I posted these as comments months ago, but in honor of the man's retirement I thought I would put them here. One has to do with the Mets, the other doesn't (but I think it's pretty funny).
I was at a taping of The Daily Show on Wednesday July 27, 2011, the day of the Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler trade between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. During the audience warmup he comes out and asks if anyone in the audience has any questions, so (knowing he was a big Mets fan) I asked him what he thought of the trade.
"Well, it’s a shame to lose Carlos and I don’t know much about Zack Wheeler, but sounds like he was one of the Giants’ top pitching prospects, power pitcher, seems like Alderson got a great return…here’s the thing, though. The only people in this room who give a fuck about this are you and me. Everyone else is bored shitless right now."
Then he stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment. "It’s funny, baseball people always ask me who I hate more – the Phillies or the Yankees. ‘No, no, no’, I always say. ’I’m a Mets fan. I hate the METS more.’"
Back in 2004 my roommate Nick was an editor at Marvel Comics. He was working on a book with an artist named Darick Robertson, who had an extra ticket to a taping of The Daily Show. It was offered to me and I took it.
I went down to the Marvel offices on 40th to meet up with them, and since I was there I went to say hi to Pat, another buddy of mine (a huge Mets fan, btw) who worked in the graphic design department. When I got to his desk he excitedly handed me a giant trade paperback: The Essential Howard the Duck, Volume One.
"You like Howard the Duck, right? Didn’t you tell me that once?"
I hadn’t. "Uh…thanks! This is great. I will treasure it always." I wouldn’t. I didn’t particularly want it at all, but then I had an idea – I would give it to Jon Stewart.
We took a cab down to the studio which I think at the time was on west 52nd street, way down by the river. Darick was working on a new Wolverine book, and as we stood in line he was bemoaning the fact that then-Marvel CEO (and noted idiot) Bill Jemas had sent down a directive to make Logan in the comics look more like Hugh Jackman in the movies. In other words matinee idol handsome, vaguely Australian, and 6’3". We were all railing at this blatant violation of the core characteristics of such a beloved hero when they ushered us into the studio.
We were back towards the end of the line and seating was limited, so they separated us with Nick and Darick to one side of the stage and me to the other. I clutched my new book, anxious to seize my chance. The warmup comic came out and warmed us up to the best of his ability, though I was far too distracted to gauge his effectiveness. Finally the man himself graced the stage to great applause.
"Thank you, thank you. Does anyone have any issues?"
My hand shot up immediately. He pointed right at me. "Yes, sir?"
I held up the tome. "I have something for you, if you want it."
He eyed me somewhat suspiciously. "Uh..sure, alright. What is it, if you don’t mind me asking?" I ran down the stairs and handed him the book. "Oh…Essential Howard the Duck. Volume One." Confused giggles from the audience as he began to look it over. "This is great, I have Volume Two at home and I have so many unanswered questions."
Almost imperceptibly his cautious sarcasm turned to something approaching enthusiasm. "Actually this is pretty cool. It would be better if it was a video game, but still." He turned away from me as I returned to my seat and he started to page through it. "Can I ask what is your connection to Howard the Duck?"
"Oh nothing, my friend gave it to me and I didn’t really want it so I thought I would give it to you."
The audience erupted in laughter and he froze mid-stride with his back to me. "Wait a minute…you didn’t want to carry it AROUND with you so you gave it to ME?"
"Well, if you put it like that…"
"What about your friend?! He wanted you to have this!"
I should point out that Darick was under the impression that Nick had given me the book, so at this point he is laughing maniacally and pointing at my roommate.
Stewart saw this. "Wait a second, are you his friend?" Vigorous affirmative nods from Darick. Jon Stewart did a double take, seeing us on opposite sides of the studio. "What the f#@k is going on here??"
I explained that Nick did not give me the book, my other friend at Marvel gave me the book. "Oh so you guys work at Marvel Comics? What do you do?"
"I’m an artist," Darick responded. "I mean, not for all the books."
"No of course, you would have to be a superhero yourself to draw all of them. So what are you working on right now?"
"Actually I just started on Wolverine."
Impressed oohs and aahs from the crowd. "It’s a shame you aren’t working on a cool, popular character or anything. Let me ask you this – you ever draw Wolverine, like, banging Vampirella? You ever do anything like that?" Darick, obviously lying, said no. They talked a bit longer about the comics industry, and Darick signed an issue of Wolverine #1 that he had in his bag and gave it to Stewart, who was inexplicably more appreciative of that gift than mine.
"Thank you very much, but I have to say…I hate it when people in the audience are more talented than I am."
The show opened with Jon doodling on one of his note cards and he held it up to the camera. "This sucks! Sorry we have a couple of artists in the crowd tonight…welcome to the Daily Show!"
When we got outside Darick excitedly called his wife in Brooklyn to tell her what had happened. When he hung up he grabbed me by the shoulders. "Dude – you got Jon Stewart to talk to me! You f@*king ROCK!"