Posts filed under “Television”

How I Ended Up On The Daily Show

Tonight, after the opening segment but before Louis CK comes on, I am deeply involved in the middle segment of The Daily Show. How this came about is an interesting story — one that is strange enough to be worth sharing. [Update: Here]

I am either brave or foolish publishing this before the show airs, but I don’t think I made too big an arse of myself. Regardless, it would not be the first time I did so on Television in my professional career.

This episode came about thanks to a post I did for Bloomberg View on the minimum wage. I was at a hotel in Hartford, waiting to give pension fund investors my Romancing Alpha schtick. I had 90 minutes to kill, so I banged out this commentary titled How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens. The story of the McResource hotline had already broken, and I wanted to address it from a perspective of a corporate subsidy from taxpayers. (The follow up are here and here) [Update: This interview was on December 18th, long before tonight's SOTU address, which hit on many of the same issues]

I don’t use a publicist, so you can imagine my pleasant surprise when an email came in from the Daily Show producers asking me questions about the minimum wage and corporate subsidy column. We chatted a few times, the idea got kicked around by the writers and producers . . . and then the call came. “Hey, can we shoot you next week?” My response: Sure. (Why didn’t I get a haircut?)

This wasn’t the first time I had been tagged by them — When Alan Greenspan retired from the Fed, they reached out (I put them in touch with Kudlow & Cramer instead). And it looked as if Bailout Nation might have landed me in the guest chair, but that never quite materialized. So this was quite a lot of fun, and felt like a long time coming.

As the photos below show, they arrived in our midtown office with tons of equipment. It took over 90 minutes for them to set up.

Shortly afterwards, Samantha Bee showed up. She is a combination of hilarious and delightful. We settle into the chairs, and she begins to fire questions at me. For this 4 minute segment, we shot for two hours.  The hardest part was not cracking up. Her facial expressions and cacophony of shrieks, whines and laughs are infectious. I ruined a few takes breaking up laughing.

A few interesting things I learned about The Daily Show over the course of our shooting — first, they don’t want to tell you who is on the other side of the argument. I had suggested to them that Peter Schiff was a perfect guy for this, as he had been haranguing Wal-Mart shoppers in the parking lot (See this and this).  The next night at dinner with a group of media folks and strategists they confirmed that it was indeed Schiff on the other side of the debate (he apparently told them). Fun!

Second, it appears that TDS has some smart lawyers who’ve thought this thing through. All of the answers were recorded following each question in one continuous segment. When I screwed up or ruined a shot, they had to go back to ask the question again, with the response immediately following in the same shot.

In other words, they don’t cut up your answers or pull them out of context. Question, Answer, Question, Answer. I assume this keeps litigation from angry remote guests to a minimum.

Over the course of two hours, its pretty easy to say something stupid — especially when one of the funniest people on earth is two feet away making faces and saying very funny things. I hope I didn’t embarass myself. We”ll find out at 11:06pm or so.

Anyway, here are some of the snaps I grabbed with the phone. The last one is a spoiler so its after the jump . . .

 

They brought a ton of equipment, which raised eyebrows on our floor
TDS equiptment hall 2

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Setting up in my office, Camera 1
TDS office set up 1

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Setting up in my office, Camera 2
TDS office set up 2

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Lights, Cameras, Electrical, Booms
TDS office set up 3

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Samantha Bee was delightful
TDS Samantha Bee

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She worked the entire time, tweaking & rewriting lines. She is quite the Pro
TDS Shes a pro

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SPOILER

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Category: Humor, Television, Wages & Income

The Money Oscars at Davos

Mountain Few
A group of the world’s wealthiest people gather in an secluded mountain enclave to discuss concerns over income inequality. (02:08)

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Mountain Few – The Money Oscars at Davos
Jason Jones scores an all-access pass to some of the most horrific chronicling of human misery seen in decades, and Sam Bee parties in Davos. (03:08)

Category: Humor, Television, Video

To Catch a Trader

Tonight on Frontline: To Catch a Trader.

FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith goes inside the government’s ongoing, seven-year crackdown on insider trading, drawing on exclusively-obtained video of hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen, incriminating FBI wiretaps of other traders, and interviews with both Wall Street and Justice Department insiders.

click for video
frontline trader

Category: Legal, Television, Video

TDS Pizza War: New York vs Chicago

I am a born and bred New Yorker who loves our pizza. But I also appreciate Chicago pizza like Eduardo’s and Malnati’s. These segments not only resonated, but were hilarious: Chicago takes exception to Jon’s rant against the Windy City’s signature deep-dish cuisine. Strife of Pie The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The…Read More

Category: Food and Drink, Humor, Television, Travel, Weekend

Bartiromo to Fox Biz for a Player to be Named Later

  Drudge broke the news that Maria Bartiromo is leaving CNBC and heading to Fox Business News. Business Insider confirmed it with CNBC. She leaves the network she has been with for more than 20 years November 24th. I am sure there is an interesting back story that I know nothing about, but here is…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Television

Jay-Z Penney

Jay-Z faces pressure to end his partnership with Barneys over racial profiling, but Larry Wilmore sees selling out as a sign of progress.   Shopping While Black The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook TDS, November 6, 2013 (06:45)

Category: Consumer Spending, Really, really bad calls, Television, Weekend

Long Island’s Economy Back on Track after Sandy

Long Island’s Economy Back on Track after Sandy Jason Bram and Rachel Keller Liberty Street Economics  October, 2013       In late October last year, Superstorm Sandy devastated and disrupted much of the tri-state region, including a large swath of Long Island. For most of Suffolk County and inland parts of Nassau County, the disruptions were…Read More

Category: Economy, Science, Television

Google Barges

Google parks a mysterious barge off of San Francisco and shares plans to prolong human existence. Jon Stewart Looks at Floaters The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook (05:07)

Category: Humor, Technology, Television

TV Talk: Comedy Catastrophes

I saw a few of the many many new comedies, and I was not impressed by most of them: The Times reporters Bill Carter and Brian Stelter discuss the many tanking comedies that had their premiere this season. October 3, 2013 By Christopher Cascarano

Category: Television, Weekend

Saturday Night TV: 50 Years of Doctor Who

Click through for videos:   Fifty years of Doctor Who: how I fell in love with a timelord 28 Sep 2013:As Doctor Who celebrates its half-century, superfan Jenny Colgan kicks off our special62 comments Doctor who? The timelord’s companions since 2005 have their say 28 Sep 2013:Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate and Karen Gillan…Read More

Category: Television, Weekend