A couple of months ago I was cruising around the website of The Daily Show when I saw tickets were available for the filming of the June 13 show, conveniently the day I would be in New York.
Fast forward to the future! Which is now the past! But earlier today was the present!
WOOSH… (that’s the sound of time travel)
I arrive at the studios of The Daily Show around 3pm. The show is overbooked so you have to get there super early to ensure your seat. I get there super early. I ensure my seat.
I retire to the park across the road, manage a quick phone call with the parentals with whom I have not been able talk to since, you may recall, they spent the night on the run from quakes and shakes. (Update: they’re doing ok – were off to check the damage this morning.)
Around 5:30pm, we are led into the studios. There is a full briefing from Security about no cellphones, no cameras, no weapons (although you can check your weapons in and retrieve them after the show if you accidentally bring your flamethrower along, apparently, so long as you have photo id. I don’t even know if that’s a joke), no eating, no marriage proposals, no leaving for the toilet, no ‘personal agendas’. We go through security like it’s the airport, leaving our personal agendas at the door. This thing is a military operation.
I am seated in the back, left-hand corner of the studio. Paul Mecurio (not Paul Mecurio, although I could defo have gone some strictly ballroom) is the warm-up act and he does a great job getting the crowd laughing. In particular, he forms a warm rapport with a sassy 95 year old Jewish woman in the front row who gives as good as she gets (and starts pimping out her granddaughter and grandson as potential marriage material).
Once we are sufficiently warm and clappy, Paul brings in Jon Stewart. The crowd genuinely goes wild.
As is custom at the start of his shows, Jon takes a few Q & As before the cameras start rolling and the broadcast show starts proper.
A girl asks him his favourite place to go in NYC to eat (Murray’s bagels is good apparently). There’s the standard comment about topical issue Weiner-gate. Most questions get a quick one-liner in response.
I had earlier asked the advice of fellow Facebooksters about what question I should ask if the opportunity arise. The suggestions included:
Ask him why the hell Comedy Central took his show (and Colbert’s) off the air in NZ. Is he too high brow for us???
A good question Brenton but I didn’t think I could adequately convey the requisite three question marks.
Tell him I love him and he makes American politics bearable. I am actually too jealous for words.
Technically not a question Cat, but true all the same.
Ask him why his show isn’t daily… The Saturday to Monday stretch is an empty void in my life.
This question has a lot of merit Rachel.
I just died, you just killed me…Well if I was still alive, and somehow managed to get dailyshow.com on the one day when they actually had seats going, and managed to get close enough to him, I’d probly giggle like a teenager, ask him to shake my hand, and then never wash it again, so maybe just ask him his fave food cart in NYC, sounds less creepy…
Not much less creepy, Ara… Also, Murray’s Bagels, apparently. Stalk him there…
Ask him how Colbert is in bed! Then if they would both like to join you after the show.
I’m staying on an airbed on the floor of a kitchen in a sublet in Brooklyn, Rose. Plus I’m more of an MFF kinda gal.
My opportunity arises. I ask him the following:
I’m from New Zealand. We have a general election later in the year. Do you have any observations or advice from America to offer us?
He didn’t offer advice as such but he asked questions of me, which I duly answered about our political system (Westminster-style Parliamentary democracy – is that right?), about the main parties, what the big issues were going to be in the election (can’t remember what I said – asset sales maybe? Lame.), what is the most amusing political party and why (zombie Don Brash back from the dead)…
We talked back and forth for awhile. You know, as you do.
And then it was over and it was time to film the show. The cameras start rolling and we’re away!
The show itself is pretty tightly scripted from what I can tell. The one exception to the pre-scripting is his opening monologue off the top, in which he traditionally makes reference to one of the questions from the pre-show.
And tonight it is mine!
I don’t know if it will make it to broadcast but it was pretty cool nonetheless.
[Update: turns out it did.]
The show was filmed very smoothly (only one re-take when they decided a bit wasn’t funny enough so they re-wrote the jokes) and was all over by 7pm.
After the cameras stopped rolling, Jon thanked the audience, referenced the NZ conversation once again and invited me back to let everyone know how the election worked out.
A good day.
Share with the class:
Have you ever been at a live filming of a TV show (yes – Son of a Gunn Show counts)? Tell me about your experiences!
What TV show would you love to see filmed?