Close Encounters of the Jon Kind
Name: Julie H.
November 28, 2000
I arrived at The Daily
Show very early and was first in line. Soon I was joined by two other very
nice young people. Dom, from London, and Jessica, from Atlanta. We talked for
a while and I eventually screwed up the courage to tell them my plan -- I had
with me 100 children's party hats and 48 noisemakers for the audience to surprise
Jon Stewart for his birthday! They were very excited and willing to participate.
Then my good friend Kathleen showed up and I decided to begin approaching the
strangers in line with my plan.
People were very willing
to don the party hats and even took particular care in choosing the accessory
which best suited their personality. At this time I checked with one of the
audience coordinators and told her my plan. She was fine with the whole thing
and rather unaffected. I did not pass out all the hats in the regular line because
I knew there would be VIP line people who were already inside and I would distribute
their hats in the waiting room.
Then another audience coordinator
came out and made an announcement that today was Jon Stewart's birthday and
they had a card for all of us to sign. She said she would signal us to begin
singing "Happy Birthday" when Jon came out to address the audience. I raised
my hand and let her know that we all had party hats and she said she knew that.
She suggested that we put on the hats at the signal and then start singing.
A few minutes later the
same audience coordinator came up to me and said, "Are you the one with the
"Do you have any more?"
"Well, I have some saved
for the people who were in the VIP line. I'm going to give them to them when
we get inside."
She looked at me with awe
and said, "Who are you?"
I laughed and reminded her
of my last visit when I "shook my pom-pom" and pulled out the red pompom She
laughed, said she remembered me and said, "What you've done is great. Really."
Then she took a step back as if she was sizing me up, pointed at me and said,
"You are so VIP-ed," then leaned in and more quietly said, "You will never have
to wait in this line again."
Oh my God. I never
expected that kind of response and I was shocked, elated, and overwhelmed, but
my mission was not complete.
So, we went inside, and
I pass out the rest of the hats. One of the other audience wranglers takes a
picture of the audience wearing their hats, but I'm not in it! Someone else
takes a picture of my friends and I with our headgear. This is all with Lisa's
camera, so I will hopefully receive copies!
Then we go inside, are seated
(front row), and sit through the warm up. It was Paul Michael Mecurio for anyone
who knows/cares, and he did a fine job, as usual.
Jon Stewart comes out and
I am barely paying attention to him because I am so intent on seeing the SIGNAL.
Teri gives the signal, we don the hats, sing an awful rendition of "Happy Birthday,"
and cheer, blow noisemakers, and I shake my pompom Jon is very embarrassed and
tells everyone to take off their hats (so you do not see the party audience
I was hoping for). He is appreciative, but does not make a big deal about it
and seems to want to change the subject.
Show occurs. Fun fun fun.
You can see my pompom in the last audience shot and you may be able to see me
in the opening audience shot as well. But in both, you must have a quick eye
or a good pause switch on your VCR. Then, show over and people have left their
hats and noisemakers strewn throughout the seats. I feel that it is my responsibility
to clean up after myself, and do so. Kathleen and Janene help me. Lisa talks
to Orlando, one of the audience wranglers. Then Teri, head audience coordinator
walks up to me with her business card and hands it to me, "Anytime you want.
Just call me. You can have VIP status."
I thank her. She says, "It
was so great that you did this! I just found out yesterday that today was his
birthday and we were scrambling to put something together! Then you did this
and it was perfect! Jon turned around during the singing and said, "Thank you,
Teri." You saved my ass. Anytime. Call me."
And we hugged.
Then Lisa asked Orlando
if he would take a picture of all of us in the studio. He agreed and I boldly
asked, "Can I sit on the couch?"
"Of course! All
of you, get on up there!"
So hopefully, in the near
future, I will have a picture of me and all my 11/28 TDS buddies sitting on
the couch and behind the desk. It was so fun.
It did not turn out the
way I planned, but in some ways, it was much better. I did not get the recognition
from Mr. Stewart for the stunt, but I will get a lot more mileage out of getting
recognition from my new best friend, Teri. I wanted to see if I could convince
100 adults to wear children's party hats, and I did. The results did not make
it on television, but I will hopefully have the pictures to prove it.
So I apologize to anyone
who stayed up late to see the show and I hope you found my story amusing. It
goes to show-nothing is too silly, unattainable or unreasonable! And if
anyone wants to see a live taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
-- give me a call and come to NYC for a visit!
Compiled by Melly.