beedoesamerica

4

DAY IT DOESN’T MATTER I WAS IN THE SAME VICINITY AS STEPHEN COLBERT.

This is going to be long, mind you. I arrived (in hindsight) ridiculously early. 2:30 to be exact. I’m just going to skip past the waiting process.

I was initially really hesitant to say anything, I didn’t want to ask a question, I didn’t want to be spotted by the warm up. But as soon as the the warm up comedian said ‘Who’s from far away?’ my arm shot up way too quickly and I was spoken to for a few minutes and then it turns out that a few people were from Australia in the audience!

Then Stephen ran out. He apologised for taking long to come out, and I swear, this moment was like an out of body experience for me to be seeing him with my own eyeballs and he’s actually physically in the studio with his Brooks Brothers get up and infallible hair.

He asked if there were any questions and my arm shot up without my brain even realising it. So I was the first question and he called me young lady (I was internally screaming).

I just asked what he thinks Chuck Noblet and Geoffrey Jellineck would be up to now. He went on to explain what Strangers was to people that were in the dark about it and he said that he thinks they’d be staging a traffic accident so they can exchange insurance details in the backseat. Which is what he’s mentioned before as a scene they never got to shoot. That moment was amazing in and of itself.

The next question was about how important space travel will be in relation to American economy. Stephen seemed a bit taken aback by the depth of the question, and he just quoted Arthur C. Clarke with 'Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in.' 

The next question was regarding his writers and if they prioritise awareness for a certain topic or the comedy and entertainment first. Stephen was quick to respond with it’s comedy. They do cover topics that they care about. but it’s Comedy Central not 'Raising Awareness Central’. if a writer were to approach him with a story that was purely for awareness they would be out of there.

The last question was what his favourite thing to do in NYC and his favourite place to eat. He said that his favourite thing to do is just walk down past 14th street, especially after it rains because it’s just a beautiful area. And he doesn’t eat at restaurant’s often but there’s a great place (I forgot the name, apologies) just near the studio.

Now during the Q&A, he was speaking and a bug literally fell from the rafters onto his hair. Which explains the cold open when he mentioned the bug at the beginning. This bug literally fell, I can’t accentuate this enough… directly on his head. He shook it off because he heard the audience gasp and when he saw it was a bug he stared at it for a bit, and literally goes 'I’m fucking out of here.’ and walked off for a few seconds. He came back and went to pick up a Tom Clancy book from his shelf and flipped the cover open to get the bug to climb on. He then threw the book backstage. The book later made it back onto the set. He came back to take more questions but before that, I just remember him saying 'Fuck me!’ in response to the whole thing and how he was relieved that the bug had 40 legs as opposed to 8.

When he shook that bug off his head though, that hair did not move. It’s impeccable.

The taping went on as you saw it.They retaped him saying the word 'Year’ and the Perfect Polly segment because he messed up the part about 'chirping’. The second tape was way more dramatic though with his face pushed up against the cage. The first time around when he threw (and killed) Polly she bounced off the table and hit the floor and he delivered the rest of his lines standing up.

Stephen makes funny faces into the camera while some of the videos play. It looks like he’s just stretching his face, getting ready for when he’s back on. The rest of the taping went on and at the end he asked for one more question.

Someone asked what his favourite Campaign was in Dungeons and Dragons. I’d be lying if I said I understood anything of what he or the audience member said here. But he did mention that when he was 15 he went to GenCon and back on those days, there wasn’t cosplay. Their cosplay was acne. And he got his D&D Players Handbook/Guide signed by someone significant (forgive me for not remembering this one).

Anyway the taping ended and then Jordan and I waited for about an hour after we were let out. We weren’t even looking and then we hear 'Hey ladies!’ and it’s Stephen Colbert, coming down the stairs. This is all a blur. He apologised for the long wait. In my head I was just thinking what the hell don’t apologise, I apologise for taking up your time.

I decided to give him that little vinyl Kidrobot Munny that I customized and he said that it’s cute and that he loved it! He first gave it to his driver to put in the car, then he took it again and told his security (I think) to run it back up into the office. So my night was already made at that point. He asked where we were from and what our names were and he shook our hands. He heard Australia and said he wasn’t sure if The Report is even aired there anymore (It is, only on the Comedy Channel on paid TV).

I asked if we could just take a quick photo before he headed off and he said that we’ll have to take a selfie so it could be the 3 of us but because Jordan was amazing and wanted me to have an individual she offered to just take the photo. But he was adamant that we both got photos with him so I took her photo and that was it. He was off and he just wished us a safe trip home. His hair was fluffy and newly washed and non-Report-like and it was the best night ever.

Then we were walking away and waited until the car was well and truly gone and had a freak out on the corner of the street.

