Sunday, April 18, 2010

Daily Show Correspondent reveals all to Lebanon Opera House Crowd

Aasif Mandvi brought his multi-media show to the Lebanon Opera House Saturday April 17, 2010. His show opened with a video clip of his first appearance on The Daily Show (TDS) with Jon Stewart. Mandvi was an actor in New York when he got the call to audition for TDS, after TDS writers, in 2006 came up with a bit for a Middle Eastern correspondent.

He interviewed with Jon Stewart, who Mandvi says “smells like paprika”, performed his “best Stephen Colbert” and recited a piece from Henry IV. Stewart said “just read the piece.” He was hired on the spot and brought to the rehearsal at 4:30. The rehearsal consists of the writers and producers sitting in the audience while the troupe runs through the material for the day. Mandvi looked out into the audience and saw a guy in a baseball cap sitting with a teenager. He thought “My god, Bruce Springsteen works at The Daily show.”

Mandvi shared with the audience a theater piece he wrote explaining his journey from Bombay to northern England to America. His father immigrated not for freedom or an ideal, he immigrated for a word. “A very American word…BRUNCH” ; where else can you get a stack of pancakes 8” high, with too many toppings to describe, OJ, Tomato Juice, coffee, eggs for a mere $7.95. His father called from West Palm and told his family to leave everything behind and get to America. Only Americans would come up with a meal between breakfast and lunch, bloody brunch.

Another video clip shown was the episode on Immigration; Mandvi says that he’s brown but of the tech support, cardiology brown not the dishwasher, parking lot attendant brown. America’s slogan of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free has been re-branded to “What can brown do for you?”

After a few more video clips, Mandvi opened the floor to questions from the audience. All in all a very entertaining evening.

More photos may be viewed at: http://www.photosbynanci.com/aasifmandvi.html