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Published on November 10th, 2008 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Daily Show Regrets

Go read the Apiary! My recap of the Potentially Regrettable Evening with the Daily Show is right there in shiny blogtastic form.

One quote I didn’t include, because it’s only amusing to me, was when J.R. Havlan mentioned his Writing for the Daily Show class at the PIT:

“I don’t do it anymore. I don’t like it.”

He says this with one of his students from the last class (ME) sitting right infront of him. Interestingly enough, being told I’m just a tiny bit responsible for ruining a man’s love of teaching is some of the least harsh feedback I’ve received from the guy. (I do love ya, J.R.)


Speaking of regrettable evenings and the Daily Show…

I want to thank everyone for their reaction to my entry regarding election night. All of you who commented here, sent me messages, and linked to it from other blogs/forums have been amazing. Every single message has been 100% supportive, and I’m comforted by the fact that word has travelled so far. My jaw drops every time I look at my stats.

I’m back in Toronto, and I wish I could say I felt better. But what was a negligent move by the audience department last week is now an issue that Jon Stewart himself needs to take responsibility for. As an executive producer, a hands-on manager, and the public face of that organization, it’s his job to handle this mess from this point forward. Thusfar, he has not.

The Daily Show, through its comedy, promotes accountability, calls out hypocrisy, and “tries to identify the true intention of the person being talked about” (as Stephen Colbert says about Jon).

The hypocrisy of mistreating the people responsible for the show’s commercial success, and the audience department’s intention to save themselves trouble by turning their backs on us, requires accountability.

Each day that goes by without a response, I lose more faith in the man and the institution I’ve thought so highly of for so long. If I sound brokenhearted, it’s because I am.

Today’s (Monday’s) taping has been cancelled to give the staff a day off, but as of yet they haven’t notified the audience members. If 300 people show up at the studio today, it’s confirmation that somebody is trying to get themselves fired. But the way things are going? It’s doubtful anyone will be.

All I can ask is for Jon to prove me wrong.

ETA 11/11: In my intitial post about election night, there are a few small details I left out that might help people with the full picture.

-The October 27 email asking for further confirmation is *highly* unusual, and has never occured for a taping I’ve attended or one that any of my friends have attended (as far as I know, they’d never done this before). It would have only been sent out because the audience department knew there was trouble.

-The offer of VIP tickets is standard for any ticket holders not making it into the studio. If you go on a regular taping day, and are dumb enough to show up 30 seconds before the time cutoff (4:30), you aren’t getting in. But you are put in the VIP list for a future taping. VIP tickets really are a nothing offer.

-The day of the election night show, at 4:30 pm, an additional desperate email was sent to ticket holders repeating that if they didn’t intend to come, and did not cancel their tickets, they would be banned from future tapings. Of course, that email *should* have read “if you weren’t in line 2 hours ago, you aren’t getting in”.

-Among the VIPs in the studio were relatives of CC execs, Tim Robbins, and in the standing-room area Robin Williams and Billy Crystal.

-The audience department has been made aware of the effects their actions have had on the fanbase (I’ve heard a lot of strong emotion coming from people who weren’t even there). Additional staff knows as well, but I have not received nor am I asking for a response from them (it’s not their job!).


About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including amazon.com