Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Comedy fans flock to campus for ‘Daily Show’ convention coverage

The proceedings of the Democratic National Convention — as well as its state host — were satirized as Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” taped its first of four shows at DU’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts Aug. 26.

Stewart thanked the 250 people in the Byron Theatre studio audience for their patience while the crew was working out the kinks in taping in a new environment.

“They’re back there pressing buttons and probably opening a door in Littleton,” he said.

The wildly enthusiastic audience didn’t mind a delayed start. It erupted with cheers at the beginning of the show when Stewart said he was taping at DU. “I never would of thought that mentioning the name of the local university would elicit such applause,” he said.

People with reservations waited outside all day in the blistering sun hoping to score a seat. Reservations — which filled within an hour of being announced May 1 — did not guarantee a seat.

The political satire show’s “Indecision 2008: Guess Who’s Coming to Denver” coverage poked fun at the first night of the DNC — almost 24 hours later — as Stewart addressed the show’s timeliness factor by clarifying, “we’re not really a news show.”

Among the jokes: calling pundit James Carville an “alien” while making jabs at his appearance, showing clips of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ awkward reporting from a windy outdoor set, and questioning Michelle Obama’s patriotism.

Airing segments of Obama’s speech from the night prior, Stewart claimed her use of the phrase “this country” was unacceptable as he deadpanned: “Excuse me, her name is America.”

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who was on Barack Obama’s short list of vice-presidential running mates, was the show’s guest.

Stewart pressed Kaine on the VP selection process: “Does Senator Obama give each person a rose to know they made it to the next round?” he asked, alluding to the selection process in the popular TV reality show “The Bachelor.” Kaine spoke about the “vetting” process, joking that even his high school girlfriend’s middle name had been checked out.

The set included a backdrop of the city of Denver, but the references to the convention’s location didn’t end there. News segments by the show’s supporting cast featured numerous Colorado clichés: horseback riding, fishing, the Denver Broncos and beer brewing.

“It’s Colorado. The entire state’s a beer ad,” said cast member Assif Mandvi as he shoved a beer tap into a model of the Rocky Mountains. “That’s why the Democrats picked it, to show that they’re a bunch of Joe six-packs.”

Before the taping, Stewart answered questions and spoke to the crowd, calling Colorado residents “suspiciously nice” and “all in very good shape.” The show aired on Comedy Central Aug. 27 at 12 a.m. MST. The show will be taping in Denver through Aug. 29 before heading to St. Paul, Minn., for the Republican National Convention.

Watch the show.

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