Wednesday, December 6, 2006

I want to follow up on my little Daily Show: Live! posting back there. Getting to the show was tedious – they make a huge-ass deal about having you arrive no later than 4:30, even though taping doesn't start till well after six, and there's a whole lot of standing around, waiting, and hoping the audience manager doesn't confiscate your cell phone. I don't know if they were afraid someone would start chatting with their Faves in the middle of the taping (it seems unlikely) or if they were afraid a phone would ring in the middle of the taping (which, I don't see how confiscating them helps with that, cause it's not like the phones know that they're away from their owners). I was just glad they did, because the jackass standing near me in the audience pen was calling all of his friends just to brag about being at The Daily Show. Not even subtle or anything: "Hey, man, sorry I totally forgot we were supposed to hang out tonight, but I'M AT THE DAILY SHOW so maybe can reschedule to a day when I'm not AT THE DAILY SHOW." Shut up, jerkface. You give cell phone users a bad name. You and people with Bluetooth headsets.

The show was hilarious and Jon Stewart was really, typically funny… plus he took more audience questions than he did the first time I saw a taping. Stewart also introduced Louis Black – his stand-up show at Columbia was probably the second-funniest moment of my college career – and did a longer, ad lib satellite bit with Colbert that won't be in the broadcast show. Anyway, if you're in the city, and you feel like standing on a long line with little hope of making it to the front, I recommend trying to get tickets to The Daily Show. Much better than Letterman.

Oh yeah, my seats sucked again. Better than last time, though: front row. Just that I spent most of the taping looking at either the back of Stewart's head, or the back of the cameraman's head.

Also, I found the warm-up guy – they bring a loudmouth comedian out right before taping to get the audience all ready to laugh – I found him painfully irritating. Like, we clap for him and he's gotta be one of those "I can't heeeear you…" types of people. There's two-hundred fifty of us clapping; I'm pretty sure you can hear us. It could've been merely disappointing: The warm-up was this guy Paul Mercurio; I've seen him do stand-up and he's pretty funny. But I can't freaking stand when the comic has to make an unwitting, unwilling audience member part of his routine. Especially when I'm that unwitting, unwilling audience member. It's like being in class and having to spend the whole two hours with a mantra, mentally discouraging the professor from calling on you.

After five minutes of seeing how loud we can clap and scream (answer: loud), we've got to practice telegenic laughter, which is deep and guttural. We do it as a group a few times, then Paul Mercurio points to some older British guy who won't laugh for shit, then he points to me and has me telegenically (and spontaneously) laugh. For comparison, I guess. What can you do? He'll make fun of you if you don't laugh, and he'll probably make fun of you if you do… but I really wanted to just be honest with him: Do or say something funny, and I'll laugh. That's how it's supposed to work, dude. I can see him in front of that Gotham brick wall: "Hey folks, how're you all doing tonight? Laugh. Laugh, dammit! I COMMAND YOU!"