TV Tapings



Wednesday January 8, 2023 (Taping Date)

@ Huckabee Theater in Hendersonville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Blue 42! Red 31! Hut , Hut, Hike!

Super Bowl weekend had arrived, and that certainly wasn’t lost on the staff at the tapings of the Huckabee Show during the week of the big game.

With their 6th annual tailgate party in full swing, early arriving ticket holders were treated to quite the lively atmosphere in the reception area.

Hot dogs, chips, and delectable dessert snacks were all provided as a no cost dinner to everyone attending the taping, and not only helped fill bellies but also added to the extremely fun aura that saw strangers becoming friends as they shared conversations about the upcoming game and discussed their favorite Super Bowl moments of the past.

Wearing their favorite team gear, nearly every major sport was represented through the logos that adorned the studio audience’s t-shirts, ball caps, and jerseys: Bengals, Chiefs, Vikings, Cowboys, Bills, Titans, Predators, Devils, Warriors, Grizzlies, UT, Michigan State, Iowa State, and more!

But the audience weren’t the only ones in the sports spirit as the staffers all donned their Huckabee baseball jersey and ball cap, adding to the good-time energy that was already taking over the entire room, which would then transcend into the television studio itself.

Comedian Rik Roberts, who is known for his spot-on impersonation of Barney Fife and his incredible, Guinness World Record for Longest Stand-Up Comedy Show that lasted over 7 hours, warmed up the crowd with a hilarious 5-minute routine that slid fluidly between current political bent jokes and the “joys” of having an unfiltered 10-year-old daughter embarrassingly blurting out whatever’s on her mind at any given moment.

Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame announcer Keith Bilbrey then came to the stage to tremendous ovation and chants of “Keith” from the ultra-energetic crowd as he commented on how much he loved seeing all the colorful team jerseys on the front row before acknowledging all of those in the audience with birthdays and milestone anniversaries.  

A quick, pre-show appearance from Governor Mike Huckabee amped the crowd’s already high energy up another notch while allowing a moment for his sense of humor to shine as he candidly delivered some of the house rules, which would include him saying, “if Keith or I say something that we think is funny….even if you don’t think it is… LAUGH!”

And then…showtime!

“And now here’s Mike Huckabee!” announces Keith Bilbrey as the excitement level from the crowd radiates through the studio while Tre Corley and the Music City Connection strike the final notes of the familiar theme song and the Governor makes his way to the front of the stage, waving at the audience while wearing a welcoming smile on his face.

Seeing as though this episode taped the night after the State of Union address, Governor Huckabee’s monologue very briefly talked about what was said during it, but proudly shifted the majority focus to the rebuttal that his daughter, Governor Sarah Sanders Huckabee, delivered after, during which she boldly spelled out that this is no longer about one party versus the other, but rather it’s about common sense versus crazy; eliciting several supportive ovations from the crowd in response to her remarks.

After a brief pause for commercial break, Derek Hubb, the famed Magic Castle magician, wowed the audience and stunned both Tre Corley and Governor Huckabee with his amazing card reading abilities, leaving everyone on the edge of their seats wondering, “how the heck did he do that?”

Censorship! This is one of the hottest issues that’s happening across our country right now, and when Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, took his seat on the couch for his two-part segment to discuss this very troubling topic with Governor Huckabee, the audience was not only enlightened as to how the cable providers work behind the scenes regarding what channels are part of their packages, but he told how liberal political influence has caused some of the highest-rated conservative channels (such as his) to be dropped by providers without any justification simply for not following the current narrative and providing an alternative voice.

After such a highly-tense topic, the show came back around to the fun side when Governor Huckabee joined Stephanie Wise behind a makeshift countertop at center stage. Wise, the creator of popular food blog ‘GirlVersusDough’ and author of the new cookbook Comfort Baking: Feel Good Food to Savor and Share, discussed her current projects while hilariously teaching Governor Huckabee how to make her white chocolate peppermint crunch cake, which contained ingredients that brought a smile to his face including a pound and a quarter of butter, plenty of sugar, and in his case, a whole lot of frosting which he joked as he heavily spackled it onto the cake, “this is why my wife won’t let me paint anything at our house.”

After slicing off a piece of cake to sample for himself, Governor Huckabee was joined on the couch by country music superstar Craig Campbell for a segment that would hilariously see each of them making plenty of cake related puns at the start, before they’d talk about Craig being elected to the city council in Eagleville, TN, he and his family’s Grindstone Cowboy coffee shop, being a completely independent artist and releasing the music that he wants to put out starting with his newest project, The Lost Files: Exhibit A.

The final, on-air portion of the show saw Campbell, joined by Mike on bass and backed by Tre Corley and The Music City Connection, delivering his latest single “Tractor Songs,” instantly holding the crowd in the palm of his hands as they bopped along with the crisp melody and toe-tapped with the catchiness of the rhythm with many mouthing the words alongside Craig, a true symbol of a potential hit!

As with every taping of Huckabee’s show, there’s also always a digital exclusive performance taped that can be found at Huckabee.TV in their “After The Show” tab; With that performance, Campbell further teased his new album with the souped up, small-town country raised anthem, “That’s How We Get It Done.” 

The guest lineup for this show truly provided a variety, talk-show show type of feel as each was a little bit different from one another and offered a little something for everyone, which helped to make each segment excitedly pop with portions of the uber enthusiastic crowd.

There’s no doubt that The Huckabee Show is one of the strongest talk shows on air right now, and being a part of the studio audience provides a truly unique experience like no other. And while each guest, staff member, and the Governor himself are all amazing, at the heart of any taping is the utmost respect for those military veterans and first responders, who midway through the taping are asked to stand and appropriately receive the loudest ovation of the night!

This show aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on Saturday February 11, 2023 and Sunday February 12, 2023 (check local listings and for re-airing).

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