The Daily Show
Monday Katie and I fulfilled every college kid's dream and attended a taping of The Daily Show. We snagged last minute tickets Sunday from their convenient online reservation system. The tickets were pretty much reservations, so they didn't guarantee us a spot inside. We were advised to arrive at the theater between 3:30 and 4. We showed up at 3:40 and were two of the last 5 people that were let in. At least 20 people gave up waiting at around 4:30, when they were told they definitely would not get in. Another 20 or so waited patiently until just around 5:15, when the tickets were handed out. They left empty handed as well. Most of these people arrived before 4. So take note folks, if you're planning on attending the Daily Show, get there earlier than the tickets advise.
We made our way into the building, passing under a fake Olde English sign reading "Abandon News, All Ye Who Enter Here." After going through an intense screening that included going through a metal detector and having our bags and jackets searched by burly security gaurds, we made it into the theater. Unlike most television studios, this one seems a lot bigger in person. It holds 239 people, way more than the Colbert Report. Some staffer messed up in his counting though, because there ended up being one empty seat, which was right next to me. This was quickly filled by a tweed baseball hat-wearing intern, who remarked, "This is a first." Someone on the staff really likes Fall Out Boy, because the only music played before taping, during commercials, and after the show was a mix CD of all Fall Out Boy songs. I felt like I was at TRL again.
Before the show Jon Stewart came out and hurried through a quick question and answer ceremony. One girl said her friend attended a taping last week and asked for his blue papers, which he said she could have, and was told after the show that they were thrown away. "She was pretty upset", the friend said. "How's she doing now?", Jon asked sarcastically, adding, "In a year I think she'll be completely over it." Before the show was over a staffer got the blue papers and brought them to the audience member. The crowd burst into applause. Jon said, "Those are from tonight's show. I doodled all over them. I doodle because I can't smoke (pot) anymore. I used to smoke a lot. Smoking is a lot more fun."
The show flew by. It's filmed live, so there are no cuts for edits, it's just a straight shot. No huge surprises during the show, since I had already seen all the guests live before. John Oliver was the correspondent for the night, reporting on British backlash in Syria. We saw him perform just a week ago at a little bar in the East Village and were blown away by his stage presence. Lewis Black, who I saw perform in Boston right after the Cheney hunting accident, did his "Back in Black" segment and stuck around to chat with Jon until just before they came back from commercial. John Kerry was the guest for the night, promoting his new book about environmentalists. John and I go way back (more on that another day). At 6:50 the show was almost finished. The feed to the Colbert Report came through during the commercial break, and Jon and Stephen exhanged some hilarious off-air dialogue about Stephen wanting to walk out on his audience. It was weird to hear Colbert's audience, knowing that they were only 2 blocks up and one avenue over. When the last commercial break was through Jon checked in with Stephen and that was that. We got our moment of zen, were out of the theater by 7:00, and home after an 8 minute walk. We didn't even give our comedy appreciating minds a rest. We went straight down to the Comedy Cellar to see Louis C.K., Jim Norton, Darrell Hammond, and Colin Quinn. Chris Rock did a surprise set in the show after ours. But hey, we saw Jon Stewart talk about doodling. Who can ask for anything more?