My Trip to The Daily Show

November 12th, 2012,  from Comedy Central’s world news headquarters in New York, I was lucky enough to attend a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I’ve always been a fan of The Daily Show. I prefer it to The Colbert Report. Not sure why, I just like my satire with less fake-punditry, I guess. Not that The Colbert Report isn’t awesome…but I digress.

I was pumped when I stumbled upon The Daily Show ticket page in October, and it was actually giving away tickets. I claimed some for Jason and I on the date closest to my birthday. I counted down the days to our episode. I checked the website regularly to see who the guest would be. I pondered our line waiting strategy: come early for a “normal” guest (authors, conservatives), come really early for a “notable” guest (actors, popular liberals), show up the day before if it’s Robert Pattinson.

Our guest was Mike Huckabee, and we settled on showing up for the ticket line an hour and fifteen minutes early. We guessed right, and were rewarded with awesome seats in the middle of the studio. (After probably waiting in line for a total of two and a half hours). The studio was bigger than I thought it’d be … and more angular. Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, I doubt it would look as good on camera if everything was all in a row.

Walking in, we were greeted by an adorable child; I’m guessing a relative of a staff member, and she was by far the most precious part of the experience. We then waited to be pumped up. First, by very loud pop music, then by a comedian (He gave off a very insult comic vibe. Jason and I avoided making eye contact with him, just in case he wanted to make fun of our clothes/hair/professions/relationship. But, still, he was funny.) and then, by Jon Stewart himself! He came out, answered questions, was generally awesome, and reminded us that, because the election is over, hopefully we can have open minds toward guests that we may not agree with, like a certain Mike Huckabee.

And then … the lights dimmed, the announcer’s voice filled the room and we started cheering like crazy people! It was so cool to see Jon Stewart do his thing. He truly is a professional. Never flubbed a word; did a really cool flip of his pen at one point (at which the audience went “Ooo”); and, in my favorite part, continued doing the “robot” while the Petraus scandal explanation clip played. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch Monday’s episode here.)

I give you: the pen flip. I’ll just watch this while you check out the episode.

The last two acts of the show were devoted to Mike Huckabee. Of course, it was a tough debate to watch at times; it’s always going a little uncomfortable when you’ve got two distinctly different points of view coming together. In spite of the intense debating and responses from Jon, Huckabee seemed to keep his cool. Though I may not agree with Mike Huckabee on everything, he seems like he’s a really decent person. Jon Stewart seemed to feel the same way, albeit through jokes.

One thing the interview unintentionally revealed is how good The Daily Show editors are at their jobs. Even though the interview ran over, I could barely tell in the final version that it had been edited at all, and I was there! The taping was over far too soon (because that’s how talented Jon Stewart is), but I loved every “Woo!” and laugh-filled minute of it. I highly recommend trying to get into a taping. I know it’s difficult, but it’s so much fun.

And, hey, I got a free copy of Huckabee’s book. So, there’s another lesson: come when an author’s visiting and you too could recieve free reading material!

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