Think of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” as the comedy world’s version of a Dominican baseball academy, churning out the next generation of sought-after talent with an alumni roster that includes Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Ed Helms. As the exasperated Brit correspondent who riffs on everything from World Cup fever to Queen Elizabeth II on Facebook, John Oliver is poised to be the show’s next breakout sensation.
Though he often delivers the fake news in front of a greenscreen, the writer-comic still finds himself in the thick of many surreal encounters. “Getting in a fist fight with Ken Jeong during the season finale of ‘Community’ before being separated by two huge men in Dalmatian costumes was, I thought, going to be the weirdest experience of the year,” says Oliver, who will be getting more screen time in season two of “Community.” “That was until the Rally to Restore Sanity, where I found myself dressed as Peter Pan in front of 250,000 people on the Washington Mall, dragging Stephen Colbert off the stage, before nearly tripping over R2-D2 and falling into Tony Bennett. I think that is likely to be my strangest day of 2010, no matter what happens between now and the end of it.”
So, what’s the best advice Stewart ever dispensed?
“He said never to look him in the eye, or he’d pick up his desk and throw it at me,” Oliver quips. “I looked him in the eye once, and that turned out to be very good advice.”