Magazine article Variety

America Loved Its Daily Dose of Brit Wit

Magazine article Variety

America Loved Its Daily Dose of Brit Wit

Article excerpt

John Oliver's temporary stint as 'Daily Show' host made him a marketable talent By Brian Lowry

Jon Stewart got back to work on "The Daily Show" on Sept. 3 - just another instance of an American taking a job from a hard-working foreigner.

Media naysayers acted like Comedy Central was crazy to let Stewart take the summer off to direct a movie and to tap British correspondent John Oliver to fill in for him.

Still, the supposed dangers associated with letting Oliver keep the seat warm always seemed minimal, and the rewards potentially significant. In fact, the only reason the decision was such big news is because A) the media love "The Daily Show" and can't resist any excuse to write about it; and B) most modern TV hosts are so insecure they hate the idea of anybody else sitting behind their desk for a night, much less an extended stretch.

For starters, the writing staff remained intact, and as Oliver noted in his final night as host, having observations punctuated by perfectly curated clips can make anybody look pretty damn funny. The news cycle was also accommodating, with lots of delicious stories - including the royal birth, an event tailor-made to this British import. …

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