figure of 38 years seem unreasonable. And one of the soap publications reports her saying she and her husband will celebrate their 29th anniversary on Aug. 29. So she evidently misspoke, and said 38 when she meant 28. Either way, we now know she'll be (re)joining OLTL, reprising that long-ago role, soon after her anniversary. A stunning surprise, in light of what she told us at Mohegan Sun!]

TV marriages? Someone asked all the actors how many their characters had. Bradley forgot Jeffrey's marriage to Olivia, till the fans and other actors reminded him!

Someone asked Kim who she liked best of all the actors she'd worked with on GL. She said they were all great, except...there was one she'd really disliked. She wouldn't name him. She said he'd auditioned for the role of Kyle Sampson and didn't get it, but was hired for another role. Why did she dislike him? When they were supposed to kiss in his screen test, he forced his tongue so far down her throat that he was almost choking her. (Yuck!) She said she'd been tempted to bite him, but was afraid of what she might catch!

I think she was the one who was asked which of the men was the show's best kisser. She pondered the question, then declared it was...Justin Deas! And then, of course, some of the guys chimed in, solemnly agreeing that Justin was the best kisser.

Justin was asked whether he has any plans to act with his wife Margaret Colin. He said no, and deadpanned that his wife refuses to work with him - she insists on better actors! (I think that was the point where the fan said she was asking him something because he looked bored, and he told her, "This is my expression for joy.")

Kim told us Justin has a talent she'd never seen in anyone else. He'd always show up on the day of taping without even having looked at the script; and by the time they were ready to shoot, he knew not only his lines, but everyone else's.

Oddball "talents": We were told Beth can walk on her hands. And sure enough, she did.

More silly stuff: Michael told us a story about Krista Tesreau, assuring us she wouldn't mind; she knew he'd told it elsewhere. Long ago, they were shooting a scene in a stable. They'd had to do numerous takes, because Krista kept cracking up and laughing in the middle of the scene. On this take, he could see she was struggling to suppress that laugh - and what came out of her instead was a loud fart!

Then, he said, the director - who happened to be British - announced in a prissy way that that sound had been a fart. And it wasn't the horse who'd farted. So it must have been one of the actors! Michael said he was going, "Hey, don't look at me! It was her!"

They somehow returned to shooting the scene, the director saying, "Pick it up before the fart."

About hard-to-suppress laughs: Marcy said all the actors cracked up frequently. And if we remembered scenes in which none of them seemed to be looking at each other, that was because they were trying to keep from laughing!

Someone asked why, when Rick's daughter Leah was aged, they didn't also age Zach and Jude, to keep it consistent. The main reason, they were told, was that everyone loved the cute little boys playing Zach and Jude, and wanted to keep them around longer.

Fans asked why certain characters weren't brought back for the finale. They were told that in many cases, it was a matter of scheduling - the actors just couldn't make it that day. And some, perhaps, couldn't even be located.

Kim said the situation was a little different with the character of Marah. The main problem was that so many actresses had played Marah, no one could decide which of them to invite back. Another wrinkle: One of the ones they liked best had played Marah before the character was aged. Later, an older Marah had a sexual relationship with Jeffrey. That was a well-established part of the backstory. And if they brought back a Marah who still looked as young as this one would, the relationship with Jeffrey would seem inappropriate. (My thought: A Marah who looked too young to have been paired with Jeffrey would also look younger than her brother Shayne, and everyone remembers their birth order.)

Why was there no flashback tribute to the long history of the show? We were told the main reason for that was budgetary. Grant said he would have liked the last episode to be that sort of tribute. (I was glad it wasn't. Not that I wouldn't welcome a one- or two-hour retrospective: I would, if it was presented as a "special." But I wanted the actual last episodes of the show to focus on wrapping up the storylines.)

There was a sentimental moment that confused me. Grant was expressing his affection for Jerry (who had, of course, played his uncle for many years). He thanked Jerry for giving him the special cuff links he was wearing - said he wears them to all GL events, if cuff links are appropriate. Here's what confused me. He said someone associated with GL (I forget who) had worn them for his wedding; then Chris Bernau (the original Alan) had worn them for his wedding; and finally (I think), Jerry had worn them for his. And then, Jerry had passed them on to Grant. (It was unclear whether Grant had them in time to wear them at his own wedding.)

But I'd never heard of Chris Bernau's being married. It's well-known that he was gay. So were they talking about fictional weddings, marriages of characters on the show? Or did Chris Bernau have a partner whom he married, privately, even though it couldn't be legally recognized? I'd like to think he did.

This surprised me. I don't recall fans asking Jessica much of anything, let alone anything about the Olivia/Natalia story. The fan fiction being posted would suggest that over ninety percent of GL fandom is obsessed with "Otalia." I guess the fiction writers and the Celebrity Events attendees represent different demographics.

Another area where fans have some differences...I thought one woman was really unkind. She went on about how she'd loved GL for many years, then wound up with, "But by the time it ended, watching Reva and Josh was like watching grass grow." Turned out she'd wanted Reva to be reunited with Jeffrey. Hey, so had I, but we should be civil about it! I love the Reva/Josh relationship, love all Kim's scenes with Robert. Their chemistry and acting ability can make even bad material almost work. But when Reva and Jeffrey were last together, they were portrayed as very much in love, very happily married. And in light of that, I think the ending we saw was unfair to all the characters.

Kim handled it diplomatically. She said that when the show ended, fans seemed to be almost fifty-fifty about whom Reva should be with; and maybe the non-resolution was good, because we can imagine for ourselves what we'd like to see happen down the road. (I've imagined my way out of the problem through fan fiction.)

I've saved some funny bits for last.

Here's one story Michael told on himself. There was a GL sequence in which he had to be cavorting around in his boxers. Later, his mother told him in a shocked voice, "I could see them." He asked, "What?" She replied, "Them." (I'm thinking his mother was a prude who objected to seeing his boxers.) He repeated, "What?" And she finally blurted out, "Your testicles!"

Poor Michael found a tape of the show, and yep, there they were! Had a sloppy editor that day...

I think I mentioned before that they showed us the promo clip for Michael's Steamboat, a sitcom about a soap opera. In the clip, a ditzy young actress simpers to executive-producer Kim, "I have my mother's hair." Kim shoots back, "I have my father's balls!"

Okay. Later, when Kim was talking about the clone story, she said, "The script said Reva was going to freeze her sperm -" That was a slip of the tongue, and of course everyone hooted.

Robert piped up, "Maybe that's right! She does have those balls."

Still later...I'd heard that near the end, Kim and Robert act out their closing scene from the finale. I'd thought they were going to play it straight. Nope! It began with a gag in which Robert was pretending to be a fan picked out of the audience to play opposite her. (There was a big screen showing closeups, so everyone knew what was going on.) He ambled up onstage, and pretended to start opening his fly. She told him to stop, and he said, "Oh. I thought that was what you always wanted me for."

Then she confided to the audience, "I gave him his balls back."

"Yes," he said, "but some of the other guys still don't have theirs."

In the scene, they are of course meeting after having taken a year to "find themselves." Robert asked, "Did you find Reva?" Kim replied, "Yes...and several men who were in the neighborhood."

At the close of the scene, they were walking off with their arms around each other, and that did seem very sweet and tender...until Kim reached down and grabbed his butt!

For the actual end of the event, they had all the actors lined up onstage so fans could take a group picture. Even moved the line back and forth, to accommodate both sides of the Arena as well as the center. A perfect conclusion...with Kim lingering, then, to put in a plug for the upcoming Cruise. Cruises aren't my thing, but I'm betting fans who go will have a blast!