With up to a dozen dogs roaming throughout its New York offices at any given time, "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" is "pretty much dog nirvana," according to Bark magazine, which featured the Comedy Central show's pooch-friendly workplace on its latest cover.
"The first thing new employees, show guests and visitors notice are the dogs," Claudia Kawczynska writes in the magazine's summer issue. "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 [and] charm the celebrity guests."
Stewart, who owns two French bulldogs, allowed staffers to have dogs in the Hell's Kitchen offices after taking over as host in 1999.
"This is a giant dog playground," Tim Greenberg, one of the show's producers, told Bark. "There are at least eight to 10 treat stations throughout the office. ... The only thing that would make it better is if there were grass and squirrels."
The "Daily Show" dogs edged out another fur-covered feature—"Humping Exposed: Just why do they do it?"—for the cover. According to Kawczynska, Comedy Central vice president of corporate communications Renata Luczak pitched the story to the magazine. (The subject line of Luczak's email pitch: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Dogs.")
The staff pups "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."
Before you pooh-pooh the practice, remember: these people are producing comedy.
"Everyone I spoke with agrees that having dogs as co-workers may have something to do with the show's ongoing success," Kawczynska writes. "Not only are they great de-stressors, good for morale, comforting and relaxing, the dogs contribute their own dose of inimitable comic relief to a group that's focused on creating and showcasing comedy."
"The dogs loosen up the place," supervising producer Hillary Kun said. "If I have a bad day, or am stressed, it's nice having the company of the dogs, to have them come into my office. Dogs are therapeutic."
Office "accidents," are rare, staffers say—though one pooch peed on the floor outside the green room when Sharon Stone was a guest. Producer Jim Margolis—whose dog was responsible for that faux paw—thinks his dog was simply "expressing her opinion about 'Basic Instinct 2.'"
[Related video: Dog herds tigers]
The 10-page feature includes a bunch of "Daily Show" dog anecdotes from staffers, like this one from artistic coordinator Justin Chabot about his golden retriever, Kweli:
We had both only been here about a year, and one day, during Jon's Q&A with the audience right before the taping, Kweli ran into the studio and directly to one audience member's feet, then sniffed and sat down. Everyone behind the scenes (including me, of course) was freaking out, because this was a clear lapse in discipline on the part of both owner and dog. As I was going to get him, Jon asked the guy, "What, are your pants made of liverwurst?" and the guy replied, "No, but I do have one Snausage treat in my pocket. Can he have it?" This one tiny Snausage is apparently what caught Kweli's attention from 70 feet away, through a couple of hallways behind the studio. To much applause, Kweli was awarded the object of his sensory desire.