The Daily Show trip

I was able to get Daily Show tickets for Wed, April 14th, so my friends Don, Bryan, John, and I road-tripped to NYC for the day.

We left at 9am, and made great time. Only took three and a half hours.

Here’s the story of our trip, and pictures!

Here’s a little music for the road:

Our first view of the city – on the larger version you can see the Empire State building. It’s silly, but I always like seeing it from different angles. Maybe because my parents have a thing about that – and you could see it from a couple of places near where I grew up in NJ.

The skyline still looks weird without the Trade Center.

I like this one, even though it’s a little warped.

We were able to park in the lot near the Daily Show, where, if you get it validated, only costs 10 bucks for the day, which in NYC, is awesome!

The Daily Show studio is near the Intrepid. I wasn’t able to get a great pic, but you can see the tail of the SR-71 here:


Anyway, we meandered around for a bit, trying to decide what to do for lunch. We settled on pizza, because it’s NY and also because it’d be fast and we’d have some time to walk around before having to get on line for the Daily Show. So pizza it was.


But they didn’t have a bathroom. And we hadn’t stopped on the drive up.

So we had to find a bathroom. We decided to start walking toward the Ed Sullivan theater. And we did find a diner that had a bathroom. So we bought some coffee and dessert and got the bathroom key.

Next up, the Ed Sullivan theater, where Letterman films. Plus, you know, the Beatles were there. Ok, that was many years ago.



Also, we were glad the sign let us know that NY has bed bugs.

We decide we had enough time, so we headed down towards the Empire State Building, which was about 1.5 miles (thank you iphone) from the Daily Show. We took the scenic route.

Times Square:

The Naked Cowboy was out:

Bryant Park. (Yay for Project Runway) You can see the Empire State Building in the background.

The one view we got of the Chrysler Building.

Where is Zuul?

I managed to find sometimes Beatles related! I didn’t capture the full ugliness of the statues of them that were above the pictures.

We also passed by the Jersey Boys theater, and I thought of macbeemer, and I went by M&J Trim and thought of benaequee. I wish I would have had more time to visit, but we were on a pretty tight schedule. I did pop into M&J really quickly to see if Kristin was there. It was tough leaving without looking around, but the guys were waiting. Very patiently. Still, I wish I’d had more time in the garment district! :-)

And, we finally arrived!






We walked around the block and then headed back to the theater, stopping by a Dunkin Donuts to buy something so we could use the bathrooms again. It was a little amusing that everything had the calories on it. Scary! They were rather vague about the calories in the drinks. John’s drink had either 200 or 400 calories, we’re not sure which!


By this time we realized we were running late. We really had no idea of just how early we’d have to get on line for the Daily Show. The guest was Richard R Burt, who was the ambassador to Germany and negotiator on the START I treaty under Reagan. We figured he wasn’t like a top tier movie star or anything, so maybe the line wouldn’t be terribly long.

We booked back to the Studio, passing a few more landmarks:

We got on line later than we wanted and we ended up around the corner. Which made us worried. We did a little research on our phones and found out the studio held about 216 people, so John went around the corner and counted the people there. He reported that there were only 2 lines of 36, and we were maybe 20th or so in our line, so even if the VIP line was maxed out at 50, we figured we’d be ok.

And we were! yay!

After standing in line for ages (and were were really tired from all the walking around), they finally let us into the theater. Everything worked out awesomely, as we had no problem getting 4 seats together on the top right part of the seating. Being that high up worked really well because we had a great view that wasn’t ever really obstructed by the cameras.

Next they blasted us with *loud* music. I guess the idea is to make you deaf so you’ll cheer louder. But all it made us was deaf and pissed off. I actually had ear plugs in my bag and they barely helped. It was *so* loud.

Finally the warmup guy came out and as John said so perfectly, he wasn’t aggressively unfunny.

After he was done, Jon Stewart came out and chatted with the audience for a little bit.

He took a couple of questions, one about the Supreme Court, one from a woman in rabbinical school (she and her friends cheered loudly at all the Jewish jokes made during the show), and then the best one was some woman who asked Jon if he would work the word “turd” into his monologue. I loved that instead of dismissing her, he probed further and asked why. She said “Because it’s my brother’s birthday and it’s his name.” Which got a huge laugh and Jon got her to explain that they call her brother turdface. Jon asked what part of speech she would like, noun? Adjective? (turd-facedly) and then he said he’d see what he could do.

Then the show started, and it was cool to see how the show looks behind the scenes. Jon starts off his monologue with “The important thing is that tonight’s show is a good one. No turd it! [pause] I used it as a sentence fragment!” Which got a big cheer and I’m sure the audience at home could not possibly have any idea what that was referring to.

The second segment was John Hodgman, and Don is a fan, so I was glad we got to see him. I thought his segment was really funny. During the next segment, Don noticed John Oliver hiding behind the set and waved, and then I waved too – and he saw us and waved back! It was really cool. His segment was very brief and funny.

And in case you’re curious:

After the show was over, Jon Stewart taped an intro for the international show, which was fun, and then redid audio for two lines to fix a word in it. And that was it! Really fun!

After the show we took pics of the theater:



And then took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.

Don and Bryan





We had wanted to try and go up in the Empire State Building earlier, since I hadn’t done it from college, and I’m not sure any of the others had been up before. I’ll note that John is from Queens and thus hasn’t done much touristy NY stuff. I’m from NJ, so I’ve done about half as much more than him.

Anyway, our phones told us the ESB was open til 2am, so we grabbed a cab (not being up for another long walk) and headed back downtown.


The line didn’t look long, so we decided to eat after. It was deceptive because there was a big line inside that mostly moved, but still took ages.

We finally got up to the 80th floor, and we had to wait for yet another elevator to go up the last 6th floors. The worst part was that they frosted all the windows so you couldn’t see out! They already had our money, so why not give us something to look at while we waited?


But we finally got up there, and it was fun to see the city at night. The iphone didn’t do too bad with the pics.

Chrysler building:






No King Kong!







You can’t really see it well here, but one of the little dots in the water is the Statue of Liberty. It was faint, but it was cool to see it from the ESB.

Then there was the line to get back down. We managed to take the stairs from 86 to 80, which helped. By the time we got down, we were hungry and tired and Bryan just wanted a beer. So we took the easy path and just had dinner at the brewery in the ESB.

Bryan got his beer and was happy.

We also ordered an appetizer of fried pickles!

I had a burger, and it was the best $16.45 burger I’ve had. The only one, actually.

After dinner we took a cab back to the car, paid our 10 bucks and drove home! We hit a detour, but otherwise did ok, with one stop for gas/bathroom. We got back to Don’s at 2:30am and then John headed off home and Bryan and I headed back to the town we live in, and I pulled into the driveway at 3am exactly. I was *really* tired the next day (well, not til the afternoon), but I had a really fun time. We’ll have to try and get Colbert tix next! :-)