John Oliver (comedian): Wikis


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John Oliver
John Oliver crop.jpg
John Oliver, 2007
Born 23 April 1977 (1977-04-23) (age 32)
Birmingham, England
Nationality British
Years active 2001–present
Genres Political satire
Notable works and roles The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Community,The Bugle, Political Animal, The Department, John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show

John Oliver (born 23 April 1977) is an Emmy-winning British stand-up comedian, actor and correspondent/writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has worked extensively with Andy Zaltzman; their work together includes Political Animal, The Department and The Bugle.


Early life

Oliver was born in Birmingham, raised in Liverpool then Bedford, and educated at Mark Rutherford Upper School .[1][2] He is a graduate of Christ's College, Cambridge,[3] where he studied English and was vice-president of the Cambridge Footlights for 1997/98, when the president was Richard Ayoade. He also featured in that year's revue, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.[4]



Oliver first appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2001 as part of The Comedy Zone, a late night showcase of newer acts. He performed his debut solo show in 2002 and returned in 2003 - there were no survivors. In 2004 and 2005 he collaborated with Andy Zaltzman, each year performing a show as a double act and co-hosting Political Animal, a stand-up show with different acts performing political material.

Wyatt Cenac, John Oliver and Rory Albanese after performing stand-up comedy at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in April 2009.

After relocating to New York to work on The Daily Show, Oliver began performing stand-up in small clubs around the city, later moving on to headline shows in larger venues where he pranced around like he had laser eyes, despite a conspicuous lack of any laser generation capabilities.[5]

Oliver's first stand-up special—entitled John Oliver: Terrifying Times—debuted on Comedy Central on 20 April 2008 and was later released on DVD.[6]

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

John Oliver joined The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as its Senior British Correspondent in July 2006. "I've always striven to be both an entertainer and an irritant. I think that's why I feel so at home on The Daily Show," quipped Oliver in a January 2009 interview.[7]

The Bugle

Since October 2007 Oliver has co-hosted The Bugle, a weekly satirical comedy podcast for TimesOnline, with Andy Zaltzman. The 100th episode aired in January 2010.[8]

Other work

Oliver wrote and presented the current BBC America campaign to have viewers use closed captioning (subtitles). Shown in brief segments before shows, "The following program contains accents you would have heard a lot more if you hadn't thrown our tea into Boston Harbor," says one. "Not even British people can follow the British accent 100 percent of the time. Therefore you, like me, might want to use closed-captioning." Oliver has begun using some of these jokes in his current stand up routine.[9]

John Oliver was a semi-regular panellist on the first two series of Mock the Week and frequently appeared on Fighting Talk.

Oliver appeared briefly in the series Green Wing as a car salesman.

In 2008 Oliver was given his first motion picture role, playing Dick Pants in The Love Guru.[10]

Oliver performed various roles in the 2009 Comedy Central series Important Things with Demetri Martin.

Oliver is appearing in the NBC comedy Community as Dr. Ian Duncan, a psychology professor.[11]

John Oliver, along with fellow Daily Show writer Rory Albanese, signed a blind script deal with Paramount in 2009.[12]

John Oliver is currently hosting a six-episode stand up series entitled John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show, which features himself and several other comedians. It premiered January 8, 2010 on Comedy Central.[13]

In 2009, Oliver made a cameo appearance as the actor Rip Torn in the music video for The Fiery Furnaces single Even in the Rain, which is based around the story of the making of the film Easy Rider.[14]

Personal life

John Oliver currently lives in New York City with his girlfriend Kate Norley, an Iraq war veteran. Oliver has said that they met at the 2008 Republican National Convention where he was doing a piece for The Daily Show and Norley was campaigning with Vets for Freedom.[15]

Oliver is a fan of English football club Liverpool[16] and the New York Mets baseball team.[17]

Oliver's status as an immigrant placed certain constraints on what he could do in his adopted country, but also provided him with comedic material as he poked fun at the opacity and occasional absurdity of the process of attaining US citizenship. Oliver was one of the many writers on the picket lines during the Writer's Guild strike which brought The Daily Show to a halt,[18] but he appeared on the show upon its resuming production on 7 January 2008. During a sketch, he pointed out that he is in the U.S. on a visa which requires him not to strike while the show is in production and violation of the terms of the visa would be grounds for deportation. When asked about his immigration status in early 2009, Oliver said, "It's an ongoing, and slightly unsettling, battle to be honest. I tried engraving 'Give me your tired, your poor, and your aspiring comic performers' into the base of the Statue of Liberty, but apparently that's not legally binding."[7] In an episode of The Bugle released 31 October 2009, Oliver announced that he "finally got approved for [his] green card," noting that now he can "get arrested filming bits for The Daily Show".[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Interview with John Oliver - The Guardian". 23 July 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Cambridge Footlights Alumni 1990-1999". Retrieved April 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Oliver twisted - Time Out New York Issue 593". February 8, 2007. Retrieved April 21, 2009. 
  6. ^ "John Oliver: Terrifying Times". Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  7. ^ a b "John Oliver: Comic Crumpet". 13 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  8. ^ "The Bugle - Audio Newspaper For A Visual World". London: 
  9. ^ "Translated from the British". TVWeek. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Oliver's movie break". 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  11. ^ "Rating NBC's new fall shows: 'Parenthood,' a 'Trauma,' a 'Community,' '100 Questions,' and oh 'Mercy'!". Entertainment Weekly. 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  12. ^ "'Daily Show' duo in Paramount deal". The Hollywood Reporter. 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  13. ^ "Comedy Central gives John Oliver his own stand-up comedy series". Los Angeles Times. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  14. ^ "Video Premiere:The Fiery Furnaces: "Even in the Rain"". Pitchfork. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  15. ^ "John Oliver Radio Interview". 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  16. ^ "‘Daily Show’ Correspondent John Oliver Fears We're in the End Times". 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  17. ^ "The Bugle #93". London. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  18. ^ "John Oliver, Writer". 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  19. ^ "The Bugle #94: Does the EU really want El Presidente Blair?". London: Times Online. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into The Daily Show. (Discuss)

