The Daily Show With John Oliver: The 5 Best Bits

The Daily Show With John OliverJohn Oliver, we salute you.

It must’ve been daunting, filling in as the host of The Daily Show while Jon Stewart took the summer off to direct a movie. After all, Stewart is a huge reason for his show’s success: He’s the Walter Cronkite of fake news, a wry reason to flip to Comedy Central at 11/10c four nights a week. Would his faithful audience accept a long-term sub?

Thankfully, the current-affairs gods smiled upon you, bestowing such laugh-rich news events as Prince George’s royal birth and the scandal surrounding New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, aka the gift that never stops sexting.

You not only took the comedy ball, you ran with it, bent it like Beckham and even referred to “football” as “soccer” once or twice, proving what a good sport you are.

RELATED | James Franco’s Comedy Central Roast-ers Are…

So on the occasion of your last broadcast as interim Daily Show anchor, we’ve selected our five favorite bits — with video — from the Summer of Oliver. Let’s begin with:

STEALING STEWART’S FINAL MOMENT OF ZEN | As Stewart wished his audience a heartfelt goodbye in June, Oliver boorishly began measuring the anchor desk in preparation for his first day as host. “Oh wow. You’re still here. Looks like we have us an awkward situation on our hands,” the Brit said, but he didn’t let that stop him from horning in on Stewart’s last toss to the Moment of Zen. The look on the departing anchor’s face when they come back after the pen incident was perfection.

Press PLAY to watch “Moment of Zen,” then scroll down.

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FIRST DAY AS THE BIG GUY | Stewart was “barely out the door,” as Oliver noted in his first broadcast behind the desk, when the NSA wiretapping scandal broke. But that news event didn’t stop correspondents Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Jessica Williams, Al Madrigal and Aasif Mandvi from offering their real feelings about their colleagues’ sudden promotion – in the process giving Oliver a chance to show off his skill at playing the straight man. (And thanks to Buzzfeed for not actually trying to make “The 27 Worst Moments of John Oliver’s First Six Minutes” into a real post. UPDATE: I stand corrected.)

Press PLAY to watch “Good News: You’re Not Paranoid,” then scroll down.

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WEINER WATCH 2013 | We’ve already waxed appreciative about Oliver’s coverage of “An-tonny” Weiner and his various improprieties, but it bears repeating: The comedian and the Daily Show writing staff are never better than when they’re mocking something they genuinely do not understand and/or support. Plus, they’re not above a lowbrow sight gag and a silly shimmy, which makes us love them all the more.

Press PLAY to watch “Between a C–k and a Hard Place,” then scroll down.

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BABY BLITZ | Is it just us, or did having an actual royal subject reporting Prince George’s birth make the show’s coverage of the media frenzy abroad even better? Highlights: Madrigal as the town crier, Oliver’s disbelief over the horse in the pub, a moratorium on the phrase “the queen’s gynecologist” and this line: “Honestly, if I wanted to see a picture of someone else’s baby that I don’t care about, that is what Facebook is for.”

Press PLAY to watch “On Her Majesty’s Secret Cervix,” then scroll down.

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‘FRISKY’ FINISH | Oliver’s last week in the chair included a pointed takedown of New York’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which was revealed as ineffective and discriminatory. “It’s basically like catch-and-release fishing, except you get to feel the fish up and shout at it a bit before throwing it back. Also, almost all the fish are brown,” Oliver noted. His sharp musings on the law-enforcement practice became a drop-the-mic moment… followed by his actually dropping a mic, just for good measure.

Press PLAY to watch “Frisky Business,” then hit the comments: What were your favorite moments from Oliver’s Daily Show episodes?

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Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ram510 says:

    Can we keep John Oliver it’s been a great summer with him

    • I suggest THE JOHN OLIVER show to air on Fridays, when TDS is in re-runs.

