Longtime Daily Show correspondent John Oliver is leaving the program for his own topical comedy talk show on HBO. He had been a mainstay on the program since 2006.
As it turns out, HBO hadn’t been considering launching a show like that – perhaps because it already has Real Time With Bill Maher – but Oliver impressed the network’s execs when he filled in for Daily Show host Jon Stewart earlier this year. Over the summer, Oliver sat behind Stewart’s desk for eight weeks while the host directed the movie Rosewater. “We weren’t otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on The Daily Show, we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO,” commented the network’s programming president, Michael Lombardo.
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now,” Oliver commented. “I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at The Daily Show for the best seven and a half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”
When Rolling Stone interviewed Oliver in June, he had no plans to depart The Daily Show. “I’m really aiming just to make sure I still have a job when Jon comes back,” he said. “That I haven’t either destroyed the show or my role in it to such an extent that I’m still employed.” And when we brought up the fact that The Daily Show has launched some big film careers, as well as his own bit part on Community, he demurred. “I’ve yet to get tired of this,” he said. “I do love this kind of work.”