Jon Stewart flyers a hoax

Alexandra Finkel

Despite an overwhelming response from students to flyers advertising Jon Stewart’s appearance at Northwestern, the Daily Show host will not be coming to campus, a Norris Box Office student supervisor said Wednesday.

Dozens of April Fools’ Day prank flyers appeared across campus advertising Stewart was coming to perform at Tech Auditorium on May 1.

“Operation Purple Presents Jon Stewart Comes to Northwestern,” the flyer read. “Tickets go on sale April 3rd at noon. Tickets are sold first come, first serve at the Norris Box office.”

Medill freshman Fenit Nirappil said he and three friends began planning the April Fools’ Day prank a few days ago.

“I had the idea to make fake flyers and one of my friends said, ‘why don’t we advertise that a fake celebrity is coming,'” Nirappil said. “We had quite a debate about who it would be – we were torn between Andy Samberg, Stephen Colbert, Zach Braff and Jon Stewart.”

The group ultimately decided on Stewart.

“We thought he would be somewhat realistic because he wasn’t an alum and hadn’t spoken at NU in the past two years,” Nirappil said.

The four freshmen printed 40 flyers and placed them around Norris, near the arch, in the Technological Institute and in various residential colleges and halls.

Norris Box Office Student Supervisor Ana Valdez said when she arrived at work Wednesday afternoon, she was bombarded with phone calls and questions from curious students.

“He is not coming to campus,” Valdez said. “We all knew it wasn’t true.”

Valdez said the April Fools’ prank was successful, but made her job more difficult.

“It was pretty annoying because it made us look bad because no one knew who Operation Purple was,” the Weinberg sophomore said.

“We put up a sign that said we weren’t selling Jon Stewart tickets, but then more people stopped by (and were) confused.”

Weinberg freshman Deeya Burman was one of many students fooled by the prank. Burman saw the flyer on a bulletin board in her dorm.

“I was all alone in the stairwell and I saw it and screamed, ‘oh my gosh, that’s awesome’,” she said. “I was really excited and I planned to get tickets on time unlike what happened with Demetri Martin.”

When her roommate came in angry about being pranked, Burman realized she had been duped.

“Even though I really wanted to see him, I wasn’t that disappointed,” she said. “I just thought it was a witty and clever April Fools’ joke.”

Nirappil said he didn’t know the prank would cause a problem for the box office, but was satisfied with the hoax’s results.

“We were sorry to cause an inconvenience,” he said. “But I’d definitely do it again. There weren’t that many major April Fools’ Day jokes this year so I’m glad we were able to pull off a prominent one.”

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