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The Dogs of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Take this job and love it
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Aunt Blanche
Aunt Blanche

Here at The Bark, we’re always looking for stories that examine the really big ideas affecting the lives of dogs. Our mission started 15 years ago, when we created the magazine in order to cover the burgeoning dog-park movement.

Recently, we had the opportunity to take our mission indoors — to see how dogs add harmony, fellowship and an atmosphere of well being to a very active and creative workplace. This particular lead came to us, unexpectedly, late last year. The email subject line read “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Dogs,” and it came from Renata Luczak, vice president of corporate communications for Comedy Central. Dogs had joined the ranks of The Daily Show, and staffers and others thought it would make a good story for The Bark to cover, and, oh, yes, they are “huge fans of Bark and would be so thrilled to be in it.” At Bark central, we were thrilled and flattered, of course, but we also took the story to heart. We were curious if these dogs could have it that much better than other office dogs throughout the land.

To find out, in early spring, I spent the day at The Daily Show offices in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, where I met the dogs, sat down with the people, watched a photo shoot and generally saw for myself just how good the show’s dogs have it. Here’s my report.

This dog-friendly workplace started about 15 years ago with Georgia Pappas, then the show’s production manager, and her Tibetan Terrier, Cosmo. Fortunately for Pappas and Cosmo, Jon Stewart is crazy about dogs. Double fortunate, the show’s offices and studio are in a building managed by Adriane Truex, who shares Stewart’s canine appreciation. Permission was quickly granted, and it didn’t take long for more dogs to follow.

These days, the first thing new employees, show guests and visitors notice are the dogs. Free-ranging and ubiquitous, they have become an integral part of the office landscape: roaming, playing or lying about, with toys scattered everywhere. They attend staff meetings, share office chairs, charm the celeb guests — in short, The Daily Show is pretty much dog nirvana.

How else would you define a place where dogs get attention from almost everyone, visit their friends, climb on couches or snuggle up in one of the numerous spare beds that people put in their cubicles to entice doggie visitations? Lunch is a particularly busy time. Christy and Vilma in the accounting department observed that the dogs often start in Stewart’s office (which they can freely visit), hit all the “tidbit” spots, then make their way upstairs to accounting for one more morsel and a nap on their couch.

Meet the Dogs
While perhaps a dozen or so dogs rotate through the offices, there are a few regulars, among them, Parker, Kweli and Ally. The girls, Parker and Ally, have a close and special relationship with Golden boy Kweli. Everyone remarks that after “dark weeks” (the periods during which the show’s not taping), they look forward to seeing the three dogs rush into the building, get up on their hind legs and embrace one another. Even though the humans might be dragging, the dogs are so happy to see their pals. And the romantic moves Parker puts on Kweli have elicited ooohs and aaahs from those witnessing what one person described as scenes out of From Here to Eternity.

For co-executive producer Jen Flanz, whose family has always had dogs, this inviting atmosphere inspired her to adopt Parker, a Lab mix, from Manhattan Animal Care & Control. Parker seems to win the hearts of everyone she meets, both dog lovers and those who might not yet be. She’s had a lot of training with Jen, and quickly became a regular who, along with Kweli, introduces the newcomer pups to office-dog protocol. All the dogs soak up and bask in the attention they get, from most everyone who works there.

As Jen observes, the only downside is that “our dogs are used to being here, being around people all day, running around and getting attention from a hundred people. So when we have time off, she bounces off the walls. They get so much activity and stimulation here.”

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Submitted by Amy | June 20 2012 |

I was so excited when the recent issue of BARK was in the mailbox. The Daily Show is one of my most favorite shows for over a decade! John Stewart is hilarious and seems like he would be awesome to work with. After reading your Pawesome article on the Daily Show office dogs, I love the show even more! I've always thought John Stewart was a great guy, but now I know for sure :) Must admit, I'm pretty jealous of all you BARK folks that got to hang out in their offices!!

Take Care,

Amy & the Pack: Ella,Wickett,Mr.Darcy,& Nettle

Submitted by Beth Stultz | June 21 2012 |

Congratulations to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for receiving The Bark’s First Annual Best Place to Work Award!For other companies interested in having dogs at work, Take Your Dog To Work Day® offers a great opportunity to bring your dogs to work--for a good cause (to promote pet adoption)! Learn more and download a free action pack at www.takeyourdog.com.

Submitted by Anonymous | January 25 2013 |

Wow that link that you passed us http://www.takeyourdog.com/ what an interseting site! I'm downloading the free action pack as we speak!
Thanks, Sophia.

Submitted by Anonymous | June 24 2012 |

Yay, I'm so happy that the Daily Show folks are good dog people.

But really--the owner with the sweet dog that he takes around NYC without a leash. I don't want to be a scold, but I was disturbed that this was reported without comment. Doesn't part of being a loving dog owner include protecting our pet from harm? I know a New Yorker whose well-behaved and lovable dog was recently run over by a bus in NYC after it (unexpectedly) darted off of the sidewalk and into traffic untethered. Anything could distract your little guy. Please use a leash in the city if you love your pet.

Submitted by Kris | October 3 2012 |

I agree. We are charged to take care of our pets wherever we take them.

Submitted by Jeremy McBride | May 17 2013 |

I really don’t like his brand of humor, but occasionally he will have some humorous moments. Not until reading this post about his love of dogs, did I learn about his compassion for them. I might be rethinking my opinion of Jon Stewart. More info at this web site.

Submitted by Katherine | May 23 2013 |

Never watched The Daily Show much, and could've cared less who Jon Stewart was (sorry Jon Stewart). But after seeing pics of him walking his rescue pit and learning about the dog-friendly environment their workplace is, I am more curious about the show and what he's really about.

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John Oliver of The Daily Show Talks Dogs
Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show Talks Dogs
Meet the Dogs of The Daily Show
The Daily Show Preview [Slideshow]