34 years ago today, on Saturday, January 8, 1977 I had an awesome day at 30 Rock. Not the show… the building. As I did on most Saturdays during high school I went to the RCA Building (now the G.E. Building) in Manhattan, home of NBC. On this Saturday there was no live edition of “Saturday Night Live,” so I was there for a taping of the new game show “Shoot for the Stars,” with host Geoff Edwards.
The show had just premiered on NBC five days earlier and I already had tickets. “Shoot for the Stars” would not last long however; it ran for only nine months.
Before the taping I took the NBC Studio Tour – a tour I had taken many times before, and could probably have led that day. While hanging out in the NBC lobby, between the tour and the taping, I managed to meet two of the decade’s biggest TV stars and get their autographs.
First I spotted Dan Aykroyd looking in the windows of the stores in the RCA Building lobby. He was sloppily dressed and wore a cap pulled down over his eyes, but I could always spot a celebrity from a mile away.
When I asked for his autograph I only had a pencil handy, so Aykroyd’s signature has faded a bit over the years. What I love is that he wrote “SAT NITE” beneath his name… perhaps so that years later I would be reminded who this “Dan Aykroyd” person was. But even if his career had ended that day, I could never have forgotten this incredibly talented man.
A short time later I saw Mike Farrell from “M*A*S*H” exit the studio elevators. “M*A*S*H” was the # 4 primetime series that season, so Farrell was very well-known. He was also nice enough to sign an autograph, adding his own message of “Peace!”
After meeting those two stars I wanted to stand in the lobby of 30 Rock for the rest of the day, just to see who else might pass through. I didn’t though. I went home with the rich memory of my awesome day at 30 Rock.