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NYCF: Sarah Silverman NYCF: Michaels Showalter and Ian Black
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TDS

As part of The New York Comedy Festival, the Daily Show writers got

together at the Paley Center for a panel discussion last night. The event was

moderated by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, who did a stunning job of

keeping the mood light and the boys in line.

Some highlights:
  • As each of the panelists introduced themselves, only the correspondents

    (Wyatt Cenac & John Oliver) got applause, a fact that the other writers

    promptly chided the audience for.

  • David Remnick remarked on his time as a guest on the show, during which he

    was told, "Don't try to be funny. That's Jon's job." The writers in response:

    "We get that, too."

  • The question they're all sick of hearing: How will the show be affected by

    Obama being chosen as president? Wasn't Bush a better target? When Remnick

    described Obama as "not hilarious," John Oliver quipped, "Is that the official

    New Yorker position?"

  • Wyatt Cenac thinks Obama's big weakness is improvising, but he can do

    pretty much anything else including "drain 3 pointers." Writer Rory Albanese

    called Cenac out for being racist, to which Cenac replied, "That's not racist.

    Trust me. That's just a skill that all black people have."

  • Producer Adam Lowitt's job is mainly sifting through tons of footage every

    morning at 7 am to find clips for the show. This is particularly hard because

    "free breakfast isn't until 9."

  • John Oliver on attending the Democratic rally for a field piece: "It was

    strange being at a moment of genuine history with the sole purpose of

    undermining it."

  • A particularly pushy audience member asked if Jon Stewart is planning on

    taking over for Letterman, to which one of the writers responded that he's

    actually got his eyes on Rachael Ray.

  • One audience member asked John Oliver if he was the voice of the Geico

    gecko, to which he responded "We all sound the same to you, don't we?"

  • Another audience question: What advice do you have for aspiring comedy

    writers? Executive producer DJ Javerbaum's answer: "Law is a bright and shining

    profession."

The staff has a wonderful chemistry with each other, which was apparent

throughout the panel. They also spoke on the day-to-day workings of the show,

the most tense interview in the history of the show (surprisingly, Jennifer Love

Hewitt), and the importance of Stewart's charm and personality for the show.

Overall, the event was both informative and hilarious, much like The Daily Show

itself. It's not bad that I get all my news from there,

right?

-Sachi Ezura

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