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

Early lifeEdit

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



John Oliver appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2001 as part of The Comedy Zone, a late night showcase of newer acts. He brought several more shows to the Fringe, performing his solo debut in 2002, returning in 2003. He then collaborated with Andy Zaltzman in 2004 and 2005, each year performing a show as a double act and hosting Political Animal, a politically themed stand-up show with different acts performing every night.

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.[4]

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.[5]

The Daily Show with Jon StewartEdit

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.[6]

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,[7] 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 a recent interview, 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."[6]

The BugleEdit

Since October 2007 Oliver has co-hosted The Bugle, a weekly satirical comedy podcast for TimesOnline.[8] He hosts with Andy Zaltzman, with whom Oliver has collaborated on many occasions throughout his career.

Other workEdit

John Oliver was a semi-regular panellist on the first two series of Mock the Week and frequently appeared on Fighting Talk between 2005 and 2007.

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]

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

Personal lifeEdit

Oliver is a fan of English football club Liverpool.[11]


External linksEdit


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