Courtesy of Lexie Alley, Ohio Union Photography
For an entire generation of college students, there might be no source of news as widely-consumed as “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” It also being a comedy show could factor into that. Regardless, Saturday night Ohio State students were given a chance to peek behind the curtain.
“The Daily Show Live: Indecision Tour 2012” stopped by the Ohio Union’s Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom for an evening of stand-up comedy and conversation with some of the minds behind the show. The performers included “The Daily Show” co-executive producer Adam Lowitt, regular correspondent Al Madrigal and occasional contributor John Hodgman.
While Stewart himself was not in attendance, he provided a pre-taped video introduction in which he described what the audience was going to see throughout the night. This was followed by stand-up sets by Lowitt, Madrigal and Hodgman and later the three took the stage for a brief Q-and-A session.
During the stand-up portion of the performance, Lowitt told a story about getting his phone stolen in New York City, where he lives, and actually getting it back after chasing the guy down, who gave the phone back and said, “My bad,” then walked away. He also joked about the flooding in Park-Stradley Hall that displaced 1,200 students last week, saying the residents must have known they chose the right college when they move in and then a week later their dorms flood.
Madrigal focused more on his family, especially his children throughout his set. He talked about how he unwittingly turned his son, Lorenzo, into a sassy back-talker after teaching him how to respond to a girl who made fun of his art, and shared his experience bonding with a day laborer.
Hodgman focused on sports, making several jokes about football and poking fun at himself for not knowing much about sports, or as he called them, “sport.” At one point Hodgman invited five volunteers from the audience onstage to help him read a script for a fake reality show pilot, the premise of which was to turn people with other problems into hoarders.
Jake Richelmann, a first-year in chemical engineering, was thrilled at the opportunity to see the correspondents perform in person.
“I had never really been to a stand-up show before,” Richelmann said. “I’m a very big fan of ‘The Daily Show,’ and it really was cool. I’m a little starstruck, I’ve got to say.”
The show was generally well-received by the audience, but during Madrigal’s set an audience member began to yell out while he was performing. Madrigal was able to calmly quiet the heckler and said, “there is clearly something wrong with that guy,” which evoked laughter from the audience, but Madrigal seemed to be rattled. He had to check his notebook to remember what he planned to talk about following the heckler’s outburst.
“The Daily Show” itself was not explicitly discussed during the stand-up portion of the show, and curious fans had to wait until the Q-and-A session to hear more about the making of it.
When asked how the writers and producers are able to come up with so many news clips to comment on, Lowitt said it was the result of a lot of staffers spending a lot of time staring at the television.
“We have a lot of people,” Lowitt said. “We have about 100 people on the staff of ‘The Daily Show.’ Everyone has a TV on. It rots our brains on a daily basis. We have people watching Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, all the major networks all day long.”
It was Hodgman who was asked most of the questions, and many of them pertained to his work outside of “The Daily Show.” He famously portrayed the PC alongside Justin Long’s Mac in a long-running Apple advertising campaign, and he was asked about what went in to getting that role.
“It was maybe two months after I started on ‘The Daily Show,'” Hodgman said. “It was just as much a surprise to me as it was to anyone.”
Students seemed pretty satisfied with the event.
“It was a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be,” said Libby Brigner, a first-year in zoology.
Bringer’s friend Robert Morris, a first-year in biochemistry, was also pleased.
“It was dope,” Morris said. “Pretty dope. I’ve been watching the show since I was like 15.”
“The Daily Show Live: Indecision Tour 2012” was brought to students by the Ohio Union Activities Board.