      • CR says:

        I completely support this suggestion. As much as I loved John Oliver before this summer, I was so bummed when I heard Jon Stewart would be away for months. Now I’m totally sad about tonight being John’s last show. I think my favorite thing as been his indignant rage(especially toward Carlos Danger and presidential campaigns in 2013). I can’t remember the last time I laughed as much as the episode where they played the Youtube video of cats bathing, and I’m not sure if Stewart’s style of delivery would have been as good as Oliver’s, mainly cause the accent helps sometimes. Regardless, I’m happy we will have Stewart back, I just hope we get Oliver more than 10 minutes a week.

      • Angela says:

        I fully support this idea. Please, Comedy Central, make it happen.

  2. brycealexander says:

    Unwatchable when ever video has a taco bell ad at the start

  3. Eli says:

    Dear Kimberly. The Daily Show is a SATIRICAL NEWS SHOW and NOT a fake news show. And yes, that is a BIG difference.

    • Ed says:

      Lighten up, dude. Even the Daily Show people call it a fake news show.

      • Eli says:

        No they don’t.

        • Annie says:

          Yes… they do. Jon has joked that the show is “fake news” myriad times. It’s all in good fun. Everyone knows that the stories at the heart of their jokes are real, and they are all aware that the show has, at times, delivered better journalism than some of the “real” news sources. Calm down.

    • heather says:

      Thank you! I was pretty sure the news they were reporting was actually news… Not sure why she couldn’t tell the difference between “fake” and “satire”. Does she even watch Jon Stewart?

      • Annie says:

        Do *you*? As I said above: Jon (and the rest of the cast) have referred to the show as “fake news” countless times. Seriously. It’s odd that someone would come here acting like an offended super-fan when clearly you haven’t watched much of the show. And yes, we all know the difference between “fake” and “satire”. Of all the wonderful gems in this post, what an odd thing for people pick out and get offended by. “How dare you use a term (coined and used by the cast themselves) to describe them?!?”

    • Kimberly Roots says:

      Google “The Daily Show” and “fake news,” then read the description that comes up under the very first entry, which is the show’s official video page. — KR

      • Robbie says:

        It’s where you put the emphasis. It’s not that the ‘news’ is fake; it’s the ‘news show’ that is fake. That is the important difference. Comedians putting on a fake ‘news show’ using real news as the basis for their schtick.

    • Nat says:

      I think it is satirical and a fake” news show. I don’t think those two things are mutually exclusive. And as Kimberly has pointed out, they definitely do describe themselves that way, plus they are described that way in academic writing about the show. See: “Is Irony Good for America? The Threat of Nihilism, the Importance of Romance, and the Power of Cultural Forms” by Jeffrey Guhin, and the article about The Daily Show in “Homer Simpson Marches on Washington: Dissent through American Popular Culture”.

    • Anne says:

      Eli – You misunderstand the meaning of ‘fake news show’. It’s not the ‘news’ that is fake. It’s the ‘news show’ that is fake. Yes, they use real news, but it’s a fake as a news show since it’s a comedy show.

  4. Melissa says:

    you forgot to compliment his “Carlos Danger” dance! and he he should have a friday show or something! he is has been great, still love Jon Stewart, but will miss Oliver!

    • Nat says:

      I love the Carlos Danger dance! I literally sing along when he does it.

      • Angela says:

        I love the dance, too! It’s weirdly adorable :D.
        The Anthony Weiner stuff had to be my favorite of all the topics he covered-his reaction to everything tied to that scandal just had me dying of laughter. But I also loved the bit with the correspondents (they’ve been quite good, too-they’ve played off John very well. Jessica’s bit about hanging out in the crime-heavy neighborhood of Wall Street recently was inspired-that was actually my favorite thing about the whole “stop and frisk” coverage). And the way John handled the “Moment of Zen” goof-up was excellent.
        I’ll be happy to see Jon Stewart return, yes, definitely. But damn, I’m gonna miss John Oliver at the desk. Thanks for an absolutely hilarious couple months, Oliver.

