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When Jon Stewart, 50, takes a 12-week-long hiatus from “The Daily Show” this summer to shoot his new movie “Rosewater” overseas, it’s “Senior British Correspondent” John Oliver, 35, who will take over his hosting duties.
Oliver joined the Comedy Central show in 2006 fresh off the boat from England, where he was performing at comedy festivals and co-hosting a popular political radio show for the BBC.
But since his rise to fame in the states as a critic of American culture on “The Daily Show,” little else is known about the funnyman from across the pond.
“[Oliver] quickly established himself as a favourite, both with the show’s audience and with Mr. Stewart,” writes the New York Times. “But replacing Mr. Stewart for such an extended period of time is a risk for ‘The Daily Show,’ which has only rarely relied on a substitute host in the past.”
In fact, it’s the first time in Stewart’s 14 years as the show’s host that he has taken an extended period of time away.
When Stewart acted in films in the past (don’t forget about his role in Adam Sandler’s 1999 film “Big Daddy”), Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, among others, have sat in for him.
For Colbert, the extra “Daily Show” screen time was career-launching, leading him to have his own successful Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report” from 2005-2012.
In 2008, Colbert’s ratings even rose as Stewart’s fell following how each show handled the Hollywood writer’s strike.
“Jon Stewart’s ratings have suffered from his long layoff, while Colbert Nation is only getting bigger,” Vulture reported at the time. Colbert went on to win five primetime Emmy Awards.
While Comedy Central and “The Daily Show” won’t yet comment on Oliver’s casting or how the show may look different come summer, looks like this is just the beginning for John Oliver.
1998: John graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge, where he studied English and was VP of the Cambridge Footlights — an amateur theatre club.
2001: John first appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of The Comedy Zone, a late-night showcase of newer acts.
By 2002, he had a solo show at the comedy festival, where he would continue to perform for years to come.
Jon Stewart became aware of the radio show by his English friend, Ricky Gervais, and liked what he heard.
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