John Oliver has a simple goal when he steps in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show this summer: don't kill the franchise. The British comic will be hosting the Comedy Central program starting June 10th while Stewart goes on leave to direct his first feature film, expected to wrap by September.
"When he gets back, I'm just trying to make sure this building is not on fire both physically and metaphorically," Oliver told The Hollywood Reporter. "That is the aim, just to keep the show on the air for a few months."
Oliver joined The Daily Show in 2006, and he's become known for biting features on American politics, including recent debates over gun control. Oliver, who also appears in a recurring role on the NBC comedy Community, said politics in America "has become infused with narcissism."
"The recent gun control debate is the most pathetic thing I've ever seen," Oliver said. "I've been here for seven years, and I was working in political comedy back in England for a while. And the gun control debate was the single most pathetic piece of attempted legislation I've ever witnessed."
Although Oliver acknowledges tilting leftward in his personal politics, he said he's under no illusion that change is imminent.
"I would have voted for the president, but I would have been realistic about the expectations of that vote," he said. "If you’re asking me, would I have voted for Mitt Romney, the answer is absolutely not. Emphatically not. I cannot envision a world in which I would have voted for Mitt Romney unless I sustained a massive concussion."