Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why the Daily Show?

I’m currently reading Citizens of London, and I hope to have a review by the end of the week. But I’ve been meaning to write something a little different on this blog. This isn’t a review, but it answers the question “Why the Daily Show?" And to get there, I’ve got to go back three and a half years.

It is about 10:45 on my first day of college, and I am terrified. I am prone to homesickness anyways, and here I am, in a suite with five girls I’ve known for maybe 8 hours, and I’m not going to see my parents for a month. It’s a minor miracle that I’m not bawling.

There’s a knock on the door. I open it to reveal boys, two scruffy looking guys. I can tell they aren’t freshmen—they aren’t wearing their keys on lanyards around their necks or carrying the yellow folders filled with schedules and maps that we freshman have been holding like they are superglued to our hands.

“Youafreshman?” One of the boys asks, making the sentence all one word.

I nod.

“Well, dis-orientation parties start tonight at the soccer house.”

The other boy chimes in with directions, but I’m not paying attention. In addition to being scared of living with strangers and not seeing my family, I am also afraid of alcohol and boys. I just look at them until they leave. The presence of those guys made me so nervous, I don’t even recognize the pun of the party name until I tell my roommates about it a minute later. But I hate puns, and I don’t laugh.

“I hope you guys didn’t want to go to this disorientation thing. I forget where they said it was.”

“No,” Theresa, my roommate says, “We’re gonna watch The Daily Show. Want to join?”

I have never heard of the Daily Show. Really, I want to go to bed. But suddenly I’m filled with a new determination. Maybe going to a party with alcohol and boys is too big a step, but I am going to make friends with my roommates, dammit!

So Devika, Theresa, Natalia, and I all sit on Devika’s bed and begin to watch the show. And I eat it up. I learn what’s happening in the world, I laugh, I instantly fall in love with Jon Stewart. That perplexes me a bit, as he is the same age as my mom, but he is funny and has a long nose—I can’t resist. I don’t think about home for half an hour.

After the show is over (or maybe after Colbert, I don’t remember) we stay in Devika’s room and talk for awhile. I go to bed before the others – we have class the next day, and I’m tired. But I don’t cry that night. And the next night, at 11, we turn on The Daily Show. And the next night. And it becomes a ritual.

Midway through that freshman year, we talk about taking a road trip to New York after we graduate. We want to watch the show live.

Now, here I am, two months before graduation. I don’t think the trip is going to happen. But we still watch The Daily Show together. I can’t imagine college without it.

No comments:

Post a Comment