Pervez Has Left the Building

I'm not kidding. Just a few minutes ago. I saw him leave.

Before he departed, however, Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, knower of Osama's whereabouts, launcher of coups, target of six assassination attempts, appeared as a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

And now here it is: your moment of "whaaa?!"

In just a scant few hours, Jon's interview with President Musharraf will hit the airwaves -- an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime interrogation of Musharraf that promises to blow the lid off the story about how he's on a book tour. You see, not only is Musharraf one of the central figures in the war on terror, he's also the author of the new memoir In The Line of Fire. Apparently "the line of fire" intersects with our studio in midtown. Where I work.

So today was an unusual day at "The Daily Show." Bulletproof glass was installed in front of Jon's desk in the studio. There was a "sweep" of my office by what was evidently a satire-sniffing dog (and, I can only assume, a Pakistani dog, because when I asked him where Osama was, he fell suspiciously silent.) Add to that a few a snipers on the roof of our building - right above a huge banner that reads, "Welcome to Comedy Central's World News Headquarters: Not Responsible for Lost or Stolen Items."

So you can appreciate the dissonance I feel. Traditionally, comedy relies more on hecklers than snipers. And diplomats willing to sit for an interview usually prefer the terra firma of CNN over the whoopee cushion of Comedy Central.

To be sure, the hard-to-come-by interview -- the "get -- isn't an uncommon phenomenon here at The Daily Show. We've had high-profile dignitaries, low-profile indignitaries, stars you've heard of, authors you should have read. All of whom Jon interviews with insight and aplomb. And yet, it's jarring when we, as the proprietors of a "fake news" talk show as likely to feature fart jokes as policy analysis, have as a guest someone who's not only a real newsmaker, but who's making the exact kind of page-one news that we're inclined to cover as one of our headlines.

I mean, it was Pervez Musharraf, for $@'s sake.

Don't get me wrong. We were thrilled to have him as a guest. (Did I mention: he's Pervez Musharraf, for $@'s sake?) We take our job, and our comedy, seriously. But for weeks we've been trying to decipher what prompts a man like him with a job like his at a time like this to swing by a horse-stable adjacent studio like ours (aside from the obvious: that most 18-to-34-year-olds get their terror updates from our show than from any other terror source). We considered a few other reasons, all equally likely:

a) He's a fan
b) He's on the hunt for Osama, and suspects bin Laden might be hiding out in our studio audience
c) He's written a memoir that needs hawking

We've since learned that a) and c) are true, though in both cases I can't help but think that he might have more pressing matters on his mind.

Like, say, b).

And while we're on that point:

Did he break news? A little.
Did he break wind? I'm not telling. You'll just have to tune in.