My freshman college roommate flew back east and invited me to go see The Daily Show with some other friends from WPI. We got in line around 2 p.m. for the 6 p.m. taping. This gave us plenty of time to catch-up and shoot the breeze. Meanwhile the crew was rather supportive and handed out water to make sure everyone was well hydrated and let us into the studio a bit early. The studio is rather small and almost resembles being inside a warehouse. It seems to fit around two hundred people and luckily if you are able to get a seat you have a great view.
Before the show began they sent out a warm-up comedian to get the energy flowing and explained to us how the taping works. They use a method called live-to-tape. This means that the show is recorded in (mostly) a single shot and the audience has microphones above them to record their laughter. The Daily Show does not use laugh tracks. They did do a second take on the portion of the show about Charlie Rangel which was then spliced back into the show during editing. After that Stewart answered questions from the audience before they began taping. Finally the experience ended with the recording of a monologue for the global edition of the show. Overall it was a fantastic experience and well worth the nothing that was paid for it.