Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Kirby Easler and Grabel are heading for The Big Apple and a date with David Letterman’s Late Show on CBS.
The St. Stephen native and College of Charleston student and her Yorkie were one of four acts selected in a nationwide audition to appear on the Late Show and its popular “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment. The CBS program airs nightly at 11:30 p.m.; Easler and Grabel were poised for a possible Tuesday night appearance.
“I’m so excited; I’ve been shaking since I got the voicemail from the producer,” Easler said. “I am one of four acts, so I have a 75 percent chance of actually being on television.”
Producers brought in one extra act in case one of the pets wasn’t able to perform on camera. Easler taught Grabel, her 8-year-old Yorkshire Terrier to say, “Obama!”
“The producers said with it being the week of the election and that it’s really topical right now, they really want to use Grabel’s trick,” Easler said.
Easler received the news she and Grabel had been selected just last Friday. She, her dog, and her mother Jennifer flew out of Charleston for the Big Apple on Monday, and were whisked by limousine to a hotel on Broadway across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theater where The Late Show is taped.
They were scheduled to make their first appearance on the legendary stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater at a 1 p.m. rehearsal. Letterman’s show is taped from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“Usually it takes up to six months to get on the show, but they decided this in a little over two weeks,” Easler said.
Easler was scheduled to appear on Letterman’s Tuesday Nov. 13, show. Easler and Grabel auditioned for Letterman talent scouts in Charleston on Oct. 21.
“The talent producers were immediately impressed with Grabel,” said Easler, who added that the act was selected out of more than 40 various contestants. “They filmed Grabel’s trick and those were presented before a panel of judges who then (selected the pets) they wanted on the show.”
Easler began training Grabel around two years ago using treats. Originally Grabel would growl “Momma,” and depending on the treat it would morph into “Yo momma,” or “My momma,” until finally they settled on “Obama.”
“What he says depends on how good your treat is,” Easler said. “The better the treat the louder.”