John Oliver Ends 'Daily Show' Stint, Proves He Really Should Be Hosting 'Daily Show'
When The Daily Show fans discovered that Jon Stewart would vacate his seat to direct his first film, Rosewater, this summer, they were as disappointed as a Stephen Colbert rejected by Daft Punk. But now, after John Oliver filled in for the late night Comedy Central personality for eight weeks, fans have discovered that a future without The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is not too daunting a future after all.
Really, Oliver, who finished his Daily Show stint Thursday night, served his time in Stewart's seat during the perfect summer. Between Anthony Weiner's punchline-ready double identity and his former home's news-making abilities (hello, Prince George!), the comedian's job was almost easy. Almost.
Except for the fact that he was filling in for one of the most beloved hosts in recent television history. Stewart is a comedian who has made the likes of Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon trite and irrelevant. Stewart is a comedian who proves to be just as important as the most high-profile of pundits during each political election. And Stewart is a comedian who has owned The Daily Show for a whopping 14 years, transforming the show's first host, Craig Kilborn, into a footnote on the late night series' history. Oliver was faced with a difficult task, making it more than impressive that he bloody rose to the occasion.
It took just days for Oliver to grow comfortable in his seat — all the more laudable when you consider how long it took some of The Daily Show's failed correspondents to even grow comfortable during two-minute taped segments. And, to boot, Oliver managed to make headlines during his short term on the series, going viral for his treatment of Edward Snowden, Paula Deen, and more. The interim host hit all of the political marks that his predecessor would, but added a bit of levity to The Daily Show that is often missing when Stewart sits on the desk, often sanctimoniously. Quite simply, Oliver was goofy where Stewart was gallant.
His attitude often reminded us of another Daily Show alum: Stephen Colbert, a man who offset Stewart so perfectly, he nabbed his own television show. Here's hoping Oliver gets his own time in the spotlight, or at least takes the first number in line to become The Daily Show's next host. Even if Oliver himself has said that a Daily Show without Stewart is "like having the royal family without the Queen. It’s like the Queen taking the summer off. And you can dress up like the Queen, but you’re not the Queen."
Good news, Oliver: We kind of prefer Prince Harry anyway.
Below, watch one of Oliver's final Daily Show segments, which boasts comeback appearances from Wyatt Cenac and Rob Riggle.
Image: Comedy Central