The last time Jon Stewart was on campus, it was Colonials weekend – and the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” certainly shook up GW’s political climate. His appearance on Crossfire, in which he accused the hosts of the show of “hurting America,” caused CNN to rethink the mission of the program, ultimately canceling it.
Another Colonials weekend has arrived, and Stewart is back – this time not to berate Tucker Carlson, but to amuse the thousands of parents arriving in the city to visit their kids, enjoy D.C.’s autumn scenery and hear Stewart’s bitingly sarcastic quips about all things political. Originally scheduled to do only one show, the University added a second performance on Friday, which sold out equally as fast.
“When we added the 7 p.m. Stewart show, it sold out in 31 hours,” said Josh Schimmerling of Student and Academic Support Services. “That’s an average of 120 tickets sold per hour.”
Popular indeed. Stewart has had quite a year since the election, when it was discovered that his comedy show was what most members of our generation turned to for their news, rather than actual news shows. Since then, he has released his book, “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction,” written in the style of an elementary school textbook and featuring nude illustrations of the Supreme Court justices, which caused the book to be banned from Wal-Mart, despite being a New York Times bestseller. In addition, he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year in 2005.
The decision to bring Stewart to campus was made by a small steering committee, said Peter Konwerski, assistant to Senior Vice President Robert Chernak.
“Stewart fits into the GW genre we are known for as one of the hot political schools based on his humor, talent and intellect,” Konwerski said.
The weekend will also feature a Saturday performance from the Boston Pops, which calls itself “America’s orchestra,” and is directed by Keith Lockhart. The Pops strives to bring a lighter taste of classical music to audiences nationwide, and often play well-known movie scores in their concerts. The orchestra was previously directed by John Williams, academy-award winning composer for movies such as “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars.”
“There will be a high-profile special guest conductor during one of the songs performed by the Pops,” said Schimmerling.
Williams, perhaps? Tickets are still available, so those who are curious can find out.
Since there were 4,000 tickets sold for each Jon Stewart show, and 3,000 sold for the Boston Pops concerts, more than 11,000 people will be seeing a show at the Smith Center this week.
“We are just excited to have such great acts,” Konwerski said, “that are so popular in the media, arts and entertainment fields visit our campus community to perform for GW.”