Finally got a chance to go to a Daily Show taping yesterday. I had tickets at one point last year but that is when the writers went on strike and the show was cancelled.
Daily Show tells you to get in line by 3:30 PM. If you ever go, be in line a lot earlier then that. They didn’t even have a celebrity guest yesterday and by 3:30 all the spots were already taken. I can only imagine what happens when more famous people show up. Get there early! Even though you have an e-mail confirmation it is not enough to get you in. They overbook every show. Once you get in line with your e-mail it is first come first served. There are about 75-80 “VIP Tickets” too. I don’t know how you get a hand on those. They didn’t have better seats or go in a lot earlier then we did. I don’t know if there are any other perks to it aside from jumping to the head of line. You can get in line and hold spots for the rest of your party of 4. The rest of your party is allowed to cut into the line if they show up by 4:30 PM. I got there at 2:30 PM and ended up being #16 in the general admission. You don’t get actual tickets that you can keep as souvenirs. It is pretty much like a hall pass that you used to get in middle school to go to the bathroom. Even if you don’t have tickets try getting there around 2 PM and try to be near the front of the standby line. That should give you a good enough chance at getting in. There are roughly 230 seats inside. The entire wait process is outdoors but it is a shaded area. It was kind of hot yesterday so the Daily Show staff was walking up and down the lines with cold water. There is parking lot just a block away that they direct you to in the e-mails they send. Definitely park your car there. It is only $10 if you get the Daily Show staff to stamp it for you. Well worth it. You won’t find cheaper parking anywhere in Manhattan.
My one gripe with the Daily Show is when the open the gates at 5:15 PM. You go through airport style security which is understandable but they make you shut off all cameras and cell phones before you enter the studios. This was my first time attending a TV taping so I don’t know if this standard practice everywhere. I understand not allowing photography while the show is going on but what is the harm in letting people take pictures before the show, during breaks or afterward? They repeatedly warned that anyone caught taking pictures would have their cameras confiscated until the end of the show and any pictures they took would be deleted. Yikes! I mean this is the Daily Show. You would think they would have caught up to the 21st century…no? I had every intention of tweeting along during the taping but as an older lady from the staff said at the entrance to the studio, and this is an exact quote “there is no tweetering allowed inside the studio.” They were going as far as to have people spit out gum as they entered the studio. Really? You can come up with semi legitimate excuses for cell phones and cameras but….chewing gum? I mean this is the Daily Show. They take their cameras EVERYWHERE. Really dissapointing.
Ok, that ends the negative portion of this entry. We got great seats. It is stadium seating and we were about 3 rows up, dead center of the studio. Before the start of the taping the big globe above Jon’s head instead of listing real cities lists fictional ones like “mouthear, earnose, moutheyes, etc.” The warm up act was good. Got the crowd fired up and did his job. He interacted well with the audience. He had to stall for a bit as Jon Stewart took a while to come out. When he did finally come out he got one HUGE ovation. There were people in the audience not only from different parts of the country but the world as well. Illinois and Indiana had representation there. The international flavor was even more. There were people there from Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Kuwait and Oman. He does a little Q&A session before the show to get a feel for the crowd. He was even funnier off camera then he is during the show. He asked if everyone had waited outside for hours and then added “I’m sorry but it definitely isn’t worth it.” He answered the questions well even though some of them were really awkward and bizarre. Someone asked him if Stephen Colbert and him were having an affair since they always take vacations at the same time. Oh boy. Jon did handle the question with class saying “calling it an affair cheapens it.” He was asked whether he planned on taking his show to Iraq or Afghanistan like Colbert did. At first he replied he wouldn’t because he was scared but on a serious note went on to add that he would do USO tours but that taking the show there for a week is a really difficult task. He mentioned that he does show in Washington for military families all the time. He was asked about the recent internet poll that showed him to be the most trusted man in America. This question was approved by the audience by another huge ovation. He laughed it off saying he considered himself a “joke answer” on the poll. He said it was the internet. He said he was surprised he didn’t get 98% of the vote on that poll saying a lot of drunks on the internet voted for him. He was asked to name his favorite guest and said he enjoys it with comedians like Dennis Leary and others he’s toured with come on because he gets to have more fun with them. He was asked which celebrity/guest was a total “dick”. He jokingly said Desmond Tutuu. He didn’t name anyone in particular but said some actresses he has interviewed were just awkward interviews.
There are a ton of microphones in the audience right above the seats. I have heard a few people mention the lady with the funny laugh on twitter in reference to last nights shows. Anyone who really laughs out loud would be heard on the show because there are that many microphones. I have to mention that Jon Stewart’s desk is definitely a lot smaller then it looks on TV. They play a lot of music while you wait before the show and during the commercial breaks. Jon played along during the breaks using his pens as drumsticks. At the end of the show on TV they showed Jon going to the back but he did come right back out to thank the audience and invited everyone back to the show saying “it is fun.” Slight dissapointment since none of correspondents were actually there and they didn’t check in with Stephen Colbert at the end either since by all accounts this Daily Show taping was running a few minutes behind schedule I would say that the taping started around 6:15-6:25 PM ET. We were out of the studios by 7:10 PM eastern giving them a little less then 4 hours to have the finished product ready to air for the east coast viewers. I have to say there wasn’t much editing. What you saw air was pretty much what they taped last night. Even the graphics which I assumed were added later were visible to us on the many big screen TVs that hung around the studios.
So in a matter of 2.5 weeks I’ve attended a Barack Obama rally and a Daily Show taping? Not bat at all. Wouldn’t you agree? Again, only complaint is that they need to catch up to the 21st century but overall a great experience. Go and book your tickets at the Daily Show’s website. I am looking forward to going back again soon. Looking to do Colbert’s show too.
This article is also posted on Newsvine. If you are member there please seed it up the vine. As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.
Watch the show:
Master Rebators – The Crank Cycle
Thank You, South Carolina!
Moment of Zen – A Squirrel Gets Stuck
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.