Natalia Has a “Happytime” in Los Angeles

Q100.5 Midday Host Gets Inked by Puppets

September 4, 2018

A few weeks ago, Natalia took a trip to the city of Los Angeles as the guest of a pop-up event to promote the new movie The Happytime Murders. Here’s her first-person account of the shenanigans.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was one of the coolest parties I’ve ever been to and an experience I’ll never forget. Entercom—parent company of Q100.5—sent a bunch of DJs from different cities to the event, and it was like a field trip for grown-ups. We stayed at the Loews Hollywood, and there was a mall attached to our hotel and a sparkling rooftop pool. Needless to say, I went shopping, spent time at the pool eating frozen sangria popsicles and enjoyed the view before gearing up to head to the main event. My sister lives in L.A., so I invited her to meet me. We grew up watching the Muppets and we were obsessed with Fraggle Rock. (Disclaimer: The movie is directed by Brian Henson, who is Jim Henson’s son and has NOTHING to do with the Muppets.)

We were told we would be heading to The Inkhole at a secret location. What we initially thought was a club was really a tattoo parlor. I was so excited—our first puppet experience was happening! There was a nice puppet behind the counter offering free tattoos (temporary, of course), but there was also a guy getting a legit puppet tattoo, too. We sat down and got tatted. Then a tattooed lady started roasting everybody and we weren’t sure if we should be scared or laughing. After some awkward giggles, another surprise—the wall opened up and there was a secret door that led us into the real party.

Yes … this was it! My childhood fantasies were becoming reality and we were about to interact with puppets, just like a movie. We were welcomed into the club by “Big E,” the club owner, and the music was pumpin’, the drinks were flowing and there were puppets everywhere. We grabbed a drink and walked around to mingle. Everyone was so nice, and I kept making new friends—or so I thought. Leave it to my sister to burst my bubble and tell me they were actors working the event. What?! Did I just play myself? Way to bruise my ego, because I really thought I was working the room. Since she lives in L.A., she goes to events like this all the time, so she knew what was up.

In the corner of the room I saw a blackjack table, and being from Vegas, I had to get in on it and represent. (Legit the only card game I know how to play.) I sat down and the gentleman next to me made small talk. After a few hands, he leaned over and showed me his badge—he was a detective working undercover. OMG! He was investigating puppet murders and he’s dead-ass serious. Another actor, of course, but now I’m so into it so I engage him and ask questions about the murders. He says he’s investigating Big E (the club owner), and as soon as he’s about to spill the tea I lose and have to get off the table. We weren’t trippin, though—it was on to the next experience.

Onstage were a variety of cool lounge acts performing, and there was even a puppet MC. I bump into Steve-O and Bam Margera from “Jackass.” Steve-O randomly has his dog in the club (a German Shepherd), and a puppeteer was losing it because the dog came too close to the stage. We laughed and kept it moving. We heard about a secret room called the “Sugar Den,” so we went exploring to find it.

We walked through a private door and then sat on a couch for some pics. Then, out of nowhere, two of the puppets from the movie popped up behind us. We chatted about boobs, they started hitting on my sister, then they discussed their sexual preferences (their idea, not mine) and told us they were non-gender binary. After some cool pics, we headed off to the next room.

Here’s where it got interesting—we were in the Sugar Den and were greeted by Midge (who is in the movie too). She offered to hook us up with “lots and lots of sugar.” When in Rome, right? So we tried what they were passing around—thumbnail-size squares of sugar paper. There was a bunch of people in the room and I started wondering if the other girls were actors or guests. Then one of them said they had to “get us hooked on the sugar,” and we realized they were actors. Cool, we played along. We picked up a lil’ piece of paper off a tray and then Midge insisted we “drop it” in front of her. We ate the sugar tab (gross), and then she said we were about to go down the rabbit hole. Oh snap! They wouldn’t really drug us, right? Of course not. We took some pics and headed back to the bar for one last cocktail. Obviously, it wasn’t an illicit substance, but this whole night was one crazy-ass trip.

The Happytime Murders is in theaters now.