The Daily Show Without Stewart

Yes, that's who you think. I happened, and was brilliant
John Oliver joined the Daily Show in 2006, around about the time Dave Gorman also joined the cast. Ed Helms and Rob Corddry had just left, signalling the end of the old guard that had been defined by Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. Oliver was part of the new crew, which included Rob Riggle, Dan Bakkedahl, Jason Jones and John Hodgeman. Some of these names still appear. Some do not. I mention all of this because, it was about mid 2007 that I realised that Oliver was different then the rest. He, more then anyone since Colbert, felt like he was an integral part of the show. An indispensable talent that Stewart couldn't let just move on to "bigger and better" things.

Since then, Oliver has only reinforced my opinion, his appearances proving he is a perfect comedy partner for Stewart, both playing the straight man with a dash of clown, unlike the more conventional comedy roles some of the correspondents play. Each year, when Oliver doesn't announce his departure from the show, I breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the show would loose a part of itself if he did leave (his prominent first season role in Community unnerved me slightly, but that proved less then recurring) and that Stewart needs to find a way to keep Oliver in the family as long as he can, in the same way that Colbert found his purpose in life as a continuous part of the Daily Show universe.

And I think it is clear that Stewart feels the same as me. Because it has been announced that Jon is leaving the show for twelve weeks starting in June, a sizable chunk of time during which they obviously cannot simply be off air. And filling his seat during eight, or possibly ten of those weeks, will be John Oliver. It should be noted that the only person to ever fill in for Stewart behind his desk, during the birth of his first child, was Stephen Colbert. And the rest they say... is a cliche, so I'll move on.

Stewart isn't simply taking a holiday. He'll be directing his first motion picture, Rosewater. It is based on the non fiction book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival by Maziar Bahari, which Stewart bought the rights for shortly after its publication. Bahari, a BBC journalist, was held and tortured by the Iranian government for 118 days in 2009. Stewart's interest in the project is in large part because an interview Bahari did with Jason Jones in Iran, as part of a Daily Show bit, was used as proof that Bahari was a spy. Bahari appeared on the Show to promote the book, during which time Stewart apologised... a lot. Stewart is expected to return to his hosting duties after Labour Day in September.

As for Oliver, he won't be Stewart's self deprecating self. He won't be Colbert's hyper satirical self. He'll be Oliver, a subtly indignant, stiff upper lip with vast chasms of rage building up underneath. He'll be wonderful at the commentary segments, which may well be incentive for Comedy Central to carve out the 10:30 or midnight time slots for another Busboy production. The only uncertainty I have will be with the interview segments, though to be fair, they are always the weakest part of either the Daily Show or the Colbert Report, with Stewart taking ten years to really fall into a "journalistic" groove.

Even money says Denis Leary gets a role in Rosewater, though.

Via Uproxx.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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