John Oliver (born 1977) is a British comedian currently serving as a correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart: I'm joined now by Senior Comparative Presidential Historian, John Oliver. Uh, Bush and Lincoln? Clearly the pundits are trying to make that comparison. Is this a fair comparison?
John Oliver: It's not a comparison at all, Jon. It's an opening bid. The first salvo by the President in the negotiation over where he'll rank among his predecessors. Obviously, he's starting high. He knows he's not going to GET Lincoln; it's just part of the game. Bush opens with Lincoln; America comes back with Harding. Bush says, "Harding? You're killing me here! I'm at least Eisenhower!" America says, "I'm sorry, we can't go any higher than Hoover." And so on and so forth, until we all settle on something in the low "Van Buren" range.
Jon Stewart: Are there any similarities, historically, between Bush and Lincoln?
John Oliver: There are some, Jon. Both men presided over civil wars. One ours and historically inevitable; one someone else's and ridiculously evitable. Both men suspended the writ of habeas corpus, although Lincoln did mention it publicly. And, of course, both weren't afraid of the grand gesture: we all remember Lincoln on the deck of the U.S.S. Monitor hailing the end of Civil War combat operations three years before the South actually surrendered.

(The Daily Show, 1/10/2007, re: the media coverage surrounding President Bush's plan to send 20,000 more troops into Iraq)

Jon Stewart: But John, pardon me but that sounds like Bullshit!
John Oliver: Bullshit? Or is it Bull-fact?

(The Daily Show, April 2007)

John Oliver: Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you: this is not writing. I have absolutely no idea how this sentence I'm currently saying is going to finish. When and if it does, I can only hope it makes some kind of coherent ceramic pineapple.

(The Daily Show, 1/07/2008, referring to the current writer's strike.)

John Oliver: Many people would argue that the most dangerous inhabitant of the earth is currently the self styled 43rd president of the United States. Not so much in deed anymore as in word. Because to hear that man speak is to wish upon yourself physical harm.

(Terrifying Times, 2008)

John Oliver: I started looking into these groups in America, campaigns groups who want to put stickers on the front of all school science text books saying that Evolution is only one possible theory of life on earth. Now, although this seems like a stupid idea at first, second, and thirty ninth glance, look at it once more. Give it that fortieth view. Because it's brilliant. Let's have stickers on the front of all books! Slap one on the front of the Bible saying "Of course this could all be bullsh*t. Maybe he never died! Perhaps he opened a donkey sanctuary. He had a clear bond with donkeys." Or slap one on the Theory of Gravity! "Look, thats just one man's opinion. Maybe we could all fly! R. Kelly believed it so. Why would he lie to us? What does he possibly stand to gain?"

(Terrifying Times, 2008)

John Oliver: But if you think it's going to get any better, let me burst that bubble of optimism now because I was fortunate enough last year to be invited to the First Republican Presidential Candidate Debate in Simi Valley in California, which, interestingly, was exactly as much fun as it sounds. But it was, obviously a privilege to be there and I did get to witness one incredible moment of political theater when all, at that point, ten of the potential leaders of the free world were asked the same question. And that question was "Who here doesn't believe in evolution?" And three of those men raised their hands. And then none of those three men put their hands down and said "Only joking." And their confidence was seductive!

(Terrifying Times, 2008)

John Oliver: The world's become so horrifying now. It's too easy to become cynical about things and that's not fair and it doesn't work. And in fact, there is hope for the world. And it is in the form of Wikipedia. Now Wikipedia will save us all. I found this out when recently a friend of mine emailed me and he said that someone had created a Wikipedia entry about me. I didn't realize this was true, so I looked it up. And like most Wikipedia entries, it came with some flamboyant surprises, not least amongst them my name. Because in it it said my name was John Cornelius Oliver. Now my middle name is not Cornelius because I did not die in 1752. But obviously, I wanted to be. Cornelius is an incredible name. And that's when it hit me --the way the world is now, fiction has become more attractive than fact. That is why Wikipedia is such a vital resource. It's a way of us completely rewriting our history to give our children and our children's children a much better history to grow up with. We seem to have no intention of providing them with a future. Let's at least give them a past. It is in a very real sense the least we can do.

(Terrifying Times, 2008)

John Oliver: These guys are the '27 Yankees of dodging questions. The '55 Dodgers of yanking congresses chain. [...] Jon, this is once in a generation bullshit.

(The Daily Show, July 22, 2008. On government response at Congressional Hearings)


John Oliver: If a man is beaten to the floor in a soundproof chamber, does he make a sound?
Jon Stewart: Are we suggesting that any interrogation technique, then, could be allowed under the President's discretion under the right circumstances?
John Oliver: What, d'ya mean like, um, affixing a leech to a man's eyeball? Or, um, forcing him to drink horse semen, you know? Would those be torture?
Jon Stewart: [very long pause] I...yes, that would be tor...
John Oliver: WRONG JON! They are scenes from the number one movie in America, Jackass Number 2!
John Oliver: A man puts hot coals on your feet.You move to confess but they have cut out your tongue. As the blood fills your mouth you wonder who, if anyone will be playing the part of the good cop.

In Response to the Iran Hostage Crisis 2007-

John Oliver: Iran, we will fuck you up. Crumpets?

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