Andrew, Cathy, Melle and I went to see Jon Stewart on Friday night at Massey Hall. Great venue and great view from the 4th row of the balcony. He played to expectations: politics, religion, gay rights and race, and then worked over material on kids, pets and computers as well.
Definitely at his finest on the former for me. I LIKE the thinking and the laughing at the same time. And what IS up with hats as a means of a) getting ahead in the God/god/Yahweh/Allah queue and/or b) showing everyone else that one is ahead (via one’s head)?? Another bit about blacks and whites and the power of “fear of the unknown” that black men have was also good – and one I’ve read about somewhere, if only I could remember. I also really like his take on being gay (it is what it is; your dick wants what it wants – including possibly a pinata, apparently). Though I was suprised that he didn’t make explicit mention of the gay marriage opportunities here, cuz I know he know about them…
Which segues nicely to what was the most interesting part of the show: how people in the audience interacted with the material and with each other. During the whole black/white bit, a group of guys in front us (3 white, 1 black) kept looking to the black guy to determine if it was okay to laugh but looked AWAY each time Stewart said the word “black”. And in between bits, there were a few shouts from the audience, including “Patrick Rocks!” – which is what Patrick wanted Jon to say on his show. When Jon parried with “that would sound like we were doing it, and I’m not okay with that” (essentially), a woman on the other side of the audience suggested “Toronto rocks!” instead. And there you have it folks, the Canadian neurosis that should not be exposed in full view of one of them. The “please validate us on your shiny American tv show”. Stewart’s response was to say that we [Torontonians, Canadians] don’t need that, or need him to do that. I was pleased to join in with the round of applause that followed, as if to say “shut up. Get some self esteem. WE don’t need that.”
Audience was an interesting range of people in age, dress and culture to a point – really a lot of of white people there. And a great exemplar of difference between American and Canadian politics, when we sighted Jack Layton (a National Party leader fyi) standing in the lobby after the show, talking to a buddy. Seems we could care less if our national leaders go to/associate with comics who swear and talk politics and… In the States, there’d be fire and crossfire about what it all means and how said politician is probably gay.
Went to Chapters yesterday morning to pick up David Rakoff’s book (whom I saw on… “The Daily Show” :), and I was looking it up and two young guys who work there were close by. One of them saw what I was looking for and offered to help locate it. He commented that he had seen that guy on Jon Stewart. Grinning madly, I informed him that I had seen Jon last night! He and the friend told me about 15 times how insanely jealous they were. Heh. Na-na-poo-poo!!!