The people behind The Daily Show entertain at Prochnow
By Elly Cain
The Daily Show Live: Indecision Tour opened in Prochnow Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a recorded video of Jon Stewart, who was not making an appearance in Flagstaff. Disappointing many “Daily Show” fans, both Stewart and writer Rory Albanese were absent from “An Evening with the People Behind the Show.” Regardless of their absence, the Indecision Tour was an exceptionally fun and diverse evening of comedy with writer Paul Mecurio, co-executive producer Adam Lowitt and humorist John Hodgman. “The Daily Show with John Stewart” is a late night satirical Comedy Central television program. It premiered in July 1996 (called “The Daily Show” until 1999) and is currently the longest-running program on Comedy Central. It airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. and continues to be a popular way for NAU students to receive their daily news in a fast, entertaining way.
Following Stewart’s opening message, Mecurio took the stage with an immense amount of energy and audience interaction. He walked through the aisles of the auditorium meeting members of the audience, asking questions and joking with their replies. His personal approach was well received by the audience along with his very amusing, high-energy stand-up routine. Mecurio is currently a writer for “The Daily Show” as well as a warm-up comic who precedes Stewart. Although the basis of the show is political satire, there were actually very little political references in Mecurio’s routine, excepting a brief mention of the republican debate. That people behind “The Daily Show” took on this tour to highlight the versatility of the comics that write, produce and star in this Comedy Central program.
Next on stage was Adam Lowitt, bringing a more dry, contained sense of humor to the program. Lowitt is an Emmy Award winning writer for “The Daily Show,” as well as a stand-up comedian. He was a very entertaining comic with a memorable routine that was surprisingly free from any “Daily Show” allusions or political references. When asked why his segment of the Indecision Tour was free from anything controversial, Lowitt replied that he “blames the altitude” and then asked to be referred to as “Winthrop Rogerhammer Esquire” in any NAU publications. His act contained memorable stories including getting his phone stolen in New York City and catching up with the robber only to have him hand Lowitt his phone back replying “my bad.” Lowitt’s sarcastic stand-up was a worthwhile and entertaining addition to this tour.
Lastly, John Hodgman made a dramatic entrance onto the Prochnow stage to the tune of his theme song “Deranged Millionaire,” removing his shoes and tossing his socks to his fans in the audience. He is a popular act on “The Daily Show” and remained in his eccentric character throughout his entire routine. He began by regarding his peculiar mustache and referring to it as a “spite-stache,” explaining that he only kept it because it made so many people angry. Out of all three acts, Hodgman had the most political references, addressing the Republican primary that took place earlier this year. He had an extended joke referring to a game that “deranged millionaires” play, financially backing candidates solely for their own entertainment. Hodgman claimed to have sponsored Herman Cain simply because he was amused by his 999 tax plan and the fact that Cain expected to win over “evangelical Christians by employing a plan that is the sign of the antichrist upside-down.” Towards, the end of his routine, Hodgman brought audience volunteers forward to read the script of a reality TV show he joked about producing that involves a white van, a hoarding competition and Gary Busey. This show is part of Hodgman’s list of million-dollar ideas, which also includes a “penny farthing motorcycle.”
This comedic act was not as similar to the political television satire that some of “The Daily Show” fans in the audience were expecting. “The show had less political humor and was more focused on traditional standup comedy,” said Shawn Barber, a sophomore in computer science. Although Prochnow Auditorium was only halfway filled, it was clear the audience was having a good time. Each comic was met with enthusiastic applause both before and after their routine and laughter throughout. Regardless of whether the stand-up comedy was what the NAU population was expecting from The Indecision Tour, they were not left disappointed.