New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Daily Show

The Daily Show set, right after the taping ended.

Finally now at 10:19 p.m. Wednesday, I have a chance to sit down and write something about the exciting day I had yesterday. I'll do it in two parts, in case I conk out and can't write any more after describing what it was like to see a live taping of The Daily Show. Part 2, when I get to it, will describe Nicole's book and book party in greater detail.

Jenn and I got out of work at 4:00 p.m. Together we walked to 52nd Street and Eleventh Avenue where we met our good friends Webster and MaryAlice. Through proper prior planning, they had obtained four tickets to that day's Daily Show taping, and they were kind enough to invite us to join them. Here's what the line for the Daily Show taping looked like.

We had to wait about a half hour in that line. Some Daily Show helpers handed out laminated passes to us in the line and then herded us into a secondary waiting area. It was a medium-sized room, maybe 500 square feet or so, with tan walls, fluorescent lighting, and very little furnishing. There were rest rooms off to the side, which was good.

The wait in the holding pen wasn't too bad either. A Daily Show helper, early 20-ish white guy with mid-length dark hair basically explained the rules: be really loud, and high energy, don't take photos, don't eat or drink, etc. Jon will come out before the show to get to know the audience a little bit, answer some questions, tell some jokes, etc.

We were then herded into the main studio. I was really itching to take some photos (I had my camera in my bag, after all) but stifled the urge. I didn't want to get us all thrown out. That would have been uncool. Anyway, we're huge fans of The Daily Show, we watch every night. Hardly ever miss one. In fact, I'm blogging as fast as I can so I can post this before tonight's show (Trent Lott is the guest).

We had four good seats at the end of the row, about four rows up from floor level. The set is smaller than it appears on TV. We were right next to the teleprompter station and security guard, so I definitely couldn't take a picture without getting busted. I actually tried to shoot a picture out of the corner of my bag, but it was just too awkward and dumb so I decided to just chill out and enjoy the show.

There was a warmup comic who was pretty good. He reminded us to be really loud, but the crowd was boisterous already. Then Jon Stewart himself came out. Of course he was really cool, chatting with people and making jokes.

Finally he sat down at the desk, cue cameras, cue music, cue intro "Tuesday, August 23, 2005, this is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Cue cheering crowd, clapping, yelling. And then the show began. We were screaming like we were at a Yankees game.

I can't describe the whole show to you, it would be too much work and perhaps many of you saw it last night anyway. Jon Stewart did a bit about Pat Robertson calling for the murder of Hugo Chavez, Steven Colbert did This Week In God (with Compari-Sin), Ed Helms did a report on some "extreme" health insurance plan in California, and Rachel Weisz was the guest.

It was a great episode. When it ended (after the Moment of Zen, which featured rats on surfboards) we shuffled out of our row and toward the exit. I was trying to take some stealth photos (see top of page). Then I noticed that many people had cameras out and were taking photos with reckless abandon and nobody was doing anything about it.

Here's a better view.

All four of us really enjoyed the show. It was laugh out loud funny at times. As I said before, we are really big Jon Stewart fans, so to see his show live was really great.

We walked from the studio and very easily caught a bus across town to the subway. Before we hopped on the bus I shot this photo.

Now I've got to go, because it's 11:00 p.m., and the Daily Show is on! I'll write part 2 soon.


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