John Oliver did such a stellar job substituting this summer as host of The Daily Show, everyone just naturally assumed Oliver had become the de facto successor to Jon Stewart whenever he’d decide to step down from his role atop Comedy Central’s late-night talk show.
Did they think nobody else noticed?
HBO certainly saw Oliver as an affable, capable host for the right now, and signed him up late last week to host his very own weekly late-night talk show, on Sunday nights come early 2014.
“We weren’t otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on The Daily Show, we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO,” said Michael Lombardo, HBO’s programming president. “We are extremely excited that John has agreed to make HBO his home.”
For his part, Oliver said publicly: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at The Daily Show for the best seven and a half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”
His first appearance after the announcement came live late Friday afternoon as the scheduled guest on FOX Sports 1’s Crowd Goes Wild. Where Regis Philbin gave him the business. Oliver said Stewart is “fine” with the decision and that they’d talked about a moment like this for some time. “I’m a small cog in that mighty machine, so that machine exists without this particular British cog,” Oliver said Friday.
Roll the clip!
Of course, several cogs have left The Daily Show in the past decade to become stars in their own right, from Stephen Colbert to Steve Carell, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Mo Rocca, Lewis Black (who still appears from time to time with “Back in Black” commentaries)
In addition to his seven-plus years as a correspondent and guest host on The Daily Show, Oliver also hosted four seasons of John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show on Comedy Central.
Whether he hosts any future stand-up showcases for Comedy Central or not, you’ll still be able to hear his weekly satirical podcast, “The Bugle,” with Andy Zaltzman, and see him in 2014 in the fifth season of NBC’s Community.