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Archive for the ‘Jon Stewart’ Category

Apparently, I was remiss in my description of certain details. Okay, Jon Stewart looked exactly the same in person as on the tube. You know how people sometimes say that celebrities look smaller in person? Well, Jon never struck me as particularly tall, and he isn’t. He really was just the same. The other two as well. Exactly the same as you’d expect.

He behaves pretty much the same too. He’s friendly, has a sense of humor, good at ad-libbing. He didn’t arrive on the set like a prima donna and order people around, for example. He was professional and while he didn’t spent a lot of time with us, he did chat with us for a while beforehand and did come out after to thank us. He seemed genuinely appreciative.

It was weird seeing him talk straight to the camera as though he were talking to the audience. We were supposed to respond as though he was talking to us (at the beginning of the show, he started with, “So, how you feeling? How are the kids?”). And his reactions were, of course, also straight to the camera. It made me more aware of how much of a performance it is of his. I mean, of course it is a performance. It is just weirder to see in person.

And, watching the show on TV afterwards, I realized that it is actually easier to engage with what is going on sitting in front of the tube in your living room than being on the audience. We missed some of what he said, had to peer around cameras, etc. Which didn’t make it any less cool, of course, but I wouldn’t want to see the show that way every day.

Oh, and I appeared on the show, for the merest nanosecond! After Jon introduces the guest, the camera cuts to him coming out and you can see a few people  in the audience right at the edge. Pause exactly at that moment and there I am! Our friend here has a crappy TV, so I don’t know how clear it could be, but on this TV I am a red blob to the very left of the screen, second row. If it is any clearer on other TVs, then I have actual proof of being there. How exciting.

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That’s what they made us do in the Daily Show audience this afternoon before Jon Stewart came out, which seemed a little over the top.

So, here it is, for those (Yogamum) who are living vicariously through me.
When we arrived at Comedy Central, which is a boring little office building, there was already quite a line-up on the left of the doors. On the right, with the sign, VIPs, was a line of about 6 people. As we assessed the situation, the official door guy told us the line actually continued around the corner.

Around we went and stood behind a nice older woman, waiting alone. Meanwhile, J phoned our friend who got the tickets, S, who hadn’t arrived yet, as we thought he had said something about having VIP tickets. Sure enough we had, so we happily abandoned the long line for the short line. I was number 13. Lucky 13.

After a long wait, they brought us in, putting us through a metal detector and confiscating my jackknife. Odd. We then waited in a plain white room for another long, long time. Finally, someone came along to tell us how important we were to the show and that we couldn’t eat, drink or pee.

As VIPs, we were seated first. It was very orderly, with us being directed to particular seats. We were the closest to Jon’s desk and the second row up. We were so close Jon Stewart I could practically see him clearly without my glasses.

As the seats were almost filled, people slowed to a trickle, probably because larger groups would have been rejected in favour of single people to be happy in the single seats. Finally, the last person came in and took her seat, and I realized it was the woman we had been talking to right in front of us in the first line. Thanks goodness for VIP tickets.

The doors closed and we proceeded to wait some more. Wait and wait and wait. We got to examine the studio and set in great detail. Not surprisingly, it looks a lot smaller in real life.

Finally, some guy came out and told us jokes to warm us up. He was pretty funny, I have to admit, ad-libbing as he abused the audience, ordering people to sit up straight and the like. He also emphasized that we weren’t there to watch the show, we were there to be part of the show, and made us yell and clap a lot, encouraging us to be louder and more enthusiastic.

And at last, two hours after we arrived at the studio, out came Jon Stewart. He took a couple of question from the audience and seemed funny and kind. Someone asked if the rumours she’d read on the internet about him having a role in some movie was true. He had never heard of the movie and said, “Well, unlike almost everything else you read on the internet, this appears to be false.”

What I found most interesting about the show was reading the teleprompter while Stewart spoke. A lot of stuff I’d expected to be just him, like, “Um …” were scripted. But on the other, he did vere off-script fairly frequently, tossing in extra little jokes or changing words. He must be very comfortable in front of the camera to be able to do that.

When John Oliver came out to do a live report from Victorian England, the blue screen (which projects the picture behind him) was right beside us, so Oliver was only a few feet from us. He was also only a few feet from Jon Stewart, which looked so weird. As Oliver did his bit, Steward would crack up, giggling and putting his head on his desk before recovering in time to do his part.

We also got to see the last John, whose name I can’t remember but he stars in the Apple commercials, reporting on the dollar. As a Canadian who is delighted to be buying cheap New York stuff with our strong dollar, that whole section was amusing.

The only disappointing thing was that Stewart didn’t have time to throw to Stephen Colbert at the end of the show. He talked to the guest too long. I saw the director waving at him a few times to wrap it up, but Stewart ignored him and kept yacking.

After all the waiting, the show whipped by and all of a sudden, it was over. Jon came out again and thanked us all, telling us we were no long on air, so we didn’t need to clap. And then we were back out on the street.

If anyone watches tonight and hears someone clap or whoop at the mention of the US dollar being at par with the Canadian dollar, that was J and me.

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