Daily Show!

Got to fulfill one of my New York TODOs today by going to the daily show. Not only did we get to watch a double-length interview with John Ashcroft, we got to see a taping of what I presume will be next week’s This Week In God. Multiple doses of awesome. Jon was in good form, pushing Ashcroft more than he pushes most of his guests. After the show, he spoke briefly about needing to engage with the people you dislike. While I fully agree on the need for that, and the crowd was mostly very respectful of Ashcroft, anyone who is familiar with Ashcroft’s record who watches the interview tonight will probably be furious. Particularly galling was how he dissembled about torture during the last question, when there was no time for Jon to rebut him. (For those who won’t watch it, he grotequesly glossed over our national tortute policy, saying that ‘we have to ask questions in a stern voice’. If only it were merely a stern voice, instead of following in the footsteps of Imperial Japan, Communist Russia, and Fidel’s Cuba by making prisoners think they are going to die. The dissembling- the frank lying on such important issues- is just… gah, so frustrating. Stewart, of course, chuckled about it and basically said ‘hey, he’s a lawyer… what do you expect?’ I didn’t hear any nervous chuckles from the 10+% of the audience that were CLS class of ’09, but I’m sure we were thinking about it :)
Miscellaneous TV-land notes:

  • they do it in one take, and they pause roughly the right amount of time for ads- not sure why, since it isn’t live. Possibly to make sure the audience energy level is right?
  • We got to see taping of what appeared to be a funding request to higher ups where Jon and Colbert discussed R&D for displaying shows on… well, cufflinks. You had to be there, I guess.
  • one of my classmates looks exactly like Samantha Bea. It is creepy.
  • we all wanted to hear the banter between Jon and the guest (that they show right before the cut to commercial)… and of course they crank the music so you can’t hear it.

5 thoughts on “Daily Show!”

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  2. Once years ago I was in the audience for Carson, and they did the same thing – left the proper time for the commercials to be dropped in, even though it was being done in advance. But the show got a bit out of control, and they didn’t get the last guest on (this was back when the Tonight Show as 90 minutes, too) and so at the end they re-recorded a new intro. It was a strange bit of time-shifting.

  3. having worked in production for several television shows, the breaks were to maintain the energy which is projected through the fourth wall (the screen), this allows guests (who may not be actors) as well as the hosts, to give the audience an impression of being present at the event.

    the breaks are also moments which guests and host are allowed to relax tensions from the record, momentarily collecting thoughts and emotions, before once again setting into the fray. These private moments are intended to remain private, and thus adding to the deep desire other people have to finding out what happens there.

  4. We actually recorded a new intro after the show too, for the international version of the show. The joke was about being a child under 18 outside the US, and how one merely had to have patience- you too will be adopted by an American celebrity, just give it some time. Oddly, it was delivered from a standing posture instead of the American sitting intro.

  5. I don’t think he was tired, though; this came right after the This Week In God where he was very actively cracking up (during segments with others, he seems to spend a lot of time trying not to laugh out loud- covering his mouth with his notes, pounding the desk, writhing in his seat, etc.) It seemed deliberately more composed- maybe something to do with the tone CNN wants to set?

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