Unfriendly Fire
How the gay ban undermines the military and weakens America

How Was the Daily Show?

Going on the Daily Show was a blast! The show sent a car to take me and Peter to the studio on the far west side of Manhattan. We were led into the green room where we were offered drinks and snacks and I got to peek at the legendary gift bag (more on that later). A very small amount of makeup was all that was needed, since this time (unlike at Maddow), I had the chance to shave that morning.

The show is taped at around 6pm. A few minutes before taping began, Jon came into the green room to say hello, crack some jokes and shoot the shit. Jon was delightful. He asked me about Malcolm, our mutual friend (their kids go to school together in Manhattan), paced about a bit and, after 3 or 4 minutes, he went to start the show. We got to watch on TV while awaiting my segment, and what better way to relax before an appearance than watching your fave fake news program!

Below, some FAQs by popular demand, and some pics from San Francisco, where I was honored to speak before a good crowd in the Castro district, not far from where Harvey Milk made history.

Were you nervous?
Somehow no. Of course I was what I refer to as “antsy” at times in the few days prior, but it was almost like coming to terms with death–I was so overwhelmed with how freaked out I should have been, that I passed through it and didn’t really feel nervous.

How did you prepare?
I had two brief pre-interviews with the booker. I was told to be myself and that’s what I tried to do. Jon does not give out questions beforehand–it’s an organic conversation. I went through the book a bit over the weekend and noted some of the more absurd absurdities of the policy and jotted down 2 pages of notes containing clusters of ideas and anecdotes that I might want to get to. Then I looked that over in the green room.

Was the funny story about Clinton planned?
Well, I had mentioned that apocryphal story to a crowd in San Diego last weekend and it was very popular, so i put it down in my notes as a story that might be both entertaining–I figured that if it didn’t get laughs it would still go over fine as an illuminating story about the unanticipated burden of DADT.

What’s that weird contraption that seems to hem guests in their chairs? I tried to figure that out. It IS weird, but I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around it. I think it’s just a wall to secure you into place. I did worry as I walked out that I might trip because the platform is raised.

What was in the mug?
Cold water.

What did he say privately after segment?
That’s private! But really, he just carried on the conversation naturally, asking if my book is being read in the Pentagon (it is!).

What was in the gift bag?
Lots of fun stuff, but no rumored Rubik’s cube: DS tee shirt, canvass bag and hat; bottle of liquor; altoids; Yahtzee; Starbucks energy drinks, and more.

What was the highlight?
Standing behind the curtain watching Jon on the set, about to go out.

5 Responses to “How Was the Daily Show?”

  1. Jen says:

    weird they give liquor, hmmm… wonder what jer will have to say about that — all in all a post that can set my mind to ease about all the details we’ve been so curious about – thanks, Nathaniel! Cripes, how ever are you keeping up with all of your media outlets! Good luck on your upcoming events!

  2. Geoffrey says:

    You were awesome. Fab clothes and glad the back of your head looked great. The Clinton joke was perfect. As was the September 10th translation story. People will remember. Keep it up!

  3. Dominick says:

    I am still laughing at that first picture.

  4. Jenny Dorman says:

    So glad to read the post and get the scoop since I am unable to keep up with your jet setter lifestyle. I savored all the details, but have to admit my disappointment at the lack of a Rubik’s cube. Aside from that, sounds like the experience was amazing. You were fantastic and Jon clearly had a lot of respect for you. Imagine, you cut him up telling your Clinton joke…and you even got bleeped!
    Great job!

  5. Joe V says:


    Outstanding job! We really enjoyed and appreciated your appearance in San Diego. We are fortunate to have such an enlightened analyst and advocate in you! Keep up the great work. You are sparking great vision and historical change!

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