Stewart, 'Daily Show' in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Comedian Jon Stewart will make a special preview appearance Saturday as Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" gears up for a week of broadcasts from Ohio.

Stewart said the Saturday event will be at Value City Arena, an appearance added after spaces for the four nights of tapings at Ohio State University's more intimate Roy Bowen Theatre filled up.

The Ohio "Midwest Midterm Midtacular" excursion marks the popular news parody show's fifth trip outside New York in 10 years, but its first to "a random zone" outside a big city on the East or West Coast, Stewart said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We wanted to go there because Ohio was so crucial last time. They were sort of the focal point, the swing state, if you will," he said. "We want to know what happened to all that loving attention that they were given in 2004, and if they feel lonely."

Asked if he would be laughing at Ohio or with Ohio, Stewart equivocated.

"First of all, I didn't realize Ohio was laughing. I was not aware of that," he said. "We will be laughing with parts of Ohio at other parts of Ohio. But I won't say which ones."

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James -- whom Stewart called "for all intents and purposes, the king of Ohio" -- will be the featured guest on opening night Monday.

Stewart said many of the big-name politicians the show approached -- including U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, Gov. Bob Taft and gubernatorial candidates Ted Strickland and Ken Blackwell -- declined.

As for Taft, he said, "We had a shot at him for a bit there. Then we realized that his approval ratings actually make Cheney seem likable."
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