OK, it’s not quite as awesome as it sounds… but pretty awesome.

So I still haven’t fulfilled my dream of appearing on the Daily Show. My publicist tried to get me on — no luck. I mailed the Daily Show a copy of my book with a nice letter — no luck. I watch his show like every single night — he doesn’t even seem to notice.

So I finally decided to go for broke and just go to the show (I live six blocks from the studio) and hand deliver a copy of my book to Jon. Of course the day I manage to get tickets is (a) my birthday and (b) a blizzard. (My toes are still recovering.)

Whatever. I hike in the snow to get my ticket, wait in a godforsaken Subway Sandwich shop for two hours, wait out in the snow again to be let into the studio, and I’m one of the last 20 people who make it in by the skin of our teeth. In the back row. Of course.

So the warm-up comedian comes out, followed by Jon himself, and Jon riffs on the terrible weather and asks people if they came from somewhere warm. He glances in the direction of my section and says, “Was there a question over here?”

I seize the opportunity and raise my hand high. He calls on me. I say, “I don’t have a question, but it’s my birthday!”

He goes, “Oh, happy birthday! Did someone bring you here?”

“I brought myself.” (My husband had to work. I live six blocks away. Just got the ticket last night. No big deal.)

His face falls and he says, “Wow, that is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.”

The audience titters and I say, “And I brought you a gift!”

Jon pauses. “You’re here alone, on your birthday, and you brought ME a gift? Oh man, uh… I got you something, too!” He looks at his hand, which is holding a pen. “A pen!”

The audience laughs again. He hands it to the front row to hand back to me, and I pass my book down to him. He takes it and reads, “Fast Times in Palestine: A Love Affair with a Homeless Homeland. This sounds like a really interesting book. Is that something you wrote?”

I say, “Yeah. And there’s a dick joke in it!”

The audience laughs big and Jon looks mock-stunned. (Even the camera guys are smiling.) He says, “That was going to be my next question: Is there a dick joke in it?” He flips the book over and says, “So you lived there?”

“Yeah, for two years.”

“What did you do?”

“I was there first as a tourist, then a volunteer, then a journalist, then I worked with a Palestinian presidential candidate.”

“Wait, how long did you say you lived there?”

“Two years.”

“So, in other words, you did more in two years than most of us do in our whole lives.” The audience chuckles again. “So what’s the dick joke? Is it something lewd, something raunchy? Like, ‘Hey, I got your Dome of the Rock right here…'”

I laugh. “No, it’s a… translation problem.”

“Ah. Nice. Thanks. Anyway, we gotta get started…” And soon the show began and the cameras were rolling.

So tonight when the episode airs, if Jon isn’t playing with a pen as usual… It’s because I have it. 🙂

Sadly, the pre-show Q&A is not televised. But here’s hoping Jon is at home reading my book right now… Hey, a girl can dream!

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P.S. If you’re wondering WHY I brought up a dick joke instead of something more serious, it came from a Facebook thread where I was lamenting the fact that I still hadn’t managed to appear on The Daily Show. A friend said, “Maybe he doesn’t know how to convert your particular story into ‘funny.'” He suggested I let him know there’s a pretty funny dick joke in my book. (Jon is always talking about and making dick jokes — it’s a recurring theme.)

I thought about it and realized it would certainly be better (in that setting) than trying to be earnest, or worse, begging to be on the show like a schmuck. 🙂

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