So, many of you guys who follow or friend me on social media already loathe me for rubbing it in everyone’s faces that I watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart twice in two days. I’ll walk you through what it’s like seeing this legend live, and keep in mind, that to me, Jon Stewart is a hero and role model. When I write, deep down, I’m dreaming I’m writing my satirical posts and tongue-in-cheek analyses for his show… Or a show like his where I’m the funny pundit…
This is the hardest part. I have been checking in on The Daily Show’s website for almost 13 months, and I have never seen tickets available. BUT, as you all know, Jon took a 3-week vacation over Christmas and New Year’s, and I decided to check in on the website the second week of January. To my luck, there were plenty of ticket slots available and I pinched a few while I still could (they ran out in little over a few hours!).
Now, do not despair. Why? Because after you book the tickets, you need to confirm, and some people forget to open that email and click that link, so new spots are always suddenly popping up. The only thing I can tell you, is check in right after the show comes back from a break, and as often as you can. Good things come to those who wait!
Tickets Don’t Guarantee Entry
So, you found a couple of spots open online and you successfully reserved them. I’m sorry to tell you that those tickets aren’t tickets into the taping, they are just tickets that will allow you to stand in line. Meaning, to be able to stand in line in front of TDS studio, you need that email confirmation.
GO VERY EARLY! They open the doors at 2:30PM but be there at 1:00 or even sooner. Don’t whine, you all have smartphones or books. Just plug something in your ears and waste some time educating yourself while in line. The line swells to over 200 folks at around 2:20PM and they begin issuing yellow and blue tickets (yellow first).
Then, you go kill a couple of hours and come back at 4:30PM where they start letting you into the studio (past metal detectors) according to your ticket number (so you don’t stand in line again with a first-come, first-serve basis). Sometimes, they issue over 200 tickets, but cut-off the line before that. For example, on Monday, they cut it off at 176 and about 30 people were told they’d be given “VIP pass” tickets to a future show if they emailed and did the due process.
So, go there early, it’ll be worth it because, you won’t stand much in line at 4:30PM and you’ll get much better seats inside.
Perhaps the absolute best part of the show is right before the taping. Jon comes out, takes a microphone and lets the audience ask him questions. This lasts for about 15 minutes, and the improvised, witty and extremely sweethearted back and forth between Jon and the audience, is the true gem of watching the show live.
Sometimes, right after Jon announces his guest at the beginning of a show, he says something that sorta seems out of place. A joke that would make you say “huh? why? idk!” That’s the part where Jon punishes an audience member for a stupid question by turning that into a joke somehow. So, that’s another cool perk of being there live.
The taping of the show is basically hiccup-free and what you see live is the show you see later that night on TV. Jon and everyone involved work like clockwork and they rarely ever do a second take. Last night, they had to redo the opening, but not for lack of professionalism or experience, but because Assef’s whipped cream skit proved to delicious and Jon had to taste it and take up more than the 21 minutes and 30 seconds the show needs to be. Man, I love their jobs!
Also, you’d think the audience is given cues like “applause” or “laughter” on some screen. They’re not! The laughing is natural and organic, although probably a little louder than your laughs at home… After all, you are in the presence of Mr. Stewart and you bet your ass I was gonna laugh a hearty HAHAHAHA!
Go watch it. Empty up and afternoon if you score those tickets. If you’re a fan like me, the waiting will fly by and you’ll forget everything when your face muscles ache from too much laughing. Jon’s an extremely nice, courteous and hilarious comedy genius. It was perhaps one of my favorite parts of moving to New York!