Night After Night with Allan Havey Audience of One June 25, 1991

Night After Night with Allan Havey

“Night After Night with Allan Havey” was a groundbreaking late-night talk show that aired on Comedy Central from 1989 to 1992. Allan Havey, with his distinct approach to the talk show format, made a significant impact during the show’s run. One of the most innovative aspects of the show was the “Audience of One” feature.

The “Audience of One” segment was truly unique; instead of performing in front of a large studio audience, as was customary for late-night shows, Havey’s show often featured a single audience member. This unconventional setup allowed for a more intimate and interactive experience, both for the guest and the viewers at home. The idea was to create a more personal and engaging atmosphere, deviating from the traditional talk show environment filled with applause and laughter from a large audience.

This format allowed for deeper conversations and a focus on the interaction between Havey and his guest, rather than on eliciting immediate reactions from an audience. It was a bold experiment in the talk show genre, emphasizing quality of interaction over quantity of audience members. The “Audience of One” became a hallmark of the show, remembered for its distinctiveness and personal touch in the landscape of late-night television.

Allan Havey’s approach, including the “Audience of One,” showcased his innovative spirit and willingness to push the boundaries of traditional television formats. The show is often looked back on as a cult classic, particularly for its unique contributions to the evolution of the talk show genre.

Night After Night Nick Andrew Allan
Nick Bakay, me, and Allan Havey, June 25, 1991.

The Day I met Allan Havey and Nick Bakay

In the Summer of 1991, I was working for a small software company and was going to New York City for a computer convention. This would be a perfect time to try to be an Audience of One on my favorite show “Night After Night with Allan Havey.” So I called the number on my screen and luckily there was a date open during the time I was going to be in NYC.

Sometimes the Audience of One was funny and sometimes they were horrible. I mean here’s your chance to be on a few minutes of a basic cable television show – why not make the best of it! Now I knew my time was brief so I had to come up with a way to get more airtime. I thought I could joke around a little bit but probably not enough to make an impression. Until, I thought that if I had all of my friends and relatives fax me instead of Allan on the show, maybe he would read the faxes and I would get more airtime. Well, it worked.

During the first commercial, Allan looked to the fax machine and saw that there were a lot of pages. He was on vacation for a week and must have thought that a lot of people had faxed him while he was gone. Well, he started reading them and got a funny look on his face. He looked over at me and immediately understood what I had done. Everyone from my cousins Karen, Judy, and Donna, and my friends Chad, Kim, Steve, Linda, and Debbie had sent faxes to me instead of Allan. Nick didn’t even know what was happening.

Reading the Faxes

On air, Allan read my faxes during two segments as the faxes continued to pour in. It was pretty funny. I think everyone appreciated my idea but they never repeated the show, probably because they didn’t want others to do the same thing (and also because the main guest was BORING!).

Night After Night with Allan Havey Audience of One June 25, 1991
First, a blurb from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle announcing my appearance.
Night After Night with Allan Havey Audience of One June 25, 1991
A picture I took of the Night After Night set.

About Nick Bakay

Night After Night with Allan Havey Audience of One June 25, 1991

Nick Bakay is a great talent. I see him (or hear his voice) popping up all over the TV. Now with Nick as a producer of The King of Queens, we’ll just see more and more of him. I just hope we see him in front of the camera soon.

I’ve traded a couple of emails with Nick over the years and it is always great to hear from him. To see what he is up to, please visit his Web site at NICK BAKAY Home Page.

About Allan Havey

Night After Night with Allan Havey Audience of One June 25, 1991Allan Havey has always been one of my favorite comedians. From the first time I saw him on HBO’s Young Comedians Special to watching almost every episode of Night After Night. My night on the show was a blast and Allan and Nick made me feel at home.

A few years later, Allan appeared in Rochester, NY for a weekend of shows. It was the middle of winter and the day after a huge blizzard. Allan arrived in Rochester by train and was visibly and audibly sick. He performed Thursday night to a handful of people (including a couple of Audience of Ones). Although sick, he put on a funny show. I was able to say hello and I was able to hang out with him for a while. He was great to talk to and although he didn’t remember my name, he remembered me as an Audience of One. After his Saturday night show, a few of us took him to Pooch’s Pub for a few beers and then ended the night with a Garbage Plate at Nick Tahoe’s.

Thanks, Allan for a lot of laughs!

Visit AllanHavey.com.

All screen captures are © copyright Comedy Central and HBO Downtown Productions.

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