  5. jen says:

    JO has been brilliant!
    And I totally agree about someone British commenting on the royal birth. Hillarious.
    Loved his interview with Helen Mirren as well.
    I hope he does get his own show. I’d watch.

  6. JLK says:

    My husband has been pitching me The Weekly Show for a couple of weeks now. I don’t know why, since I am not in the TV world. I think it’s a pretty good idea though. He thinks that Friday nights in The Daily Show slot Oliver should present satirical international/world news coverage. The Daily Show and Colbert primarily focus on national news and there is likely a lot of great material out there from other countries that could easily fill 22 minutes…or even 44 minutes on a Friday night. It could be like a spoof of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. We think it would be different enough from The Daily Show to be able to work, and the once weekly showing would allow them to focus on interesting stories that people will enjoy hearing about, whereas a weeklong format may get cumbersome with obscure stories and such.

    • arlene says:

      Your husband has a great idea. Using international news for satire would be terrific if the writers for the show were as good as TDS writers.

    • Nat says:

      That’s actually a really great idea. It’s a nice way to give Oliver his own ‘territory’, and not just have him be retreading Stewart’s material. (Comedy Central producers, take note!)

    • Angela says:

      That’s a fantastic idea. I’d definitely be interested in watching that.

  7. cuius says:

    Shows how tired SNL has become

  8. Kendal Madill says:

    My favorite was his interview with Aaron Sorkin. First week in and he “broke” the show! He has been fantastic!

  9. John says:

    It’s great to have Jon coming back but I am deeply saddened that we will no longer have John Oliver four nights a week. Please Viacom/Comedy Central, give John his own satirical news show!

  10. HAP says:

    I think that Oliver’s superb performance absolutely will allow him to write his own ticket, whether Comedy Central and Viacom are his partners, or he goes elsewhere. I never expected to enjoy the show as much as I have.

  11. maggie says:

    John Oliver has been amazing this summer. He is also a writer on the show, so he already knew what it takes to make a good show. Oliver should get his own show, like Colbert did.

  12. Alan says:

    does jon stewart even need to come back? as a foreigner i only occasionally watch the daily show online because i dont get most of the news they talk about but i found myself watching more frequently once i saw how good john oliver was.

  13. Sam says:

    Oliver is a poor’s man Stewart, Stewart is the Michael Jordan of comedy shows. (Colbert is Pippen)

  14. Betsy says:

    I was really worried when Jon Stewart left for the summer, but John Oliver has done a fantastic job. Of course, the writers deserve a lot of credit, but he really captured the whole spirit of the show and pulled it off with five stars. At my house, we are Very Impressed.

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  16. mandy says:

    Loved John Oliver! No one makes fun of the British better than the British.The whole royal birth commentary was hysterical. But he really was good throughout, from start to finish.
    Hope he finds a new tv gig.

  17. Mary says:

    John Oliver was a great substitute for Jon Stewart. I hope Comedy Central gives Oliver his very own show, maybe a daily spoof on Fox News.

  18. Midori says:

    John Swewart hasn’t been fun in years. He sits there and just laughs all the time, every 5 seconds. It’s annoying.

    Can he go make some more movies?

  19. LDS says:

    Agree, JO has been a great and seamless substitute for Stewart, and I would love to see more of him. But really, the Stop and Frisk award goes to Jessica William’s piece.

  20. Michael says:

    GREAT story! I think Oliver did the impossible in making us like him so much.

  21. Jollie (John Oliver) was really great. He needs his own show!

  22. Alison says:

    John Oliver did an outstanding job. He did a fabulous job! He made us all love him. He will be missed next week. The writers are really great to have him transition so well. I am looking forward to Jon S come back.
    But does that mean we have no John or Jon for a whole week ?? Now that’s really sad.

    Thanks for a great job John Oliver.