TV Tapings



Friday September 15, 2023 (Taping Date)

@ Huckabee Theater in Hendersonville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Having been extremely blessed with the opportunity to be part of the studio audience for half a dozen tapings of Huckabee, we’re engrained now as part of the family. But that’s not because we’re media, it’s simply because whenever anyone makes their way across the plaza of the Huckabee Theater and through the doors at the check-in point, whether it be as a first-time guest or if you’re a regular, the entire staff you meet along the way makes it clearly known that you’re an important member of their extended family.

With bellies full of Cracker Barrel’s outstanding biscuits, the pre-show snack provided to all the guests ahead of the taping in honor of National Biscuit Month, the very crowded holding area saw that night’s audience having lively conversations with each other, smiling while laughing together, and exuding a positive energy that would transcend throughout the entire night.

In something that I personally haven’t witnessed at the tapings I’ve been to this year, the number of hands that enthusiastically went up when asked who was there for the first-time far outweighed those returning regulars this go-round.

After being kept in stitches from a hilarious, warm-up round of comedy from Christy Conder, and Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame announcer Keith Bilbrey celebrating couples in the crowd with milestone anniversaries (three of which were over 50 years), Governor Huckabee came out to the stage to gratefully welcome everyone ahead of the taping as he always does, taking note of their obvious energy with a huge smile on his face when he told, “Save some of that excitement for the show!”

And save that excitement they did! As soon as Tré Corley & The Music City Connection hit into the show’s opening theme song, the ovation was so loud in-studio that you couldn’t even hear Keith Bilbrey running through the line-up for that’s night show.

Governor Huckabee spoke directly on the many issues that American’s care deeply about during his opening monologue, igniting the crowd when he touched on those that carry the most personal weight such as gas prices rising, grocery costs being outrageous, honoring God, free speech, and our own safety as crime runs rampant, all while upholding the absolute truth that we the people are the bosses of our government elected officials and not the other way around.

With the natural political tones you’d expect when guests are from that realm, while former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did chat with the governor about his work alongside President Trump and also the very slippery slope that we’ve now been placed on through the current administration’s decision to recently transfer 6 billion in funds to Iran in exchange for the freeing of American’s who had been imprisoned, he very intriguingly talked of his new TBN film Route 60: The Biblical Highway as well.

In his two-segment conversation, Pompeo told what it was like to walk the road between ancient Israel and modern Israel, painting wonderful visuals of his emotions, experiences, and overwhelming gratitude during the filming, taking us right there with him as he relived moments of being able to walk were many others can’t go to humbly bring us to them through this film.

Politics were of course also a focal point of guest Kash Patel, the former Deputy Assistant to President Trump and former Department of Defense Chief of Staff.  Through very focused conversation on the deep state politics that he uncovers in his new book Government Gangsters, Patel provided an eye-opening, shake your head segment that spoke to the obscene amount of struggles he faced from the current administration to even obtain the finalized copyright on the book so it could be released, pondering the very honest question from Governor Huckabee, “What truths then were in the book that they didn’t want out there?”

However, upholding the idea of being a true variety talk show, the other guests on the night provided segments that walked outside the political lines, introducing an ebb and flow that perfectly accented those heavier lined topics with mostly lighter fare.

Where Maryann Byrd, biscuit extraordinaire and author of The Biscuit Dive Guide, did her very best to teach Governor Huckabee how to make her amazing biscuits, the Magic of Puck (Malcom Puckering) delivered side splitting hilarity when he performed a trick with Governor Huckabee in the role of his assistant during which he showed the audience how it was being accomplished every step of the way, while leaving the governor in the dark with a true look of amazement on his face as the crowd smiled and knowingly laughed.

As with any of our coverage, though, our eyes are always locked on the musical guest. This week that honor fell on Harper Grace and her amazing story.

The Curb Records recording artist is the definition of overcoming, trusting God to make a message from the mess, and standing tall through her own painful experience to now benefit others.

During her on the couch segment with Governor Huckabee, Harper transparently shared her personal behind the scenes on all that she and her family had to deal with in the aftermath of her National Anthem performance at 11 years old which was deemed as one of the worst of all times; a truly unfair story that included death threats and harsh bullying.

However, by fully trusting God through that extremely turbulent time of her life, she’s now dusted off, gotten back up, and is not only one of country music’s young artists to watch, but is humbly using her platform to reach our youth on the effects of bullying.

A rousing performance of her recent single “Oh Say Can You See,” provided the bold exclamation point to overcoming her obstacle as she fully embraced her anthem story - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the redemption moment - pulling the crowd to a complete hush one note at a time as they hung on every line she sang while she opened her diary and invited us in.

Though every taping of Huckabee brings out a truly amazing crowd, there was something so special about being involved with one that had so many first-time guests in the audience. They were overwhelmingly excited to be there from the get-go, welcomed each guest with rousing ovations, and tipped a grateful cap alongside the regulars to those first responders and military who were acknowledged with a tremendous, well-deserved ovation in-house before the final segment of the show.

Whether you’re already a regular guest or if you want to be the next first timer in the audience, grab your free tickets for upcoming tapings today and watch an additional performance from Harper Grace of "Light As A Feather" at www.Huckabee.TV.

And make sure to tune into Huckabee every Saturday and Sunday on TBN! Check local listings.



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