Before he was heralded as the hilarious, but rational, late night voice of American politics, Jon Stewart spent his nights mopping up vomit in a New Jersey punk club. Then known as Jon Stuart Leibowitz, he was a bartender at City Gardens where he moshed at a Dead Kennedys show and had a gun pulled on him at an X show.
In the lengthy, incredibly-interesting interview with Vulture, Stewart tells us all about his days on the punk scene and the ridiculous situations that he found himself in.
Wasn't there a night when a guy pulled a gun out when you were bartending?
Yeah, that was during the X show. It was the first time I've ever held a gun in a non-structured environment. There was an off-duty cop there. It was a pretty heavy punk scene and it could get somewhat aggressive. I believe there was a bit of a disagreement between this gentleman and two other people who felt that his face should be hit by their fists. So I think maybe he disagreed with that, and within that a gun was pulled, and I think someone got hit with a bottle and things went flying and I ended up with the gun behind the bar.
So you held onto the gun until the cops came?
Yeah, the cops were somewhat familiar with the establishment. This was probably '86, '87.
That was probably a few years before I started going there as a kid. You know that there's both a book and a documentary coming out about it this year?
Aw, that's nice. It was a wonderful place. [Owner] Tut was super warm and open, and Randy Now booked great music. City Gardens, man. It just reeked of possibility, along with God knows what else, whatever other secretions and body fluids that were there. Every week, man. Like these visitors from the Enchanted Lands would show up in a bus and come here and play this amazing music. It was very, very special.