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The Fan Files
 Close Encounters of the Jon Kind
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Name: Julie H.
Age: Thirty-something
Location: Manhattan, New York
Encounter date: October 14, 2000
Location: Manhattan, New York
Event: Seminar about TDS at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City
Added: May 1, 2002

My sister and I made the trek up to NYC. Ironically, we drove to Lawrence, NJ, and took the train in from there. I decided to wear an outfit similar to the one I had been wearing during our previous meeting [Editor's note: see Julie's entry in the Standup section], hopefully jogging his memory and possibly facilitating an "interview" for my sister.

We got to the Museum of Television and Radio at about 5:15 and started asking around about how we could get into the main room. We had only been able to purchase seats in the closed circuit TV room and were hoping to upgrade. Everyone was very nice and helpful, but unfortunately, there weren't any no-shows -- apparently quite a rare occurrence for these events!

The show was very interesting, a synopsis was already given through the TDS newsletter so I won't go into it too much. JS seemed very wound up at the seminar. He didn't allow the announcer to complete his introduction of him -- he just jumped up on stage after the first couple sentences, and effectively ended the intro. My sister noted that he just does not seem to be able to handle compliments or accolades. Then he seemed annoyed at the moderator, and asked whether the guy had ever even seen TDS before.  My sister had questioned this earlier, so there was that feeling. JS was funny, and made a lot of jokes throughout, but in general did not seem very comfortable. He looked good, still wearing his uniform and 5 o'clock shadow.

After it was over, I dragged my sister down to the main room because I thought all the speakers would probably still be down there. They were, except JS. So I talked to Dave Blog for a little while -- he's the guy who does the TDS newsletter, he's an associate producer for the show and is often seen in a diaper. He was friendly and engaged me in a conversation about his job. Then I asked Madeleine Smithberg her opinion on why there aren't more women in late night and comedy shows. She was very nice and interesting, although she seemed to think that I was either interested in getting into television or an outraged feminist -- I was actually just curious.

Then she finished talking to me and I turned around to face, Jon Stewart! He had just walked up and so I thought, okay, I should say something.  I have about two seconds to think ... maybe he'll recognize me from the other night. So I said, "See, I told you, you would be here on Thursday!" He looked a little puzzled, then said, "Oh, um, yeah." And although his acting skills have improved, I did not believe that he had any idea what I was talking about.

So, again, I obviously made quite an impression. I just kept walking and after that I was hanging out in the lobby, waiting for my sister while she was in the bathroom and gift shop, and JS kept looking over at me -- NOT in that interested way, but in a more concerned or fearful way, like, "Do I need to call security?"

Then all the TDS people were standing outside, and we were out there just kind of watching them and trying to decide what we were going to do. I wanted to ask JS for a photo, but he looked so scared of me, I didn't want to approach him again! Then someone else asked for a group picture, so I tried to jump in on that, but my camera didn't go off, so I took one while they were standing around -- which appeared to draw more suspicion to myself.

We didn't know where to go for dinner, but thought the area we were in would be expensive and full of tourists, so we asked Dave Blog and a group of others for a restaurant suggestion. A very helpful and sweet woman said, "Oh, let me go ask my husband."

Okay, at this point my sister had developed a crush on Vance Degeneres, so she's thinking, "Please don't be Vance's wife." I was really hoping the sweet and helpful woman wasn't going to walk over to JS.  She didn't. Turns out she was the wife of Paul Michael Mecurio and they were a tremendous help in pointing us in the right direction for dinner!

As Jon Stewart walked away, I'm pretty sure I saw him glancing over his shoulder at me, still wondering who the hell I was and whether he should be putting out an APB.  So now I'm lying low in case he's got a private investigator looking out for me.

BUT, the week after all this happened, I was watching TDS and JS was interviewing comedian Steven Wright. At the end of the interview, JS said, "Steven will be performing this week at the (comedy venue) in (city). Then he turns to Steven Wright and says, "I'm sorry, is this the first you're hearing about this?" See ... he can't get me out of his mind. :)

 

Compiled by Melly.


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