TV Tapings



Friday January 28, 2023

@ Huckabee Theater in Hendersonville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Whenever you’re gifted an opportunity to be part of the studio audience for a taping of Huckabee, you first need to understand the hallowed ground that you’re stepping foot on.

Conway Twitty called these grounds home for many years, adopting the name “Twitty City” for the entertainment complex that became a major tourist destination for country music fans.

The massive grounds were known for their incredible Christmas light displays, the amazing mansion where Conway lived until his passing in 1993, and a state-of-the-art theater that hosted events chalk full of the most legendary names including Loretta Lynn, Jerry Reed, Carl Perkins, Mel Tillis, Bill Monroe, and many more!

The theater that CMT once called its headquarters has experienced several transformations over the past few decades; becoming Trinity Broadcast Network’s home base for many years, and now the Huckabee Theater, where Governor Mike Huckabee tapes his top-rated, TBN talk show, Huckabee.

Whenever you’re at a television taping, one of the most fascinating aspects to watch is what you don’t generally see when you’re viewing the show from the comfort of your own living room; the precise movements of the monitors, cameras, and stage settings that make the show run so smoothly and always on time.

Legendary announcer Keith Bilbrey warms up the crowd as the hype man and then brings Mike Huckabee to the stage to amplify the excitement level before the taping officially begins, as he offers a monologue that combines the house rules and a heaping helping of his sense of humor. 

The floor manager asks all military personal and first responders to stand as they receive a rousing ovation to thank them for their service.

The ushers manage the crowd, keeping them lively through specific hot moments of the show and tossing out free t-shirts during the breaks.

Cameramen position their cameras to capture the perfect lighting and the right angles so that the guests are always pristinely presented to television screens across the world.

The house band, Tre' Corley & The Music City Connection, hold down the fort during commercial breaks, playing the best of rock and pop music’s greatest era; on this night that music included The Temptations “My Girl” and more!

And it’s showtime!

Huckabee follows the standard late-night talk show format, featuring a combination of political commentary, clean comedy, Christian morals and values, and top-notch guests from across the entertainment format including authors, musical acts, etc.

After warm-up comedian John Pate got the crowd in stitches with five minutes of hilarity and Mike Huckabee had officially opened the show, he then welcomed his esteemed colleagues and cherished guests to the stage, all who shared their incredible stories, plugged their latest books, and more!

Rick Leventhal, former Fox News Senior Correspondent, stunned the crowd with stories ripped straight from the pages of his new book Chasing Catastrophe, taking us with him to the middle of destructive events such as 9/11 and the war-torn Middle East while talking about what it means to do honest journalism in an age when agendas are more prevalent and tend to dictate the reporting.

Legendary impressionist Rich Little, who Mike Huckabee told holds the distinction as being the most appeared guest on his show, candidly talked about the behind-the-scenes details of his life in Hollywood by sharing a story of dubbing his voice impersonation over an entire Gene Kelly television special and no one being any the wiser, while also telling jokes through the guise of impressions on Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, Tony Curtis, and Bill Clinton.

Leslie King, founder and president of Sacred Beginnings and author of the new book When Angels Fight, transparently told her story of being pushed into human trafficking at a young age, but ultimately shared of redemption when God helped her overcome it, which would then alter the entire course of her life by leading her to helping countless others who are experiencing struggles with finding their way out of a similar situation.

Chad Robichaux and Azizullah Aziz left the crowd with mouths dropped wide-open when they shared the story that inspired the new book Saving Aziz, one which focused on the military pull out in Afghanistan that left so many innocent people helplessly stranded and the heroic efforts of Chad (US Marine) and his assembled team to jump back in and help save, not only his Afghan interpreter (Aziz) and his family, but thousands of others.

The incredible stories shared by the guests, as well as the belly laugh comedy up to this point, was already enough to make the show one of the strongest from top to bottom, but then Mike brought out the iconic, Grammy Award winning country group, Shenandoah, putting an exclamation point on the amazing night!

Leading a raucous clap along with the audience, energetic front man Marty Raybon toe tapped along with the insatiable rhythm of their 1990 #1 smash, “Next To You, Next To Me,” pouring his crisp, clean vocal into the song as everyone swayed in time with the melody and sung out the words to the chorus, turning the Huckabee Theater into a temporary, 3-minute honky-tonk.

With their second song of the night, which closed out the show, the audience was treated to the world broadcast premier of Shenandoah’s brand-new single, “Revival.”

The irresistibly catchy melody of the song kept boot heels kicking as hands clapped in unison and hips begun to wiggle in every seat across the crowd, resulting in a good-time party that surrounded an ultra-catchy chorus that quickly became embedded in people’s heads as was evident by the amount that were singing along with it by the third run through.

The Huckabee show airs on TBN every Saturday and Sunday night.

For tickets, upcoming schedule of guests, and much more, please visit:




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