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Top three questions about my interview on The Daily Show

Last week Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, appeared on The Daily Show. Below you can watch her interview with Jon Stewart. Then scroll down and read the top three questions everyone has been asking her since her appearance.


1. Is Jon Stewart as short as they say? I met Jon a few minutes before the show started in the “Green Room,” which is where guests wait before going on air. Basically, so many people told me he was so short that I was expecting a midget to walk in the door. Compared to that preconception, Stewart is not that short. I certainly think I’m taller than him, but his stature didn’t really make an impression. What struck me instead was how quick and smart he is, with an immediate rapid fire patter and stream of jokes. I was also surprised at how he looked different in real life than on TV. There are subtle distortions to the face on camera and in person he was leaner with more defined features. He has mesmerizing blue eyes which I focused on during the interview so I could keep up with what he was saying.

2. What does Jon Stewart say to you after the interview is over and the cameras are still rolling? I wish I could remember. I have no recollection of our last exchange, it was probably some basic thank you’s or pleasantry, and I think he probably helped me step off the stage. By the time I exited the set, I had completely forgotten what we talked about – it must have been a psychological reaction to the high pressure of the situation. Our conversation came back to me in great detail when I watched the show later that evening.

3. Are you mad he plumped the books of two Daily Show staffers at the end of the show? Not at all! It was a huge honor to be chosen for the show and has exposed my book to a wide and enthusiastic audience who might not have heard of it otherwise. There’s nothing like TV for legitimating intellectual production. Seriously, I appreciate that Jon Stewart is both a consummate entertainer and a really smart guy who values books and ideas, and I think his ability to blend humor and serious discussion is a great gift to contemporary America.

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