Who can charismatically imitate a dog eating his own explosive diarrhea and a man fucking a piñata and still maintain the audience’s respect? At the Detroit Opera House, Jon Stewart performed in front of what he described as his “most perverse audience,” yet afterward, women were still screaming that they wanted to have his children.
Topics ranged from the giant Uniroyal tire welcoming visitors to Detroit, to the media circus, “sucking the tit of human misery” in the Schiavo case.
Stewart hypnotized the crowd with his sometimes lewd but always down-to-earth humor. Stewart didn’t pigeonhole himself into “Daily Show” topics and catered to the Detroit crowd in the first minutes of his show, making cracks about local issues such as the condition of the city and the roads.
He seemed happy to interact with the audience, sometimes one on one, and was forced to comment on the outcome of the Michigan State game during the 10 p.m. show after people started yelling about the loss. Stewart actually sung, “Tomorrow” from “Annie” in response to the overreacting crowd’s disappointment.
Surprisingly, Stewart’s ability to incorporate physical humor into his jokes put his act over the top. His timing was impeccable, and the audience was often eating, or laughing, right out of his hands. The political commentary impressed the liberal-leaning crowd and often seemed to play on his work from “The Daily Show.”
Performing without an opening act, Stewart looked very comfortable onstage and immediately launched into his act without falter. He overcame a sometimes overbearing audience that shouted to be included in his performance.
There were a few instances when he devoted too much time to these spectators though; while his responses to them were funny, the comments from the audience got tiresome. He also, unfortunately, reused some tired jokes that have made appearances in his past stand-up acts and some “Daily Show” episodes.
In the last part of his approximately hour-and-a-half set, Stewart drank a beer and discussed drugs, alcohol, school shootings and the tensions that seem to erupt between different religious views, blaming arrogance for many of the problems. He managed, much like his work on “The Daily Show,” to wrap pointed political commentary within his quick comedic wit.
Overall Stewart was very relevant and incredibly entertaining; he charmed the audience with his laid-back performance. Afterward, he even ran back onstage to answer audience questions and sign autographs. It was clear by Stewart’s enthusiasm that his heart was in his work, and that he enjoyed performing for the crowd.