Close Encounters of the Jon Kind
As I sit at my Apple Macintosh
Power PC a mere few hours after one of the most breathtaking experiences of
my life, I find that the words to describe the pure genius and beauty of Jon
escape my mind. Mere words cannot possibly describe the rapture and jubilation
one feels when coming face to face with the one you revere the most -- the very
epitome of perfection. How can such joy possibly be expressed? But, I did promise
to cover the Atlantic City show, so I'm sure I can crap something out.
I arrived in Atlantic City
with rapt anticipation and an iron-willed determination to converse with Jon.
Well, to converse with Jon and not alienate him to be precise. It was only 5
pm, a mere three hours away until Jon's show and I trembled as I realized that
as I stood in the Ceasars Palace parking lot gazing at the Hilton, Jon and I
were within a half-mile radius of each other. I feel like I had made the connection
already. A wave of tranquility washed over me, but the moment ended abruptly.
My dad, cranky because we had been in the car for two hours, yelled at me to
move my ass because we had dinner reservations. So, I sighed, blew a kiss into
the wind, and headed for the elevator somewhat discouraged but hopeful.
My family and I got to the
ground floor and walked into Planet Hollywood. When my mother made the reservations
a month ago, I smiled with secret content. It was still a few hours before the
show was to go on, and, well, a comedian's gotta eat. Why not at a movie-themed
restaurant, hmmm? As I sit down scanning the restaurant, a cold realization
catches me suddenly: Caesars? Hilton? Half-mile radius? Egad! Jon won't be here
at all! He's probably eating at the Hilton right now! If only I had thought
of this before, I would have specifically instructed my mother to make reservations
at the Hilton's restaurant. Then, I could casually walk up to his table ...
wait! Jon wouldn't be eating there, either! He'd have something sent to his
room to eat in private. Well, If I chloroformed one of the hotel employees and
stole their uniform, I probably could have ... oh, what was the use. I would
see my love within due time, and then fate would take over. In the meantime
I munched on my delicious (if not conveniently priced) Tuscan chicken sandwich
and pondered what I would say to Jon when we meet.
(While I'm on the subject
of Planet Hollywood, I say we lobby them to get some Jon Stewart movie memorabilia
displayed. Wouldn't it be cool to have something like Jon's lab coat from The
Faculty, or even Jon's goatee from The Faculty lovingly preserved under glass.
Just a little proposal.)
At 7 pm, my dad parked
in the Hilton lot. We promptly entered the theater. My heart started pounding
(Jon and I are in the same building!). It's about an hour until showtime, and
aside from a few waitresses, we're the only ones there. I make a quick trip
to the bathroom to check my makeup and pretty myself up for when Jon comes on.
Then, I wait ... endlessly. I didn't bring a watch, so every five minutes I
asked my mom what time it was. My brother made a hat out of his cocktail napkin.
My dad's soda glass had a leak. I sipped my Sprite nervously. The wait was torture.
It was now almost 8 pm.
The theater was packed now. I felt really young because many in the audience
were, shall we say, chronologically enhanced. I'm talking old. Like, so old
they have more gray hairs on their ass than Jon. (The age of the audience is
a fact that Jon would eventually address by saying, "I'm not sure if you read
the sign outside, but I'm Jon Stewart, not Jimmy Stewart.") I listened to the
music over the loud speaker. It was pretty good. I wonder if Jon helped pick
it out. Suddenly, the music faded. The lights dimmed. And then, onto the stage
walked ... some guy! It was Jon's opening act, and for the life of me I cannot
remember who he was. He looked a lot like Greg Proops, but based on his act,
he was no Greg Proops. And he sure was no Jon. The nameless comedian exited
the stage leaving the audience mildly amused.
