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Jon Stewart goes to (up)town on city

‘Daily Show’ host kicks off show taped in Charlotte roasting ‘uptown,’ barbecue and biscuits

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Jon Stewart and his Comedy Central fake news team kicked off a week of shows in Charlotte Tuesday night and took some jabs at the city, while assuring the audience off-camera that they loved it here.

“We’re so excited not to be in Tampa,” Stewart told the crowd during a question-and-answer session before the show. “Your people are very friendly to the point where I’m beginning to believe it’s sarcasm. I’m not comfortable with this type of warmth.”

When an audience member asked where he was staying, Stewart said he and the crew are staying in South Carolina because they couldn’t get rooms in Charlotte. “We would have loved to have stayed in North Carolina – forget Charlotte,” Stewart said. “I don’t commute like this at home.”

The show, the first of four reports this week titled: “Hope and Change 2: Sometimes the Sequel is Even Better … But Not Usually,” took aim at Charlotte’s cuisine, its love of NASCAR, and of course, our use of the word “uptown” over “downtown.”

In a report from the NASCAR Hall of Fame (really a green screen), correspondent Jessica Williams likened stock car racing “a metaphor for the Democratic party – driving around in circles, thinking we’re getting somewhere because we’ve been driving somewhere for 3 hours” and then the whole thing ends in a fiery wreck.

Correspondent Al Madrigal gave his feed from outside a barbecue restaurant (also a green screen). “Nobody does barbecue like North Carolina. Do you know that every food in North Carolina is served on a biscuit? Even the biscuits are served on a biscuit.”

Stewart’s guest Tuesday was TV news veteran Tom Brokaw, who was there promoting his new book “Time of Our Lives.”

“They have locked this city down,” Stewart told Brokaw. “Although I’ve never been here before. Maybe that’s how it always is.”

Brokaw snapped back: “It’s so the bankers don’t get out.”

In an interview with the Observer after the show, correspondent Samantha Bee said working out of the ImaginOn brings back memories of working in children’s theater years ago, where she met husband and fellow “Daily Show” correspondent Jason Jones.

“I just wish there was a tiny curtain that we could change behind and put giant hamburger hats on our heads. It would just feel so familiar to us. It is our wheelhouse,” she said. “We were like, ‘I know what to do, let’s get some colorful tights on.’ ”

The show is taping at 6 each night through Friday at ImaginOn. It airs on Comedy Central at 11 p.m.

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