Joho the Blog » “The Daily Show”: a fanboy’s notes from the audience
logo
Who am I? (Blog Disclosure Form) Copy this link as RSS address

“The Daily Show”: a fanboy’s notes from the audience

Our thoughtful and inventive children gave us tickets to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” for Chanukah. Yesterday was the day.

We had an easy ride from Boston to NYC on the MegaBus, which was clean and on time. But, although they promised free wifi, it was actually wifi-free once we left Boston. (Word order makes such a difference!) Nevertheless, for $15 each way per person, it’s hard to muster a good head of complaint.

We stayed at the Blakely Hotel, which was excellent, especially since they let us put four in a room. The rate included a continental breakfast. Put a few of those together on a plate and you’ve got yourself a breakfast.

We spent the morning and early afternoon walking around lower Manhattan, then subwayed up to the Museum of Natural History — oh those bones still amaze, plus, unlike today’s fancy-dancy science centers, you can actually learn stuff there — and then walked through Central Park to the Daily Show studios on 11th Ave., between 51st and 52nd.

When you get the tickets (an email), you’re told that the line starts to form at 3:30. So, some of us got there at 2:30. Sure enough, there were ten people ahead of us already. At 5:15, they actually let you into the building. So, it’s a looong time on line, or, as some of you say, in line. While you are waiting, you are read a long proclamation of restrictions: No large bags, no weapons, no drugs, no food, no gum. All phones off. Be prepared to go through the metal detector. Show your drivers license. (No one under 18 is allowed in.) No twittering or blogging, especially since your electronic devices have to be switched off. No flash photos. Don’t ask Jon to hug you, kiss you, sign autographs, or “anything else creepy.” There are bathrooms downstairs, but once they let you in, they will not let you out.

Once we seated, there was another hour of waiting, much of it with punkish rock music blaring, not quite loudly enough to drown out the 18 year olds behind us who thought they were very witty indeed. After a while, the warm-up comedian came out. No set jokes, just audience interaction. The audience seemed to love him. He was a little too much of a humiliate-the-audience sort of guy for my taste, but I’m old and easily made to squirm.

Then Jon Stewart came out and took questions. Because the show was running late — during rehearsals they discovered some of the material, “how you say, sucked,” JS explained, and it had to be rewritten — he only took four or five questions, which he used for riffing. When someone responded that it was his first time in the city, JS explained why NYC “is a city that works” compared to DC, which irrationally has four “Eighth Streets,” and therefore is a “shithole.” (As you might imagine, it was way funnier in JS’s hands). Some kid started to ask whether he should go to the funeral of his best-friend’s fiance’s dad, and JS cut him off and said, “Yes! You go to the funeral” even though you don’t know the dead guy, because your best friend asked you to. And you try not to make the funeral all about you. It was moral-stance-as-humor, which we love JS for (and, I suppose, some hate him for).

Anyway, JS’s warm-up was great. He’s smart, funny, and a mensch, which is why we came down from Boston to see him.

The show was pretty good, but you can judge for yourself here. I loved the opening segment, about Obama at Notre Dame. The Wyatt Cenac at-desk interview was pretty funny, but I am not his biggest fan; our kids loved it.

While waiting, we had speculated about who the guest would be. Might it be Will Ferrell, who was in town for SNL and has a movie opening? Might it be Joss Whedon, simply because we love him? How about Dick Cheney, and if so, would it be appropriate for me to yell “War criminal!” from the audience? As it turned out, the guest was Indianapolis 500 driver Sarah Fisher.

By the way, throughout the taping, it was odd to hear JS swear. I think it actually works better with the bleeps; the swear are jarring. At least until we get used to them.

At the end, Stephen Colbert came on the monitor and they chit-chatted. It went on for an unusually long time, and it was only after JS said something like, “Ok, let’s do this,” that we realized that they were really just chit-chatting; the official, on-air promo started after that. It was actually pretty charming. When Colbert said what he’d done that weekend, it took JS’s prompting to get him to say that not only had he received an honorary degree, the university named a building after his father, who had been a provost (or something) there; Colbert’s reticence to brag was, of course, at odds with his persona.

Then it was over. We walked to 9th Ave, twittered for vegetarian restaurant suggestions, and ended up having a terrific meal at Zen Palate. Then, onto the MegaBush for a 2AM arrival.

Was it worth doing? Absolutely. We all love the show. If anything, we admire JS more than ever. It’s a long wait, and you are merely a prop for the show, but there Jon Stewart was, right in front of us! Being all Jon Stewart-y!

Our one regret: At the very beginning, JS made some comment about something weird happening in the audience. We always wonder what he’s going on when he makes these audiences references. But we couldn’t see what weird thing had happened! Nooooo! [Tags: ]

Previous: « || Next: »

Comments are closed.

Comments (RSS).  RSS icon