A Night with Jon Stewart

Last night, Bob and I drove to Bloomington to see Jon Stewart at the IU Auditorium. This was no simple trip, since apparently every single mile of street, road and highway in Indiana is undergoing reconstruction requiring huge, slow-moving machines; we didn’t make it in time for our dinner reservations, but we did get to the show. And it was worth it!

Why don’t we have a high-speed train between Indianapolis and Bloomington? We own the right-of-way and it would seem to be a no-brainer. But I digress.

Jon Stewart is not only whip-smart and a close observer of the human condition, he has a great sense of timing, and the audience was constantly in stitches. (Bob began to worry about the woman sitting in front of us, who was laughing so hard he thought she might hurt something.)

At one point, Stewart explained that since he is Jewish and his wife is Catholic, they’ve decided to raise the children to be sad. During a riff on technology, he recounted his trip to the computer store where the 17-year old clerk yammered on about gigabytes and RAM; Stewart translated: “your current computer has 4 magic gerbils inside, but this new one has 8.”

The IU Auditorium is huge, and it was packed for the first of the two sold-out shows. Given that this is Indiana–albeit Bloomington, Indiana, which is slightly ‘bluer’ than, say, Greenwood–I was really surprised by the crowd’s reaction when, during his introductory remarks, Stewart said he’d met Indiana’s Governor. The Auditorium simply erupted in boos.

I have been under the impression that Mitch’s approval numbers remained fairly high; certainly, his press has been somewhere between favorable and fawning. Political nerds (like yours truly) have ┬áserious concerns about some of his policies, but our numbers are small. So I don’t know what to make of this unexpected crowd reaction, and from his demeanor, I don’t think Stewart expected it either.

All together, an interesting and enjoyable evening, except for the drive. Can we talk about the virtues of high-speed rail?


  1. Sheila: Mitch has earned eternal damnation in Bloomington for imposing I 69 upon Monroe County. As one from southwestern Indiana, I am not in agreement for this shortsightedness, but there it is!
    I also might suggest that you spend more time here. A strong tinge of blue in Bloo-mington, yes; but the university and the diverse culture resulting from that make it, in many ways, a very enlightened city. We are two-year residents here, which, of course. makes us experts in the matter.

  2. Yes, Bloomington is one of the two blue spots in Indiana – the other being Gary. Mitch is less than beloved here – not only for imposing I-69- but also for failing to support higher education while touting an effort to bring in more high tech and science oriented jobs (and who is going to take those jobs when we don’t support our state universities?, we ask), for privatizing eligibility for social service programs despite warnings of the social service community, and other offenses too numerous to mention. He and his administration have made it clear that they disdain those in Monroe County.

  3. Forgot to say – I was there last night as well. Maybe I was the woman in front. I laughed until my mouth hurt. Too funny!!

  4. Sheila, I attended the 10:00 show last night. John Stewart was great. Also, Obama received 66% of the vote in Monroe County, nearly the same level of Lake County. The percentage was higher, of course, in the City of Bloomington. I live in Greenwood and, trust me, the difference is more than slight!

  5. Stewart, like Limbaugh, grates me with the, “Now I’m entertainment- Now I’m political commentary”, when it’s convenient to evade one for the other. However, I’m more appreciative of his wit with his post-Fox interview tendency to work both sides of the street a bit more, one example being the Newsweek cover photo of Bachman.

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