Jon Stewart on politics: “Listen,
this is the worst possible outcome for us. We now have the least
two funny people that will ever run for president.” On women’s
rights: “The power of Lilith — you can’t fight that. Right now
I’m sitting on my book of Jewel’s poetry, thinking to myself,
‘What a wonderful world!’”When Jon Stewart reflects on growing
up in central New Jersey, three particularly poignant memories
enter the townie-turned-television-titan's mind. "Hoagie Haven,
Genessee Cream Ale and whizzing on the Mercer Oak," he said.
Upon learning that the Mercer Oak is no longer
standing, Stewart responded, "I blame Yale. No question that is
Stewart — host of the hit comedy series "The
Daily Show" — took a moment for The Daily Princetonian yesterday,
speaking of his youth, his plans for Saturday's performance in
Dillon Gym and his proclivity for arson.
Of his upcoming show, Stewart said, "You can
expect — and this may be a little surprising to people — to learn
a little something about yourself, and maybe to cry. I think it
is going to be informative. It deals mostly with String Theory,
and it is going to be a nice night."
"Wait, no, that's not my performance, I'm going
to tell jokes and use bad words and stuff, he continued. Then
we're all going to head over to PJ's Pancake House and freak them
out by ordering one gigantic chocolate chip pancake."
One of his favorite memories of growing up near
Princeton is of mischievous events at the Santa Fe Cafe on Nassau
Street. "We were the ones who kept burning down that restaurant,"
he said. "It used to be a bowling alley. Then someone got the
bright idea to do something not flammable. It just burned down
like every three years."
Stewart showed early signs of comedic brilliance
when he destroyed $10,000 worth of tropical fish aquariums as
a teenager in Lawrence Township. "It was a mistake I made working
at a Woolworth's in the Quaker Bridge Mall in which I paid with
my job and the humiliation of having my brother actually have
to fire me," he recounted. "He was the head cheese there." Stewart
went on to get fired from five other stores in the mall.
When not causing massive damage, Stewart was
honing his soccer skills with his local team, the Hiberians. "Back
when I still had wind and lungs and both my kidneys, we went out
to Mercer County Community College," he said. "It would be 20
degrees out and the ground would be frozen solid, and we would
be out there running around like idiots."
Stewart also recalled other embarrassing moments
from his youth. "There was a place called Hulit's Shoes, which
also burned down. Every year at back-to-school time we would all
have to head off to Hulit's Shoes and go through the humiliation
of being fitted for hush-puppies," he said.
Summing up his childhood in the Princeton area,
Stewart said, "I wasn't a circus boy. As you know it is a pretty
Stewart did manage to make one or two trips
to the eating clubs during his high school days.
"I actually spent one night in one of those
drunk, playing pool," Stewart said, without revealing whether
he is planning an encore appearance at Prospect Avenue any time
in the future. For those eating clubs that might hope to entice
him to stop by Saturday, Stewart shared his beverage preferences.
"I think now it is more of a Budweiser situation," he said. "Now
that I have gotten older, my tastes have changed somewhat."
"Plus, I'm just thrilled by the lizard commercial,"
he added. "How can you not drink their beer?"
Stewart said he harbors particularly intense
feelings for Vanilla Ice, who will be performing Saturday night
at Campus Club. "Get me a bat," he deadpanned.
"I'll just make sure I honestly don't give him
anything large to swing," he said. "Anything you give him, make
sure it is Nerf."
When asked about whether he will be performing
new material at Saturday night's show, he replied, "A lot of it
probably, some of it not, some of it more experimental. I'm trying
to find my way again. So I'm experimenting on you guys." Stewart
is performing at Carnegie Hall in June, so he is on the road preparing
Though Stewart said he is excited about returning
to Princeton, he does have one regret. "I'm just assuming Brooke
Shields doesn't go there anymore," he lamented.