November 29, 2006


A "Self-Contained Artist"

Tom Waits does The Daily Show.

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to the taping and it was amazing. It was Jon's birthday and he was in a great mood, giddy over the fact that Waits was the guest (only the second time the show has had a musical performance on the show). As you'll hear in Jon's introduction to Tom's song, Jon referred to it has his "moment of zen." Unfortunately, The Daily Show and/or Comedy Central saw to it that the zen-like moment was completely destroyed by cutting off the tail end of the song. To be fair, Tom apparently switched songs after his soundcheck (a director's nightmare, a producer's math problem) but I think Waits chose a more appropriate song, "Day After Tomorrow," for a show that has consistently referred to the war in Iraq as "Messopotamia":
I got your letter today
And I miss you all so much, here
I can't wait to see you all
And I'm counting the days, dear
I still believe that there's gold
At the end of the world
And I'll come home
To Illinois
On the day after tomorrow

It is so hard
And it's cold here
And I'm tired of taking orders
And I miss old Rockford town
Up by the Wisconsin border
But I miss you won't believe
Shoveling snow and raking leaves
And my plane will touch tomorrow
On the day after tomorrow

I close my eyes
Every night
And I dream that I can hold you
They fill us full of lies
Everyone buys
About what it means to be a soldier
I still don't know how I'm supposed to feel
About all the blood that's been spilled
Look out on the street
Get me back home
On the day after tomorrow

You can't deny
The other side
Don't want to die
Any more than we do
What I'm trying to say,
Is don't they pray
To the same God that we do?
Tell me, how does God choose?
Whose prayers does he refuse?
Who turns the wheel?
And who throws the dice
On the day after tomorrow?

I'm not fighting
For justice
I am not fighting
For freedom
I am fighting
For my life
And another day
In the world here
I just do what I've been told
You're just the gravel on the road
And the one's that are lucky
One's come home
On the day after tomorrow

And the summer
It too will fade
And with it comes the winter's frost, dear
And I know we too are made
Of all the things that we have lost here
I'll be twenty-one today
I've been saving all my pay
And my plane will touch down
On the day after tomorrow
And my plane it will touch down
On the day after tomorrow
Honestly, how can you cut a second of that? Couldn't the producers have found something to lose in the show (such as the very long outgoing "Slow News Day" bumper) or asked the network to let them go over by 30-40 seconds? Were they afraid of screwing up people's TIVO recordings? You'd think they'd at least show the whole thing on their website.

Oh well. Tom was still great and The Daily Show still rocks:

Tom brought me to tears in Amsterdam in '04 when he played that song. Glad that you made the taping.
Luckily, I always tape the Colbert Report right after the DS. Because my DVR cut the song off before the credits started.
How are you liking Orphans?
orphans is epic. what a perfect, early christmas gift.
Absolutely! I really enjoy putting all three cds in on shuffle and letting it play. But the Bawlers are classic TW.
BTW, I really enjoy your site. thanks for posting so much cool stuff.
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