September 7, 2012

The joke's on Charlotte one more time

'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' came, it saw, and it kicked Charlotte's you-know-what.

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” came, it saw, and – one last time, on Friday night – it kicked Charlotte’s you-know-what.

Before and during the last installment of the Comedy Central series’ four-night stand at ImaginOn, the host’s news team got in some parting shots at the city it called home for the duration of the Democratic National Convention.

“I’m going to miss what I call ‘Charlotte Magic,’ ” said “Daily Show” correspondent Aasif Mandvi. Prompted by Stewart to explain, Mandvi said: “Well, that so many fit, beautiful, seemingly healthy people eat the world’s most appalling diets. For breakfast, I had a pulled pork, egg and tobacco burrito. These people should be dead, Jon.”

Correspondent John Oliver piled on: “I will never forget Charlotte. Southern people are bigger-hearted and kinder than I had any right to expect. And frankly, Jon, I cannot wait to get on a plane and get the (expletive) out of here. I’m a New Yorker now. I’ve been here almost a whole week and almost forgotten how asphalt marinated in other people’s urine smells.”

Stewart garnered plenty of laughs during the episode – titled: “Hope and Change 2: Electric Do-Over-Galoo” – with one segment poking fun at President Obama’s acceptance speech and another skewering Fox News. But it was the locally flavored jokes by his staff that seemed to tickle the crowd most.

During a Q&A session with Oliver, Mandvi, Al Madrigal and Jessica Williams before the show, Oliver was asked by an audience member for impressions of Charlotte.

“You have some of the hardest, fastest rain that I’ve ever seen,” the Brit said. “It’s quite bamboozling. You’re walking along and thinking, ‘What a lovely day,’ and the next thing you know there’ll be a black thunderstorm raining down on you. I don’t really understand how it works.”

Oliver also was showered with boos (for the second time of the week) for his notorious putdown of Carolina barbecue, which he claimed to hate.

“You’re like a bad guy in professional wrestling,” Mandvi said. Then Oliver came clean: “I had some, and it was absolutely delicious. I just like to annoy people, and it’s worked more effectively than I thought it would.”

One of the more crowd-pleasing pre-show moments? Stewart knocking two boorish frat boys in the audience – one of whom had his cellphone confiscated by security before the show – down to size.

During the Q&A session with Stewart, one clumsily asked the host about his UNC days and what he thought about fraternities. He didn’t get the answer he was looking for.

“Uh, for the record, I didn’t go to UNC,” Stewart said, before digging into the guys. “And college fraternities? I was in one for six months before I realized that the artifice and forced camaraderie was no substitute for actual friendship.”

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