Then, finally, the moment
everyone had been waiting for -- Jon, in his trademark leather jacket that had
graced many a live show walked onto the stage with a huge smile and sparkling
eyes. The crowd roared. He opened his act by saying that Atlantic City used
to be a "sh--hole" but now it's just a "sparklier sh---hole." Needless to say,
the evening was a riot. Jon did some stuff from Unleavened and some stuff he
did on recent talkshows, but a lot of his stuff was new or delivered in a fresh
way (for those of you who are fans of Jon's cat in heat impersonation, you would
have approved). What I loved about this evening the most, however, was the way
he included the audience. When one man got up to go to the bathroom, Jon stopped
him and compared sweaters with him. At one point, two blonde girls left and
returned in the middle of Jon's "hairy ass" routine, Jon looked at them and
said, "Oh, you're just in time. We were talking about my ass! By the way, I
love you two in Baywatch."
Then came the moment I
will regret for the rest of my life.
Jon began talking about
cats. He asked if anybody had a cat, and since I did, I cheered along with a
couple of people who sat near me. Then, Jon walked over to my side of the stage,
looked right at me, right at me, and said, "What kind of cat do you have?" What
kind of cat do I have? I had never even bothered to think of that before! What
kind of cat do I have? A gray one? I don't know! As I'm struggling for an answer,
Jon is still looking right at me, and when I finally remember that my cat is
a Russian Blue, some jerk sitting at a table away from me, nowhere near Jon's
hypnotic gaze shouted, "Siamese!" You bastard! He was looking at ME! Not you,
you m-----f----n c---sucker! Of course, I kept it all inside, supressed my rage,
and enjoyed the rest of the funny.
And now, I hate to be the
bearer of bad news, but it is best that you all hear this now, even if it will
break a million hearts.
At the end of the show
Jon asked the audience what they wanted to talk about. Some plucky soul shouted,
"Your girlfriend!" Then, I sat back and braced myself for what I knew was going
to happen next, but didn't want to face ....
"Actually," Jon replied,
"I'm married now."
Huh? Whuzzat? Married?
Se cas`o? Hierat? Okay, calm down. You knew it would happen eventually. Afterall,
Jon had been dating this girl before I was even aware of Jon Stewart's existence.
Anyway, this just gave me more of an incentive to stay afterwards and talk with
Jon. I'll tell him I enjoyed your show, congratulations on your (gulp) marriage,
and if you're not busy, maybe you and I could find a room and talk a little
more (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
So, the show ended, and
I hurried to the bathroom to touch up my makeup yet again. When I came out,
I noticed a small group had formed outside the stage entrance. I decide to go
check it out. As I walked up, I see the curtain open slightly, and (gasp!) Jon
was on the other side. So, I kindly asked the security guard if I could see
Jon. And he asked me if I'm on the list. List? What list? If you were here before
the show you could sign a list to meet with Jon afterwards. Oh sh--! I was here
AN HOUR before the show! I could have signed up ten times over! Nevertheless,
I decide to wait a little, and in the meantime I chatted with some nice young
Jewish Jersey boys (Future Jon Stewarts? We'll see ....) They told me that they
had talked with the security guard before the show, and if they didn't get to
see Jon they would shout, "Craig Kilborn rules!" (Blasphemy!)
The minutes creeped by.
I could still see Jon a little through the curtain. So close! The closest I
had ever been to a celebrity before was at the MST3K Convention in Minnesota
(Boy, do I miss that show), and I started growing a bit agitated, plus my father
was pacing angrily. Finally, a guard emerged from the curtain and said, "Elvis
has left the building." Damn! And Jon, too? "Yes. And Jon, too." Damn! As I
left the theater, echoes of "Craig Kilborn rules!" followed me out the door.
I went home a little deflated but still enchanted by an otherwise whimsical
evening. I'll always remember that it was me that he was looking at. Right at
me with his beautiful eyes. I still feel that we made somewhat of a connection,
despite my chronic bad timing.
What are my future plans?
Since I'm auditioning for colleges in New York, I'm planning on viewing a taping
of The Daily Show. And if I don't meet Jon there, I will surely try again. I
will try again and again, no matter how many times I fall. You can kill the
dreamer, but you can't kill the dream!
Compiled by Melly.