On the way home we found Late Night Snack and The Killers’ Bones was playing in a bar that we walked past so everything seemed to be fate at that point. It’s like the city of New York just knew it was our last night here and made it absolutely perfect.

EDIT: I just remembered another question during Colbert’s out-of-character Q&A at The Report taping. It’s not vital but it’s information I will add to complete my memory of this night.

The question was about advice he wished his Mum had given him when he was in his mid-twenties.

Now I don’t recall this verbatim (obviously as it’s about 3 days after the taping that I even remember the question was even asked) but he said she gave the advice he needed and she wasn’t worried about him.

But he did proceed to tell the story about how a few years after that he lost his job (Exit 57 was cancelled) and he and his wife just had their first baby. He was on the phone with his Mum and he said that he didn’t know why, but he wasn’t worried. And she said 'I don’t know why you aren’t [worried] either.’

I like how I remember details days after. Excitement got the better of me.

6

DAY 16 & 17

Last night we stopped at the M&M’s Store, the Hershey’s Store and the Disney Store on Times Square. I bought personalised M&M’s for my parents and the printing went wrong for the first time so I scored an extra large cup of M&M’s for free!

Hershey’s had to be returned to because it was overwhelming how much chocolate I was about to buy. In the Disney Store we made our own Monsters University monsters! Mine is terrible but, at least I made her.

Today, we spent most of the day walking up and down Fifth Avenue, which is a money guzzling sinkhole and I hate it, it has my money. We made sure to come home early to watch the MTV VMA rerun since we missed it live. So, NYC pizza and a nice night in 

Tomorrow morning we’re going to Rock Centre to check out the NBC Store (expect many purchases tomorrow) and maybe ask about Jimmy tickets. Afterwards we’re heading down to the Meatpacking District for the day until our dinner at Buddakan.

2

WE DID IT. 

8400 miles to get to this and it’s so worth it. How the waffle pieces stay crunchy is beyond my ability to comprehend.

My amazing cousin and her husband drove us out at midnight to get Yogurtland and we stopped at CVS where I finally found it.

And, it was only $5. Back home in Australia, this sized Ben & Jerry is $13. And this flavour isn’t even sold there.

This is one for the books, guys.

Edit; I thought I’d just mention that after I emailed Ben & Jerry’s Australia about a year ago to confirm that it wasn’t available there, that was the final straw of motivation that pushed me to book fights.

10

DAY 5

Disneyland is quite literally the happiest place on Earth. I walked in, saw Pluto taking photos with people and I freaked out. Then I saw Main Street and teared up. If I lived near there, I’d take every spare opportunity to visit.

We unfortunately only had one day scheduled but we did hop between Disneyland and California Adventure. We kept running into people from our tour group in the parks and they had the most sour faces. I don’t understand. Some people even skipped Disneyland to go shopping or bar hopping. While Jordan and I were running around Disneyland like we were 5.

Anyway, Splash Mountain and The Tower of Terror were incredible. Space Mountain and Indiana Jones were closed for the times that we wanted to go so that was a bit of a downer. I also rode California Screamin’ which was amazing. It’s all amazing, really.

I went home with a Betsey Johnson handbag, countless bracelets, a plush, some things to take home for family, a caricature… and I forget what else at the moment.

I want to come back next year in time for Comic Con and maybe bring my parents for Disneyland for a few days. They’d love it.

I’m so jealous that you have this magical place in your country, people who live in America. 

Oh and Jon Stewart is a very very handsome man in real life. What a stud. I’ve seen him with my own eyes now and I can vouch for it.

And John Oliver’s dimples can be seen from space. He too, is an extremely handsome man.

DAY OF DEPARTURE. I think it’s DAY 27. After last night who cares, really.

I’m finally flying out of here in a few hours. A flight out to LA and then 14 hours back to Melbourne. Leaving here on a Thursday and arriving to Australia on Saturday morning. Pesky time zones.

I’ve cleaned these tubs out and I’m bringing them home. To remind me that the mere fact that these flavours weren’t available back home was enough to secure in my mind that I had to come to America. As if the country (or the late night show tapings) wasn’t enough to justify the trip.

Give me a few days to get back into the routine (and begin the Uni assignments I should’ve done way in advance) and my blog will return to it’s previous GIF spamming, non-travelling Tumblr it once was.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with this for a month! From what I managed to visit here, the US has exceeded expectation. And with my extended stay in New York City, it’s as if the stars aligned to make the last stop perfect.

The only negative is having to pack up and leave without a predetermined point of return. 

Spoiler alert for tonight's Daily Show.

Avert your eyes if you don’t want to know.


Seriously look away.


Don’t look.


Last warning.

Please don’t read on.

Stephen was spotted walking into The Daily Show holding a hazmat suit.

