We saw Jon Stewart live this evening. All I can say was that nine hours of hassle wasn’t really worth the show; you’re better off watching it on TV.
Long story: Arrived at 3:30 to get in line (they recommended you arrive by 4; line locks at 4:45). By 4 the line was doubled back to the door. About 5:30 we entered the building, went through a security and metal screening (I threw my several-inch knife into my bag and they ignored it; they didn’t check under Sarah’s laptop/papers to see if she was packing a glock. Like nearly every security screening, the whole thing was a farce. Whatever.
We were then ushered downstairs into a waiting and restroom area where we were told we’d be taken up to the studio in a few minutes. Forty-five minutes later they said we could come up, and our carefully-arranged line quickly devolved into a herd of cattle. If you’re stuck in this hopelessly tiny little room when you go to visit, stand near the stairs, so you have a better chance at good seats.
We sat back left center for the show, which wasn’t optimal in theory, but was nice in that it didn’t cause our view to be obscured by the camera boom and so forth. The show turns out to have started late because apparently Jon was on Letterman earlier, and that ran longer than expected. Anyhow, a fluffer came out to warm us up, and that was fine, then Jon came out, and he was indeed shorter than you’d think. We then watched, surprisingly enough, the taping of the show; it was all done in one shot with maybe a minute between for each commercial break, and honestly I found myself getting more out of watching him on the monitor than being in the audience and watching him directly. Your mileage may vary.