Shavonne Potts column: 'Daily Show' scene was amazing

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 7, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
CHARLOTTE – On Thursday, I became a convert and it had everything to do with Jon Stewart.
When my good friend Misty Stach asked if I wanted to see a live taping of the show, I must admit I waffled. Who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity to see the funny man in person? I did, at first.
Misty and her husband, Dan, and their friend, Kevin White, had tickets.
Before I continue, I must in full disclosure say I had only watched two episodes of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” I know shame. Oh, the things I have missed out on in my 32 years. I knew of Jon Stewart and his show, but Misty, Dan and Kevin, really know the show. They are avid Daily Show viewers. One might even call them super fans.
Our journey began around 9 a.m. We gassed up the hybrid and headed toward Charlotte. We boarded the light rail and talked as we were whisked to the end of the line.
We walked the few blocks to our final destination, ImaginOn, the interactive children’s theater/library on East Seventh Street where the show would be taped. There were so many people – street preachers, protesters, the occasional person asking if I wanted to buy something. Mostly people were hurriedly walking in every direction.
We waited in line at Imag-inOn, people watched and hoped the rain would stay away. Our wait took a few hours, but was worth every minute.
We got our tickets, though not impressive, still a souvenir. Our tickets were just photocopied yellow pieces of paper with “The Daily Show” written on them, a ticket number and the date stamped on it.
We dined on pizza and sushi at the Seventh Street Public Market, where we were in the midst of interpretive dances, skits and slam poetry from The Quasimodo Project. The project is a collaborative effort of Charlotte artists, musicians, writers and designers. I didn’t quite get the interpretation, but it was still an experience.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of “The Daily Show” and I imagine many other television shows as well. You can’t take pictures or videos, or they will confiscate your cameras and cells, which they did to a few people. The show, like many rap concerts, have a “hype man.” Who knew they had a warm up comedian? I didn’t. There’s a lot of downtime that takes place before Jon Stewart even steps foot on stage.
I was getting antsy before the taping and chatting with people in front of me. I danced to music the DJ blasted. And yes, I must call Jon Stewart by his whole name. It just feels right.
We were told he even answers questions from the audience. They probably shouldn’t have told some people, because the questions ranged from superpowers to global warming.
In case you’re wondering, Jon Stewart’s superpower would be invincibility because then he could do whatever he wanted.
Jon Stewart is a funny guy. I found myself howling or cackling, as my family says I do, and slapping my knee with the rest of them.
It’s kinda cool to watch the show Thursday night on Comedy Central and already know what’s going to happen. It’s also cool to know I’m one of 550 or so people in the audience laughing. I guess I can now say I am a true fan.