This past monday, my brother Ayaz and i FINALLY went to a taping of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart“. By FINALLY, i mean that i originally got tickets last year for several months later, but by the time the day came around – the writers were on strike and so it was cancelled. This time, my brother Faraz, got tickets back in February.
The suggested arrival time was around 3:30 PM – we got there around 2 o’clock and there was already a line forming. We stood in line in the heat (thank god for the shaded area we were standing under) for over three hours (doors open for airport like security checkpoints at 5:15 PM). So, if you have tickets and are planning on going – plan on getting there as early as possible.
On a quick sidenote, the sign above the entrance is this:
(in case you can’t read it – it says “Abandon News All Ye Who Enter Here”
Anyways, getting there at a reasonably early time (2 PM), my brother and I were still #s 16 and 17 in line. Right before they let groups of people enter the security checkpoints, several of the staff members come out to make sure everyone in line has a ticket (and those that don’t are sent to the standby area. And as they do that, they give the people in the lines the official tickets (they say that until you get these tickets, there is no guarantee because they run on a first come first serve basis). There are, i believe, 239 seats in the studio.
I was quite dissappointed in the fact that the tickets we got were like, as Ayaz described it, middle school bathroom passes… and not official tickets that we could keep as souvenirs or anything. Here’s the picture of mine:
oh and by the way, they are insanely serious about not letting any photography being done inside the studios at any point (before, during, or after the taping)… or chewing gum (or eating/drinking of course). Some of it seemed a little extreme (like the no gum chewing), but whatever. the security team kept saying that if they saw anyone take pictures, they would come around and confiscate the camera until the end of the show AND personally delete all the photos. Oh yeah, phones must be turned off (and not just on vibrate or silent)… and in their words – “no tweetering was allowed”. 🙂
So we finally get in to the studio, and they have the music blasting FOREVER. after the longest time, the warm-up comedian guy comes out.. and he was pretty funny… but it was dragged on and on (even he kept saying “sorry guys, but i can’t leave until they give me the signal”). and then FINALLY (after what seemed forever), Jon Stewart comes out to a huge ovation and answers some questions from the crowd (one of the awkward ones was about whether Colbert and Stewart are having a secret affair because they tend to take their vacations together… to which Stewart slyly responds “well, it’s not a secret anymore” :). After several of the questions were about Colbert, one guy finally asks Stewart if he personally likes “when people come onto HIS show and ask about Colbert” :).
Personally, i found Stewart to be funnier as he was doing improv before the actual scripted show. Oh and also, when Stewart first came out.. he asked the crowd if everyone had been waiting outside for hours and then added “I’m sorry but it definitely isn’t worth it.”
Another interesting point to note was the diverse demographic background of the crowd. there were people there not only from across the nation, but across the world – some mentioned were Zimbabwe, Oman, New Zealand, (Berlin) Germany, Kuwait.
This is all i can remember for now, but i’ll probably add stuff later if i think of more. But one this is fore sure – I definitely want to go back again… and also to the “The Colbert Report” with Stephan Colbert.