There’s a Citi (formerly known as Citibank) commercial on television right now in which people are talking about ways to save money, like biking to work. One woman shares, “[I] take hotel shampoo bottles when I travel. Haven’t paid for that stuff in years!”
Now, here’s where I’m concerned: Those bottles have maybe an ounce of shampoo in them. Either this woman travels very frequently, or she washes her hair very infrequently.
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.
I hate it when eavesdropping backfires. I was sitting at Chili’s and listening to another table’s conversation. “So-and-so cheated on so-and-so with a medical student,” and it started getting really juicy. But then, “She hired a witch, who sent her back in time to do it all over again.” Dammit, it was a television show!
I’ve got a horrible idea, folks, and I need to pitch it to ABC as soon as possible. It’s called Extreme Makeover: World Edition, and they rebuild the entire world.
I mean, they could start out small and just do one third-world country on each episode, and eventually after a few seasons they’d be completely done. Clearly, if Ty Pennington had been in charge of the liberation of Iraq, the Iraqi people would all have Philips flat-panel televisions instead of death and rubble. So who’s gonna help me pitch this?
I really enjoy watching High Fidelity whenever it’s on television because Jack Black’s first line–as he walks into Championship Vinyl and hears the new Belle & Sebastian record playing–is “Holy shoot! What the frog is that?”