I just woke up and the first thing I said was ‘I met Stephen Colbert!’

I noticed a few of you read (maybe, most of) that post about yesterday and no one mentioned the bug thing?

Barring everything else that happened I think that bug moment was worth noting.

I actually met him. It’s a thing that actually happened. What.

4

DAY 4

We may or may not have slept through a tour that was scheduled at 9 am this morning. Jet lag finally caught up and our bodies gave us our first 8 hour sleep since we arrived here.

We just went back to Hollywood Boulevard to kill a small amount of time before we had to had back to the hotel because I still need to finish an assignment that I need to submit midnight Thursday. That up there is a slice of pizza. A slice. God, I love this country. A SLICE. That was near Jimmy Kimmel’s studio. And I bought a dress from H&M that had a B on it so, it was obviously meant for me. Trying to hold off the shopping until NYC.

I’ve decided that the one thing I want to get from every state is a 56Fifty cap, in an effort to not get too touristy. They offered customising the cap so I jumped at it. But unfortunately I had no imagination about it. Give me ideas for the next 3 caps, guys.

And tonight is the first night I’ve been able to watch TDS and TCR in the actual country, so that’s pretty awesome. It just feels right.

Anyway, Disneyland is tomorrow! But I still have 1800 words for this assignment so I guess I’ll keep working.

10

DAY 13 & 14

Day 12 is skipped as it was literally just flying. Vegas - Oklahoma - Chicago - New York. The only thing worth noting was they swabbed my hands and patted me down at the airport after my carry on went through the scanner. I’m assuming it’s because of that novelty margarita cup I had that is shaped kind of like a bong.

This city is already blowing my mind. We’re trying to get the really touristy things out of the way so yesterday was touring through Fifth Avenue, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station, and the 9/11 Memorial.

We very quickly went past Rockefeller Centre because we want to devote a day to that area, but when I saw the shop windows for Late Night and SNL I had a mini freak out. Also, just knowing that Brian Williams might be around is enough to induce a freak out.

I had my first New York City hot dog at Grand Central Station! First hot dog in America, actually. It was incredible.

The subway system is not at all scary or confusing as people have been telling me. There’s some really nice people on there, actually. They hear our accents and conversation ensues. I’ve also yet to encounter anyone snobby or mean here either. Even the catcalling I hear is polite.

The waterfalls at the World Trade site were beautiful. I found it a little unsettling that people were taking excessively smiley photos in front of the memorials, though.

Despite it being a Thursday night, Times Square was packed. And what the hell, the Forever 21 is 4 storeys and it’s open until 2am? Let’s just say, we may have closed the store.

Today consisted of ferrying to Liberty Island to look at the Statue of Liberty and I had these crazy huge onion rings. And you guys have these badass aluminium Coke bottle things; I’m taking that home with me. We walked up from Battery Park and… shopping happened.

As we were walking up Park Avenue, we hit 54th street! So technically I was on the street that The Colbert Report studio is located. And our hotel that we move to on the 25th is about a 30 minute walk to the studio… just… saying.

I added a photo of those Tostito Scoops because I just had to praise that genius chip. Who needs flat chips for salsa, scooping is where it’s at.

 

6

DAY 18 & 19

Yesterday, we just swung by Rock Centre to book the NBC Studio Tour (Friday morning!) and we went to dinner, no photos. But today has hundreds of photos. Apologies if you have me on Facebook, you’ve already seen these.

Firstly, I dropped by a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop and got my daily dose of AmeriCone Dream, then we headed to THE Coffee Shop! Seinfeld’s coffee shop. I damn near lost my mind when I saw the neon. I saw a tub of Late Night Snack but it would’ve been impractical to bring it to MOMA.

Then we spent about 3 hours at the Museum of Modern Art. I took hundreds of photos there but I’m not going to flood Tumblr with photos of photos. So instead there’s a photo of me being cultured and taking in some Warhol. Action shot.

The big deal for today was I finally got to see Jersey Boys at the August Wilson Theatre. Back when this first started in Melbourne I begged my parents to go with me and offered to pay for their tickets. They laughed at me and the very idea of going to a musical. Fine, cool parents… I got to see the New York City Broadway cast instead of Australia’s. No harm done.

I adore Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Frankie’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is my favourite song of all time. Long story short; it was incredible and lived up to my expectations and I want to go again before I leave next Thursday. I may or may not have teared up multiple times during both acts.

I love this city.

I’ll also take this opportunity to say that it’s become clear to me that I’ll be forever alone back in Melbourne.

This seems to be where it’s at. I don’t know if it’s just that American guys are more forthcoming, but I’ve been hit on about 1000% more times here than I have in 21 years of Melbourne. I’m talking like 0.001% back home.

America’s got talent.