Close Encounters of the Jon Kind
Encounter date: June 2003
scan of the doodled-on script here.
I went to see a taping of
the show with Jewlie and this other woman, Jackie (who came from freakin' Australia!).
I had just arrived in NY and had to run to the train, dash through the subway,
and fly over several city blocks to get to the studio in time (and I looked
every bit as frazzled as if I had walked from Florida).
Okay, I didn't have a camera
and knew I would regret it, but Jackie did and has promised to send me copies.
After we were seated and the whole schtick about how we need to be loud and
energetic was over, Jon came out. He asked if anyone had any questions so my
hand went up. I asked him what happened to Smapdi, which caught him a bit off
guard. He started to explain who Smapdi was and I interjected that I thought
that maybe he was Jon's alter-ego that was connected to his smoking. Jon's
response to me was, "Okay, you watch the show WAY too much. I don't say this
very often but you need to stop watching the show, get a hobby like botany or
whittling or something."
After the show (Ludacris
& Harrison Ford were on), one of the guys that works there took a picture of
the three of us behind Jon's desk! I sat in his chair! I also got the last page
of that night's script with Jon's doodles on it! After the show we ran into
(somewhat ambushed) Stephen Colbert and got photos with him. We then ate at
a restaurant that Jon is said to visit sometimes after the show. The food was
good but no Jon sightings. So, that's it . . . sorry it was so long.
More details from Jewlie
(aka Julie): You know Joanna, your story lacks some details. How 'bout the
fact that the EDITOR of The Onion was the guy taking the picture with Stephen
and Jackie and you guys didn't know who he was! I thought that was a hilarious
tid-bit! And the way you guys yelled at Stephen before the show to take a picture
. . . that was very amusing too! You guys really startled him! Orlando is the
guy who allowed us the picture on the set. I sent him a thank you card. Just
adding a little more color to the fun story. Hope you don't mind!
More details in followup
from Joanna: I think Jackie did most of the yelling (I did mention that
we sort of ambushed him), I just kinda turned a little red (to match Stephen's
left hand!) but took advantage of the photo op anyway. I was hoping you would
add color to my rather bland encounter story! How was I supposed to recognize
the guy from The Onion? I've never seen his photo before that I can remember...
but I do own the The Onion calendar and one of the books--so I'm a dork. Oh
I guess I could have mentioned that Jackie is an animator for Disney, thus making
her famous (or infamous) in her own right. I want to go back to NY, with Jon
and the show there--I almost wish I never moved!
Questions from Annie:
How did you get the script? Is it the actual script? The whole thing? Is
it the same script where Jon held it up during the show and said he had doodled
on it? How did Stephen smell? What did he say to you? Did you touch him? What
did he feel like? Did you see any other correspondents? What was the editor
of The Onion doing there? Who's Jackie? Did the three of you sit together? Did
Julie get you the tickets? Did Jon look like he just had a baby? Inquiring minds
Response from Joanna:
Yes, I got a piece (the last page) of the original TDS script. It was still
on the desk, and I asked someone who works there if I could have it, and he
said yes. It's not the one Jon held up--but he seems to doodle on all of them.
This one had some random lines and a happy face type thing. Stephen put his
arm around me for the picture and I put both my arms around him (one around
the front the other his back . . . I think). He was eating some fast food but
didn't really smell of anything--clean I guess. The Onion guy was just um .
. . there. We were on a street corner in NYC, those things happen. Yes, Jewlie,
Jackie, and I all sat together and Jewlie set it all up. I had met Jewlie at
a previous taping and she and Jackie have a long distance Jon-related friendship
(you'll have to ask her about how they met and all). Jackie's from Australia
and she had met Jon in 1999. I was the only one to have never actully touched
Jon. I've asked him stuff from the audience, he signed my copy of Naked Pictures
of Famous People (someone brought it to him), I sat in his chair . . . but never
met him. There was one other correspondent there, I suddenly forgot who--it
wasn't Rob, Steve, or Lewis.
Response from Jewlie:
I just want to add a note here about the Editor of the Onion...Robert Siegel.
Well, he was there meeting with one of the TDS producers and Stephen was walking
up to be introduced when Joanna and Jackie descended upon the scene (NE corner
of 54th & 10th). They were only focused on Stephen and asked him about pictures
etc. and he agreed, so Jackie turned and handed the camera to Onion-guy. I was
standing next to him and realized who he was. He was very sweet about the whole
picture-taking request, so I leaned in and said in a conspiratory whisper, "I
know who you are." His face brightened and he said, "You do?" "Yes, and you
do great work." He turned to the woman with him and said, "She spotted me!"
Then he took the picture of Jackie and Stephen. He stood there holding the camera,
looking a little uncomfortable while Joanna jumped in for her photo op, so I
reached over and slowly took the camera out of his hand saying, "You really
shouldn't have to do this," he laughed and I took the photo of Joanna and Stephen.
He was very sweet and the whole encounter was pretty funny. I told Jackie and
Joanna who he was after we were at a safe distance. They were very excited about
meeting Stephen, rightly so, and it was fun to be a part of the whirlwind. Happy
to oblige. Stephen's hand was bright red due to some dye they had used in a
segment/bit and it didn't come out. You can really see it during the Mr. Rogers-esque
Compiled by Melly.