Jon Stewart blue pic

 Jon Stewart Intelligence Agency
    A n   u n o f f i c i a l   f a n   c l u b

We're fighting, apparently, with one of
Xena's web sites. It's a huge battle.

— Jon Stewart on the JSEB




The Fan Files
 Close Encounters of the Jon Kind
 Standup shows


Name: Julie H.
Age: Thirty-something
Location: Manhattan, New York
Encounter date: October 11, 1999
Added: May 1, 2002

I am not a stalker. I just want to make that clear. I am just a very active, enthusiastic, and adventurous Jon Stewart fan. And my life is rather boring right now, to be totally honest. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that JS was going to be playing at the University of Delaware on October 11th -- just a few short minutes from my current residence! And THEN I was able to procure tickets to The Daily Show with JS event at the Museum of Television and Radio in NYC for the following Thursday! The seats were not for the main room, but I had high hopes of getting myself in there somehow. This, I decided, must be why the universe had not seen fit to have me employed this week. I must be meeting Jon Stewart this week! Little did I know ....

My cousin was supposed to go with me to the U of D event, but she was unable to attend at the last minute, and since I know no one under the age of 50 in this town, I went to the show alone. I wasn't about to miss it! My seats were fair -- to the side, about halfway up -- and I could see the stage entrance really well. Todd Barry opened, and JS sat hidden behind a curtain during Todd's performance. The audience was kind of lukewarm toward Todd, which I thought was a shame because he was very funny (more on that later). Then JS came out. Big noise and cheering from the crowd, which was predominately UD students, many of who appeared to be potential Estrogen Brigade members. He did a lot of his standard stuff, but sometimes with a different twist (example: he did the bit about his dog throwing up and eating it, but with some LOVELY sound effects which really brought the moment to life). He interacted quite a bit with the audience and gave it right back to a guy who yelled out "Craig Kilborn rules!" or some such nonsense. He did an imitation of that guy telling his friends later about how he yelled it out, and really made the guy look like the idiot he obviously was. In my opinion, he seemed a little more edgy than when I've seen him before -- not as self-deprecating, lots of sex and cursing. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just saying.

Personal tidbit: He mentioned he only smokes about 1/2 a pack of cigarettes a day.

So after a little over an hour, it was over. I walked out the front doors of the venue and thought, "I'm going to go around to the backstage door and see if I can get an autograph for my sister." She got one for me a few years ago and I wanted to return the favor. I started walking around the building, and began feeling nervous/goofy and turned around. Then I started back again, and this time ran into two girls walking back from the rear of the building. I stopped them and asked whether they had seen JS back there.

They replied, "No, no one's back there. There aren't any limos or nice cars. We think he's gone. We're going to go get drunk."

So I start walking to the front of the building with them, when I stopped myself and thought, "Jon Stewart wouldn't have a limo. Why am I following these about-to-be-drunk-chicks?" So I decided I needed to just walk back there for myself. And I marched back there figuring it would be dark and empty, and omigod, Jon Stewart is standing right there!

He was signing something for two other young ladies and I walked up frantically trying to pull the book out of my purse. Todd Barry was standing there, so I decided I would tell him how much I enjoyed his performance. But I was nervous, and this is what I said, "You were really good, much better than the audience ..."

Now I meant to refer to the fact that the audience wasn't very receptive, but I just froze.

Jon heard me and said, "So you didn't think the audience was very funny?"

Now, feeling really stupid, I replied, "No, I was really disappointed in the audience," shaking my head in shame and mumbling.

Todd Barry jumped in and said, "Oh, no, the audience was fine! I was first. That's what happens when you go on first."

Now JS is free, so I turn to him and ask him to sign the book, "It's for my sister, and you probably don't remember her, but you met her a few years ago and I thought maybe you could mention something about that."

"Where did I meet her?"

"During-the-Stand-Up-For-Sanity-tour-in San-Jose-she-worked-at-the-venue," (who ME, nervous? nah!)

JS: "That was a long time ago ... I don't know ...."

ME: "Yeah, I know, I just thought maybe ... we get autographs for each other, and she got one from you for me ...."

