Or at least I was a stooge in the audience for the Daily Show host’s warm-up act.
As most of you Landlubbers know, my wife and I went into the City yesterday to catch a taping of our favorite late-night show. We wore matching T-shirts with Jacques Stenvert’s awesome Land That I Love cover art on it, and that made us highly visible. Also, Eileen has had a series of health issues over the past couple weeks and is walking with a cane right now. Due to her temporary gimpiness, the production assistants funneled us straight into the front row — front and center, as it turned out. Best seats in the house: Literally, we had the same view of the anchor desk as we have from the TV in our living room.
So we were easy targets for a genuine comedic pro: stander-upper Julian McCullough, whose job it is to get people who’ve just been mugged, groped or charged $16 for a hamburger to laugh. And we were just too irresistable a target for him.
“You two are wearing matching T-shirts, a sure sign you’re not from New York!” he began. Eileen and I have both worked in Midtown. Except for less than two years when we were first married, she never lived more than 45 minutes from Penn Station. My parents are both from here, and I’ve lived here for almost 15 years now, plus another four years when I went to college here. All of which I kept to myself.
Then Julian began reading the text: “Land. That. I. Love. William. Freedman.” And then he encouraged me to stand up, turn around, and show the shirt to the rest of the audience.
Uproarious applause ensued. Jacques, the Daily Show audience loved your art!
Well, gotta go now. Gotta put that shirt in the wash so I can wear it again Sunday at the KGB reading. BTW, I’ll be going to KGB from Citi Field, where I got tickets to Mets-Twins. Let’s see if I get Iman Appdev’s cleavage on the Jumbotron! (Suck it, Lady Gaga!)