A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to watch a promo shoot for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report midterm election coverage. I spent all day taking pictures and eating food at the craft services table. (I'm using the word "food" very liberally. There was great food there, but I mostly ate the candy). Basically, it was awesome. Let's get right to it with this photo essay (the classiest kind of essay).
Both Jon and Stephen spent a large chunk of the day goofing around and trading wisecracks, which was fun fun fun in the su su studio.
Click after the jump to see more pictures and hear more half-remembered stories from my brain.
I unfortunately lost half of the pictures when one of the memory cards got corrupted (who does that memory card think it is? Governor Patterson? BAM!) So the first half of the day was lost, which was a shame, because I had a great picture of the Jon and Stephen stand-ins looking very Jon and Stephen-y. Fortunately, I was able to take this kind of out-of-focus picture of both those guys…
As you can see, the lens kept focusing on the baldos in the front (very nice guys!) and I was too short to get over them to use the auto-focus properly. What was I supposed to say, "Hey, baldos, can you please not be bodies so much?"
Anyway, the two stand-ins are named Tony Mazzulli and Darren Assante. They are great guys and told me they do a lot of stand-in work for Jon and Stephen. They're both professional actors, who do television and film work, so you might see them non-blurry-like on your television or at your local moving picture house.
I unfortunately also lost a lot of the photos of the correspondent's bits, but there was an amazing and funny musical chairs game I hope we see as well as a few other great things. This is one of the few pictures of the goings-on before Jon and Stephen got there, which is a shame, because a ball was had. In fact, multiple balls were had. So many balls.
Colbert writers Tom Purcell, Opus Moreschi and Rob Dubbin showed up to the shoot to watch. You'd think they'd be over stuff like this, but they actually seemed to be having a lot of fun throughout.
Here are they are once again watching the monitors intensely. For some reason, it makes me chuckle if I pretend they are watching Dune.
Here's they are cracking up. It was amazing watching how much joy they still got out of seeing their bosses be funny. It felt a little like watching a kid listen to a Steve Martin or a Bill Cosby record for the first time. Aren't comedy writers supposed to be jaded by that point?!
Here's Bob Salazar and Tracy Grandstaff of On-Air Creative, as well as a few other folks whose faces I can't see, looking at prints of some of the graphics. It's easy to forget all the people working behind the scenes, but it's important work, so it's worth mentioning them. Also, it's worth mentioning that Tracy Grandstaff voiced Daria. The legends are true!
The studio was pretty massive. Easily one of the biggest single rooms I've been in, if you don't count MY LOFT as a room. (JK, I don't have a loft. My room is the size of a grapefruit.)
Finally, Jon and Stephen showed up at the same time. They both went into make up in a room separate from the studio, but they got touched up right before they started shooting. Check out how bright this scene is lit. It felt like being dead and looking into the light.
These guys are the best. They were joking around with each other and the crew the entire time. I wish I'd made a list of all the funny things they said, but they said a lot of funny things.
One of my favorite instances was when someone asked Stephen if he needed a teleprompter and he said he didn't, because he went to theater school. The second he flubbed a line, Jon started prancing around singing, "Ooooh, I went to theaaater school." It was hilarious.
Here's Jon stretching the ol' funny bone.
There's Stephen Colbert practicing his "American Hero" pose and Jon Stewart practicing his "Befuddled Smart Guy" pose for director Steve Miller. It's also worth mentioning that Steve directed the 'The Most Interesting Man in the World' commercials for Dos Equis. Remember those? Those were great! Very good commercials, Steve! Way to go!
I just love Colbert's face in this. It really reminds you of how he is the best guy.
I forget exactly what inspired Jon Stewart to start dancing in his chair like that, but I remember it being magical. Guy loves to dance around. Also note that crew member wearing those thingies on his shoes. The set floor had to be maintained clean and pretty, unlike your mom.
That's how you end a chair dance. Also, note the Foosball table in the background. It was used for a gag, which meant we couldn't play with it. Which was really sad for me because as it turns out, I am really good at soccer as long as it involves minimal movement.
Note the Dr. Strangelove style war room. My favorite part is the old timey spy phone briefcase Aasif Mandvi is talking into.
Being on set isn't all fun and games. It's also fun and food (it's also a lot of working and waiting around). During a short break, the cast went over the craft services table and loaded up on some snacks. Breaking news: Wyatt Cenac likes chips!
Television hosts, they eat food too, just like us! ! The meat thing they had was very good. I think that's what Jon is eating on a cracker there, but I am not sure. What an inside scoop!
This is the last image. I chose it as the last image, because I think it sums up the day. Thumbs up! Cowabunga!
Tags: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show