Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Daily Show Taping and Too Much Meat

VIP! VIP! VIP! Was our chant as we walked the streets of Manhattan, way the F over to the West Side to the studio where they film "The Daily Show." Since we had gone to the show before and been rejected, the show was nice enough to offer VIP tickets for all members of the party for a subsequent show...unfortunately, due to ticket demand and the fact that the show didn't film for the past two weeks, we were unable to get tickets until July 17. Henceforth known as the hottest day ever to be wandering around NYC (HDEtbWAN). Ever.

Luckily, since we were VIP! VIP! VIPs! We got to wait in a special line (in the shade) and got brought inside the building, into the holding cell, much earlier than the rest of the people waiting for the show. I think we got in line around 4:00pm and were let in probably 15 minutes after that - mostly because they wanted to get everyone inside, due to the fact that it was the HDEtbWAN and they didn't want people getting heat stroke while waiting outside. No rejections for us!

Here's a shot of the sign above the door to go into the studio:

Once we got through the metal detectors and security personnel who questioned us at length about the dangerous contents of our bags (pepper spray, knives, sharp implements?), we got to hang out in the holding cell. And see this delightful poster, hanging from the wall:

Is it Ed's bicycle? Maybe he parked it there one day, after his ride to the studio from Brooklyn and they left it, kind of as a bootleg reminder of the greatest Daily Show correspondent ever (behind Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, to be fair). Anyway, I was way too excited about seeing a poster of Ed, and even more excited when the security people moved the ropes that were keeping me away from Ed, so I could get right up next to him! Sidebar: There will be no pictures of me with Ed or anyone else, for that matter, because, since it was the HDEtbWAN we were all quite shiny. I don't think any pictures of us even came out...the reflection of the flash off of all of our shiny, pasty-white skin was more than my camera could adjust for.

We were let into the actual studio early, as the people in charge of making sure the audience members don't pass out from heat exhaustion had to get the other people inside, as well. Unfortunately, you're not allowed to take pictures inside the studio, so I don't have any. I figured it wasn't worth being thrown out onto the streets on the HDEtbWAN without even having seen the show. Once everyone was inside, the warm-up comedian guy came out to chat with us. And I do mean chat. He basically talked to random members of the audience, then either insulted them or told them way too much information about himself. He was pretty funny, though, and we learned the word "pre-tarded" from another audience member, as a result of his ramblings, which kind of made the comedian worthwhile.

Next, Jon came out to answer a few pre-show questions! He is quite small, I'm not going to lie, but very, very adorable and, of course, hysterically funny and SMART! Here are some of the questions he got asked and his responses:
Best books he's read recently - he mentioned Fareed Zakaria's recent book, "The Post-American World" as a good one, but he said he can't really read any books, other than ones for the show, because they have so many authors as guests, and he always has to read thinking, "what interesting questions can I ask this asshole?" Ha!

On the weirdest thing anyone's ever asked him - if he reads fan fiction about himself. To which he responded that he didn't know what that was, and, once it was explained to him, he was like, WTF is wrong with you people?

Boxers, briefs, or neither? - He then amended his answer to the previous question with THIS one being the strangest one he's received. Then said, "you'd be amazed how often that comes up." He then answered the question by saying he's actually duct taped in - no underwear. Ha, again!

On having the teleprompter actually say, "Welcome to 'The Daily Show!' My name is Jon Stewart" - he said it's a superstition, kind of, since they started the first show with those two phrases, they've begun every show the same way. It is kind of funny, though, that he needs to be reminded of his own name. I wonder if anyone has ever put someone else's name up there, and if Jon has read it? If you saw the show on Thursday night, that's why he stopped right after saying, "My name is..." which we in the audience, clearly, thought was hysterical.

The show taping actually went by pretty quickly, the Lou Dobbs-o-meter and the McCain-NAACP debacle were awesome:

Although, during the first break, we could see Jon get really angry about the people who play the clips cutting off the important words, "Martin Luther" before one of the clips, since it didn't really make any sense, just hearing the word "King." He did look pretty upset about it, but I didn't think you could tell during the actual airing - and they clearly edited the show so it would make sense, so, really, no big deal, Jon - you're awesome! The "Cougars" piece was OK, I loved how uncomfortable Jon got when that lady was petting him and the end where Kristen said she thought Jon was 70 and slept in a beef dehydrator was really funny. The Maggie Gyllenhaal interview was good (on Jon's end), but I wasn't such a fan of hers. maybe she was just really tired from all the promotion for "Batman," but she came across as, how shall I put this, not so bright? I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt here, I can't imagine it's that much fun to do nothing but talk about one movie for months on end. She is incredibly skinny, too, which I don't think you can see on in a "I may be able to snap her in half like a twig, even though I can't even lift a 5-lb weight" kind of way. Jon talking about watching Batman with his son made the interview, though.

Once the show was done, Jon thanked us all for coming and sent us back out into the HDEtbWAN - which had turned into the evening at this point. Our next stop was Daisy May's, a BBQ place just down 11th Ave.

The Menu:

The Accolades:

I got the pulled pork sandwich, with delcious scoop of coleslaw on top, a side of creamed spinach and a sweet tea:

I like how they have to put a sticker on top that says "pork." My favorite kind of sticker EVER.
Here's the sandwich unwrapped:

Yes, that's some coleslaw trying to escape from the inside of the sandwich.
Creamed Spinach:

Sweet Tea:

Pulled Pork platter with cornbread and sweet potatoes (I didn't eat this, too, don't worry):

OK, seriously guys, this was SOOOOOOO good. I should not have gotten the creamed spinach, though, as I didn't have enough room in my stomach for that AND my delicious sandwich. In retrospect, I should have just gotten the pulled pork platter and skipped the delicious, carb-y bread, as that clearly took up too much space. The sweet tea was really good (very sweet) and had the added visual bonus of being served in a giant Mason jar. I highly recommend hitting up Daisy May's when you're in Manhattan. Seriously. You know what? Just go there now. It's Saturday afternoon, what else are you doing today? I'd go back right now, if I wasn't still full from excessive meat consumption.

After Daisy May's we decided to head back to Valhalla, which you may remember as the place we all got drunken when we were rejected from "The Daily Show" the first time.

I chose a cider:

while my companions chose some fancy beers:

This one, we made look like a jack-o-lantern:

The only issue here, was that we were all so full from the food, that drinking beer and cider made us all a little ill. I could barely take a sip of my second cider, while the other people with me fared only slightly better. Thus, we didn't stay at Valhalla too long, just enough to watch some of the Mets game and make fun of some DBs sitting near us. DC, however, had an epiphany of great brilliance while we were sitting there - next time we go to a taping we're totally getting take-out from Daisy May's and bringing it TO Valhalla to eat while drinking. Strong work, DC, strong work! Your brilliance is unparalleled.

And thus ended our trip to see "The Daily Show" as VIP! VIP! VIPs! on the HDEtbWAN. We all went home, immediately showered, and then ceremoniously burned the clothes we had worn into Manhattan.

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