September 2005

Last Friday night, Brad, Deirdre, and I went to the Figli di San Gennaro, which is a carnival that takes over Little Italy once a year. Imagine the tiny, crowded streets of Little Italy, except now the streets are lined with booths, including the kind where you have to throw a baseball into a milk jug to win a prize, or throw a baseball at a target to dunk a clown, or throw a baseball to see how fast you can throw a baseball. They also had rides, including a Ferris Wheel, but those were really sketchy, so we stuck with side show attractions and fried oreos.

10:43 pm Comments Off on San Gennaro

I went to a taping of “The Daily Show” recently. It’s too short, so I’m not sure if it’s really worth the hours of standing around and waiting. Still, it was very enjoyable, and it’s even funnier in person than on television.

The biggest thing that makes it funnier in person is the use of the green screen. Anyone who watches the show regularly is aware (or at least suspects) that the “field reporters” are never actually on location when they report “live” from somewhere; they’re standing in front of a green screen, with the background superimposed behind them. What you don’t realize, and what makes it even more amusing, is the location of the green screen on the set.

The set consists of three large screens, which often have the three words “The Daily Show” displayed on them respectively. Jon Stewart’s desk is in front of the center (“Daily”) screen. When Jon introduces Rob Corddry (who is supposedly “live” in another location), Rob immediatley walks out on stage and stands in front of the screen that says “The” on it. Rob stands there for less than two seconds before the camera switches to him, at which point the screen immediately turns green, and we see a different background behind him on the television monitors. The speed at which this happens is the first reason it’s funny.

The most humorous part, especially in person, is that the green screen isn’t on a different set. Rob is standing on the very same set as Jon. In fact, he’s only a few feet away from Jon. He’s basically standing right next to Jon’s shoulder. But Rob has to stare straight ahead into the camera, and Jon also stares straight ahead into the center camera, so from an audience perspective it looks like Rob is yelling into Jon’s ear and Jon is ignoring him.

It doesn’t sound as funny when I write about it. I guess you had to be there.

For tickets to “The Daily Show,” check the web site, or call (212) 586-2477 at 11am on a Friday to see if there are cancellations for the following week.

9:52 am Reviews Comments Off on Why the Green Screen Is Funny

I’ve had a lot of work to do at work lately. I like it though. It keeps me mentally active. And stuff.

Ash and I decided we’re going to try using zipcar. It’s an hourly (or daily, if you prefer) car rental service that’s way cheaper than the other car rental companies in the city, and you can reserve a car online or by phone and then unlock it immediately with your “zipcard.” And they have cars in parking garages all over the city, so it’s easy to find a car that’s within walking distance.

Now that I’m a member, if anyone else wants to join, I can give you $25 in zipcar bucks. Just use coupon code OIJRBOON when you apply.

We’re going to pick up a car tomorrow afternoon and drive along the coast of Long Island. And then we’re either going to Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, or PF Chang’s. Hooray for California food!

11:16 am Comments Off on Zipcar

Welcome to September. In California, I always hated September because it was merely an extension of August: very hot. But here in New York, I’m optimistic that September will be what it sounds like: a transition into fall. The air will be less humid, evenings will be cooler, and maybe a leaf or two will change color in anticipation of the beautiful October.

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