View Full Version : Sure, he’s funny, but he’s also a trained killer

08-23-07, 06:18 AM
Sure, he’s funny, but he’s also a trained killer
‘Daily Show’ correspondent a Marine reservist
By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Thursday, August 23, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — For entertainer Rob Riggle, being a Marine and a comedian complement each other.

Both comedians and Marines have to make the best of a situation given what they have, said Riggle, of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

“They both require thinking on your feet, you using all the skills available to you, improvising [and] people skills,” said Riggle, who also is a major in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve.

Riggle is a public affairs officer assigned to the Individual Mobilization Augmentee Detachment in Kansas City, Mo., according to Marine Forces Reserve.

Riggle, who earned a Combat Action Ribbon for his service in Kosovo, recently returned from Iraq where he entertained troops as part of a USO tour.

He said he made the trip because he promised himself once he got into comedy that if he ever got a chance to give back to U.S. troops, he would do so.

“I kept my promise to myself,” Riggle said. “I went to the Pentagon, I proposed it, they said yes, and I did it.”

Riggle flew from the United States to Kuwait and then to Iraq, where he visited several U.S. bases including camps Anaconda and Bucca, and Forward Operating Bases McHenry and Brassfield-Mora, he said.

He and other comedians avoided political humor to avoid making the troops feel uncomfortable, he said.

“We were there to entertain the troops, have fun, make them feel comfortable and entertain them,” Riggle said.

After their shows, Riggle said he and the other comedians would end up talking to the troops until the early morning.

“They just wanted to talk to us a lot and tell us what they did, what their mission was,” he said. “They wanted to let us know what they did on a daily basis and we wanted to hear it.”

Riggle said he was deployed to Afghanistan twice between 2001 and 2002, so he knows that “it sucks” to be away from friends and families during holidays.

“Sometimes there is a nagging feeling when you’re overseas where you wonder, does anyone back home remember what we’re doing over here? Do they even think about us on a daily basis?” Riggle said. “And I wanted them to know yes we are thinking about them and yes we are caring about them.”


08-23-07, 06:23 PM
Comedian, Reserve Marine, visits Iraq
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Aug 23, 2007 17:44:55 EDT

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” shipped its senior military correspondent, Marine reservist Maj. Rob Riggle, all the way to Iraq to report that, well, it’s hot in Iraq.

Riggle joined a team of comedians, along with a Daily Show writer and producer, on a USO comedy tour called “Operation Feel the Heat” through Kuwait and Iraq to entertain the troops. The team left the U.S. on Aug. 10 and returned Aug. 18, spending five days in Iraq. The taped bits have aired on the Daily Show this week, with the last showing Thursday night.

The tour received a warm reception from the troops, especially at forward operating bases where entertainment options are slim, Riggle said. “Some soldiers told me it was the hardest they had laughed all year,” he said in a telephone interview.

However, the comedians were unable to perform for Marines because their operations tempo was too high, he added.

Riggle, a public affairs officer who served in Afghanistan and Kosovo and earned a Combat Action Ribbon, said the first mission of the trip was to entertain the troops, while the Daily Show’s special reports — called “Operation Silent Thunder” — came second.

“Whenever we got five minutes, we went out and would grab any funny bit we could think of,” Riggle said, referring to filming Daily Show content with writer Kevin Bleyer and producer Glen Clements. “We did some pre-thinking before we left but, as you know, no plan stands up to the first contact with the enemy.”

Riggle began his comedy career during his last three years on active duty from 1999 to 2002 while stationed in New York City. He fulfilled his public affairs duties during the day and then hit the stand-up comedy circuit at night. He has made appearances on TV shows such as “The Office,” “Arrested Development,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

“I have gotten lucky and caught a lot of breaks, especially on Conan,” he said.

The idea to travel to Iraq started with a conversation between Riggle and a show producer. Riggle said that at first, Stewart was nervous about sending the team to Iraq but eventually relented, and once the military approved it, the trip was set.

As for the difference between reporting from “actual Iraq, not green-screen Iraq,” as a Comedy Central press release phrased it, Riggle said quite frankly, “The green screen is safer because obviously you’re not in Iraq.”


* Rob Riggle reports from Iraq


* American troops send messages to a vacationing Iraqi parliament