Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Those Little Comforts....

It always seemed quaint, old-fashioned, and well... a bit fuddy-duddy-ish to me thinking about my parents looking forward to their evening ritual of watching the news at 11:00PM, and then falling asleep on the couch watching Johnny Carson.

It was something that clearly separated their generation from mine.

Well, now as my child grows up, I'm wondering if he'll think the same of me as I wait restlessly until The Daily Show with John Stewart arrives each night. Truly, I can't find a better analogy - but I can say that for the past week and a half or so, I've grudgingly watched the re-runs over and over again as the show settles into its new studios on 52nd and 11th in NYC (former home of the Food TV studios - wonder if they got the stench of Emeril's Essence out of there?), adamant in my belief that old TDS is better than no TDS.

Well, last night they finally returned to new episodes, and although the new studio seems a little bit forced (I like the desk arrangement for political and media guests, but I'm not quite sure how John's celebrity guest interviews are going to work there?), it's like having a good friend back home.

I'll relate a "Pressing the Flesh" moment I had with John Stewart. I was working on an event at Town Hall for The Creative Coalition called "Seconding the First", which featured 50-60 celebrities reading passages from banned literature and the like - a celebration of The First Amendment.

There was a moment as I was running from one side of the theatre to the other and turned the corner. As I did, John Stewart walked in front of me and we both stopped for a moment, obviously to avoid the impending collision. "Hi, John," I said, and he returned my greeting. Quickly, I raced onward to the other side of the stage.

It wasn't until later that I really analyzed that moment and realized that in a knee-jerk moment, I didn't freeze and think to myself "Omigod... it's John Stewart... you're my hero!" or anything like that. To the contrary, it was the most natural thing in the world to simply say "Hi, John" as though I'd known him, albeit not well, but well enough to simply say hi and move on.

I can only imagine that it's that level of comfort that ultimately make people like Walter Cronkite or Johnny Carson transcend their talents and become welcome members of our extended families, and I can only imagine that it's the comfort my parents wished for at the end of their long day.

Hi, John. Nice to have you back.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:25 AM /


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