Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bucket list #3- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

This is the post my mom has been waiting for. The details on the Big Bucket list item, seeing the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

On a complete whim in early January, I headed over to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart website to see if any tickets were available for an upcoming show. When I usually think of doing this, there aren't tickets available (like now, if you're trying that link today). However, on January 10th there were tickets. Lots of tickets. I had to jump on it. I picked a day that seemed less evil to take off work than other available dates.

I had a supervisor at the Toledo Museum of Art who once said, "The need to take a vacation is in direct proportion to the ability to take one." Sure enough, there is never a good day to take a vacation. But there is a good day to play Hooky with my Hubby. And like the awesome guy he is - he was willing to do this with me, even if his work was piling up. There's also been a crazy amount of weather in the east coast. Wasn't sure if this was even doable as we entered a month with as many snow days as there were days of safe travel to campus.

So this is what actually happened that day.

We got the kids to school and arranged for a sitter to meet them at Zoellner after their music lessons. It's great to have kids who are capable of walking themselves to Zoellner from their school. It's also great to have a reliable sitter and friends nearby just in case I had a small panic attack. Of course they were thrilled with a chance to hang out with Loly. She's awesome!

We decided to drive into Manhattan instead of the bus. There is a lot that will validate your parking for $14. But it was filled by 1:30. So we found another parking lot on 45th and 11th for $35. Still cheaper than two bus tickets, even if you add the cost of tolls.
We got in line for tickets around 1:50pm. If you look the picture here, I'm standing in the wrapped around line under the awning. It seemed a little long, as Steve kept saying how small the studio was. But we had a back up adventure we started to explore just in case this one didn't pan out.

While we were hanging out, we met a father and son from Manchester, England. We had a lovely chat about the show and if we thought our chances were good about getting in. We compared weather conditions as we were sprayed by flying salt from a NYC truck.

There was a building on the other side of the street that caught my eye. On the top of the architecture was "St Mary's 1843" (I think) and it being Hell's Kitchen, I thought to look it up on my iPad to see if it was an orphanage, or a convent for penitentiary nuns, or maybe a hospital. Hell's Kitchen has a huge Irish Immigrant history, similar to Five Points. I found enough on Wikipedia to interest me until the line started to move.

We got our tickets. They were simply printed on yellow paper and rubber stamped with a date. I think they might have borrowed the stamp from a library. We saw other people got blue tickets. Not sure what that meant, but all the Trip Advisor posts I read were a couple of years old, so if blue meant "VIP" or yellow meant "stand by," we weren't going to have anything validated until we came back in line at 4:00.

We headed away from the studio to find a decent, but not too fancy place to eat. There is no shortage of interesting places in Hell's Kitchen. Sure enough, two long blocks away we found a nice Irish Pub called The Hibernia. Our bartender was from Australia. We had the place to ourselves so the craic was friendly and the Guinness was perfectly poured.
We decided to grab some pub food - I had an excellent Fry up,
and Steve got an Irish Bacon sandwich. Their sausages, bacon and pudding suppliers were pretty good. I'm sure what I ate will be a craving in a couple of months. The fried eggs were served over Tater Tots - perfectly deep fried. Believe it or not, this plate also came with an option of additional beans. This was enough to fill me up for the rest of the day, and most of tomorrow. I was also feeling a little bit "rosey" on the pint. I've become such a light weight.

I was worried I over did it until we walked back to the studio in 12 degrees. All the calories were well spent waiting back in line with our friends from Manchester in newly posted stanchions to cattle shoot the line into area for ticket number ranges. As we waited, some lovely staffers came out to give us instructions on what to do before we got in. We had to use the bathroom before we sat down. No one would be allowed to go to the bathroom during taping. We also had to turn off (as in power down) our mobile devices. We might get a chance to take pictures, but only if an announced. The staffers were firm, but friendly about it.

When we realized we were going in, we took seats on the end of two rows, me in front of Steve. It was better than getting stuck in the middle of the row three farther up. It is a small studio - I think about 300. The blue tickets are given by lottery - these are seats closer to the set. About four rows ahead of us. The color really didn't matter to us.

The warm up comic was so New York. I didn't catch his name, but he was pretty good warming up the crowd. We had a lot of yelling practice, and he explained the mic/ceiling situation. There is no shell over us, so the crowd sound (no laughing track on the taping, it's really live) goes straight up. He was edgy, funny and got us pumped to meet Jon, who came out to take a couple of questions from the crowd before the show started.

Our prepper did say one very funny thing, "If that little voice inside your head says that question is a little creepy, better keep that one to yourself."

Jon was so approachable. The questions were pretty standard, "Who is the smartest politician you ever interviewed?" "Which was the hardest interview you ever did." If you watch the show, you probably know the answers. But I'll keep them off this post in case anyone wants to ask the same question to Jon on their own trip. I did have a question, but I was too shy to raise my hand (I know.....)

There was a moment when we were allowed to take pictures. Steve was kind enough to take this one. I already posted it to my Facebook page and on Twitter. Lots of likes and a few comments. I have major hat head. But that is a genuine smile of a Bucket List item achieved.

One the ride home, we were so caught up in gabbing about the experience, sad we didn't get the chance for our alternate plan - which would have been so cool if we could have done both, sharing ideas for our next adventure, that we missed the exit for I-78. We got trapped for an hour, looping around the Newark Airport, arguing with the GPS and each other. Our eyes are old, we couldn't see the right signs, and we started imagining getting caught in an episode of the Sopranos. I realized that getting lost on a road trip with Steve, even after being together 26 years, is still hilarious.

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