Gimmicks, Gimmicks and more Gimmicks

Speaking of gimmicks to get you back on television . . .


Taking celebrities behind-the-scenes for a backstage tour has been amped up to a whole new level. Now they not only get to go backstage, but they also get to go on stage for one night . . . while there is an audience.

Recently this has happened with three shows. Whoopi Goldberg appeared in The Lion King, Sherri Shepherd appeared in Newsies and Ellen DeGeneres appeared in Promises, Promises. And what do these three women have in common? They all host/co-host incredibly successful daytime talk shows which have a similar market to the theatre.

But why put them on stage when you could just give them a backstage tour?

Three reasons:

  1. The experience now becomes a headline story on the daytime talk show with video footage from the performance
  2. It is accompanied by the obligatory backstage tour which also takes up another segment
  3. Because the musical gave the host the opportunity to live out a Broadway dream, the host will do a hard sell to get people along to the show because they now feel that they have invested in the musical

Both of these mean more airtime which leads to a higher possibility that the viewer will pay attention and fall in love with the show. Plus, if the viewer likes the co-host then they are more likely to take their advice and book tickets. It seriously does work (in fact, the range of shows my parents are seeing on their trip to New York was basically decided by the musicals in which co-hosts from The View have appeared).

P.S. It also adds an extra bit of excitement to going to the theatre with the possibility that a famous star could be doing a one-night cameo. I must say, after seeing the segment where Ellen DeGeneres appeared in Promises, Promises, I was slightly delusional in thinking that there was a small chance she could come back for another performance the night that I saw it!