Saturday, December 17, 2011

From Comedy Central's World News Headquarters in New York.....

One of the great things about having just over a week in New York is we had time to do some time-consuming but awesome stuff that we wouldn't have done if time had been more precious. I've been watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for about 7 years and when I knew I'd be visiting the city where it's made, I decided to see if I could get tickets to a taping. It's not the easiest process. I'd been visiting the ticket page of the website for months and never saw tickets available. I was signed up for the ticket mailing list but no emails were sent. I read online that if you check the website at certain times, small amount of tickets become available. Scott and I picked a morning. We went out for breakfast but returned to our accommodation before 10am to watch the website.  Two tickets popped up for that day's taping, we applied, got our confirmation emails and headed off to the studios. Then we waited. We didn't want to risk not joining the queue early because they give out more tickets than there are seats in the studio because they need the studio to be full. We eventually exchanged our emails for tickets that confirmed we'd get into the show and headed off to find a warm bar to wait out the rainy afternoon.

We returned to the studio a little later on. More waiting, lots of security but then we were in, seated and listening to the warm up guy who was very funny, and had a pretty sharp edge to him. Jon Stewart came out and chatted to the crowd before the show began. He was funny and welcoming, despite the audience asking some pretty inane questions. It was interesting watching a live TV taping. The staff tell you several times that you have to laugh loud so that the mics pick up the audience, and you think that it's going to be hard, but it isn't. The exaggerated responses fit the situation. The taping ran quickly and smoothly. Each of the segments were only taped once, no re-takes. The show that aired that night was almost exactly what we saw in the audience. The only change was that the interview segment was edited to be slightly shorter. Watching it live gave me more of an appreciation for what Stewart does every night. I am so familiar with his delivery and quick humour, having watched the show for years. But somehow, seeing it all done in the flesh, in one take, makes it seem more remarkable.

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