Todd: "Hey! That's cool! What other autographs have you gotten?"

Ok, I need to mention here that this autograph thing started when my sister got the one for me of JS. She gave it to me for Christmas, and we decided to make it a tradition. So I've collected one other autograph -- this JS one would put me ahead. But now I have Todd Barry being very nice and trying to have a conversation with me! I think I really started to fall apart at this point.

ME: "Um, I got her Jon Crier's autograph ..."(trying not to be rude, but trying to focus on the fact that Jon Stewart is standing less than an arm's length away from me!)

Todd: "Oh, that's cool! Where did you see him?"

OK, this was just too much for me, I just couldn't hold a conversation and I mumbled, "Um, he had a movie, thing ...."

I feel really bad about this because he was being very nice and I was just too freaked to reciprocate. And I had another agenda to complete. I thanked JS for the autograph and stammered, "Uh, I have one other favor to ask you, and I realize it might be too much, so I'll understand if you can't, but I just thought I'd ask."

JS is raising his eyebrows and kind of laughing at me, "What is it ...."

ME: "Well, my sister and I are going to be at the seminar you're doing on Thursday."

JS: "What am I doing on Thursday?"

ME: "The seminar. At the Museum of Television and Radio."

JS: [Staring blankly]

ME: "About The Daily Show."

JS: "Well, I guess I need to check my schedule!"

I realize I should've just dropped it at this point, but I had jumped in and I plowed ahead, "Well, that's what you're doing on Thursday-and-my-sister is-writing-a-paper on-sensationalism-versus-journalism and-she-was-wondering whether-she-could-ask-you a-few-questions-after-the-show." I really felt I was losing him now, and I started the most rapid-fire speech since those old Fed-Ex commercials.

JS: "Well, I would hate to promise anything ..."

ME:"I understand ..."

JS: "It's just really hard to know how those things are going to turn out, and what it's going to be like afterward ..."

ME: "Right."

JS: "She should call Comedy Central's publicity department and talk to someone there."

ME: "Oh, okay. Thanks!" (HEL-lo! Even in my frantic state I knew that would be a lost cause.)

JS: "Well, I guess I need to find out what I'm doing at that."

ME: "It's-suppose-to-be-about-the-making of-The-Daily-Show-and-it's-not-just-you I-think-Madeleine-and-Ben are-doing-it-too." ("Madeleine and Ben?" Like I know them?! Like we're tight, oh yeah, me, Madeleine, and Ben! I had obviously passed into some sort of moronic state at this point).

He and Todd are starting to leave to get into the mini-van that two college chicks are driving to take them back to the train station....

JS: "Well, I hope it's good!"

ME: (And get this): "Yeah, well, I guess you'll be really prepared, huh?" (all sarcastic and shit, like in the past 15 seconds I've all of a sudden become Miss Cool and Above all This.)

JS: "Um, yeah."

ME: (Back to the moron) "Well, I'm-sure-it-will-be-fine-I-mean-it's-not-like-you're-the-only-one-or-anything." (no, my buddies Maddie and Ben will be there too), "THANKS FOR THE AUTOGRAPH!"

And that was it. My big moment and I blew it, hard. I walked back to the front of the building where about 25 young ladies were still standing gushing about how cute, funny, sexy ... and he and Todd Barry drove by in the minivan. They must've waved or something because I heard a swell of high-pitched, incoherent voices and turned back to see hands over mouths, eyes wide, and friends grabbing each other's arms. Then I thought, "Okay, I might've acted like an idiot, and I don't think he's calling off the marriage, but I didn't just stand out front wondering." And I realized I had accomplished something. And now, I had laid the groundwork for Thursday. Surely I couldn't be so nervous the second time around ....

I was VERY nervous! Much more so than I ever thought I'd be! And I felt kind of goofy since I was by myself -- I'm hoping I looked like a college student! JS was very nice and patient with me and Todd Barry was totally cool -- I think he was really interested in my little autograph story, but it was just too overwhelming for me. JS looked good, for the record. He had a little facial scruffiness going on and was wearing his casual uniform -- pants, sweater, and leather jacket.


Compiled by Melly.

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