SOC Student to Be 'Daily Show' Intern
Greg Handelsman was stunned when he found out he would be interning at Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" this summer.
"I was taking a nap when I got the call," he said. "So I woke up, checked my voicemail, and saw that someone named Alicia had called. When we finally got in touch, she said she'd like to offer me an internship with 'The Daily Show.' I was really excited, and they asked if I'd accept, and I said 'absolutely,' of course."
Handelsman, a sophomore in the School of Communication, was one of 15 people chosen from a pool of 1,000 applicants who applied for a summer internship with "The Daily Show" in New York. Handelsman will work from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in all departments, including production and screenwriting, on a rotating basis.
Handelsman's internship with Fox News last semester made him stand out when he was applying for the internship, he said. While at Fox News, Handelsman was under the guidance of SOC alumna and Senior Vice President of Operations at Fox Stations Sharri Berg. He worked in the production offices and assisted in producing documentaries about then-presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain.
Handelsman tried to be friendly and personable during his interview with "The Daily Show" so the interviewers would remember him, he said.
"I tried to follow up on a lot of their comments with comments of my own and with personal experiences," he said. "I think showed them that I had some character and I really tried to get them to remember me."
Pamela Browne, the senior executive producer for Fox News, was Handelsman's supervisor while he interned for Fox News. Handelsman's proactive attitude will help him in his internship at "The Daily Show," she said.
"[Handelsman] has a can-do attitude," Browne said. "He is good at thinking on his feet. He was very sharp last summer and he'll be a great asset to The Daily Show."
Handelsman said the Writing for Visual Media class he took this semester has given him considerable experience in writing for film and TV. He said he hopes what he learned in class will help him when he works on script at the show.
As a big fan of Conan O'Brien, Handelsman hopes that experience at "The Daily Show," coupled with his writing skills, will help him one day host his own late night show.
SOC professor Sarah Menke-Fish guided Handelsman as he sought his internship at "The Daily Show." She said she is thrilled Handelsman will get this opportunity.
"I think this is fantastic," Menke-Fish said. "It's just another example of outstanding students here at AU getting extraordinary opportunities and experiences. I expect he will make such amazing impression on them this summer that he'll have other opportunities that will come from his experiences."
Confident that he will do well at "The Daily Show," Handelsman said this internship will give him valuable hands-on TV production experience.
"I'm not really that nervous," he said. "I really look forward to starting. And I'll do my best. I look forward to meeting Jon and everyone else I will be working with. I look forward to the new experience."
This story was originally published in the Eagle on April 16, 2009. You can reach this staff writer at email@example.com.