New York City - Day Four

New York Travel Blog

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I got really lazy on my fourth day and didn't venture out of my hostel until about 2pm. In the morning however I saw that there was some last minute tickets available to a taping of The Daily Show that afternoon, so I got myself a ticket. I have been watching The Daily Show for over 6 years now, and I am pretty confident I have seen over 1000 episodes in that time. I was determined to go see a taping of the show when I was in New York, and since I had already got an advance ticket for next Monday this way I could go twice!

I got down to the studio on the west side of Midtown at about 3:30pm. You can tell it is the studio because there is a huge banner of Jon Stewart on the side of the building, with big text helpfully telling you where the Larry Flynt Hustler club is nearby. The suggested time to arrive is between 3:30pm and 4pm, but already there would have been about 100 people in the queue. I had to go around the corner and join the line there, but I got a free water! For the next hour and a half I just stood there and waited it out. At roughly 5pm we got ushered inside and after a strict security check I went into the studio and took a seat. The studio wasn't quite as I had imagined it would be, it seemed a bit less flashy and definitely smaller than I figured from the episodes on TV.

They played really loud upbeat music to start to warm the crowd up, and after about half an hour of that a comedian came out to get the crowd laughing and in the right mood for the show. He explained how the show works and then decided to start talking to the audience. His first question was if anyone was from 'ridiculously far away'. I was from ridiculously far away so I put my hand up, I'm not even sure if anyone else did, but he called me out and asked where I was from. When I replied Australia a light must have gone off in his head because he started paying me out for about two minutes while the audience of about 250 people laughed with him and at me. It was very funny but I mostly just smirked off his insults.

After the warm up guy left then Jon Stewart came out to a huge standing applause. I don't think there was anyone there who thought of Jon Stewart as any less than a comedy genius. He started casually talking about the day and then asked the audience for questions. He gave very funny responses and then they were ready to start the show.

He sat down at the desk and they went through the whole show front to back flawlessly without any stuff-ups or retakes. It was a bit hard to hear every little thing he said but being there live made it so much funnier. At the ad breaks a bunch of people would rush out and talk to Jon and make sure everything was still set up. The first ad break was the funniest because Jon had just spilt water everywhere so they all quickly tried to clean it up. The live cross to John Oliver in 'South Africa' was funny because there were only about two metres from each other. The interview was about as good as you could get from one with a former White House doctor. After the show ended Jon went to a different spot in the studio and did an introduction for the weekly Global Edition they make of the show, which almost entirely consisted of Jon paying out France for their pathetic effort in the World Cup.

The audience then all reluctantly left the studio and I took the subway back to the hostel.
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New York
photo by: herman_munster