Former host of The Daily Show Jon Stewart and host of Last Week Tonight John Oliver have a lot of history between them. Oliver auditioned for The Daily Show in 2006, and went on to spend seven years as the show's "Senior British Correspondent." When Stewart took a hiatus from the show to direct his first film, Rosewater, in 2013, Oliver took over as host. The two comedians have obviously had a long professional relationship, but are Oliver and Stewart friends?
Though we don't know if the two text each other constantly or go out for beers together, what is certain is that Oliver and Stewart have a whole lot of respect for one another. This is best conveyed through interviews in which Oliver talks about Stewart's role in influencing his career decisions. In an interview with New York Magazine, published on Vulture's website, Oliver explained that Stewart was the one who pushed him to aim higher than his Daily Show position, suggesting Stewart had a lot of faith in his Senior British Correspondent:
[B]efore he announced he was leaving [The Daily Show], he said to me, “We need to talk about what you’re going to do next.” In your head, that sounds like you’re being fired, so that was pretty frightening. But what he wanted to say was that I needed to think about what I wanted to do next ... He was a little bit of a mother bird pushing me out of the nest. When I mentioned the offer from HBO, his face changed, and he said, “You would be insane not to take that.”
For his part, Oliver is very overt with his admiration for his former boss. Oliver gushed about Stewart in his Entertainment Weekly interview in August 2015:
I left my country for that man. I don’t live in the country I was born in because I wanted to work with him ... He taught me how to do everything that I do now. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to do it. So it’s hard to overstate the extent to which I owe him everything.
Oliver also remarked that, as a political satirist, "I don’t think there has ever been anyone better, and I don’t think there ever will be anyone better" than Stewart. And when asked about what he would like to see Stewart do in the future, Oliver said, "I want to see him become the official King of New Jersey." If that's not a testament to friendly feelings, I'm not sure what is.
For those of us who love our comedy served up in the form of political satire, Oliver and Stewart are kind of a friendship dream team. Let's all go fantasize about running into these two at a bar.