From the Daily Show to a weekly deal of his own

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - BRAD OSWALD

IF there’s a funny per­son on tele­vi­sion who has earned a shot at host­ing his own funny TV show, it’s John Oliver. The be­spec­ta­cled Brit co­me­dian put in eight solid years as a mem­ber of the fake-newsteam en­sem­ble on The Daily Show with Jon Ste­wart, clos­ing out his ca­reer-mak­ing run by fill­ing in for Ste­wart for eight weeks last sum­mer while the Daily Show host was on hia­tus di­rect­ing a movie. At the same time, Oliver built a rep­u­ta­tion as a solo per­former by star­ring in a made-for-ca­ble standup-com­edy spe­cial, John Oliver: Ter­ri­fy­ing Times, and then host­ing four sea­sons of John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show on U.S. ca­ble’s Com­edy Cen­tral. He’s more than ready. And now, the time has come. Oliver re­turns to TV this Sun­day on HBO Canada (check list­ings for time) with a weekly fake-news show of his own, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, a satir­i­cal look at the past seven days in news, pol­i­tics and cur­rent events that will most def­i­nitely play to his strengths as a cynic, critic and able dis­penser of Brit-ac­cented right­eous in­dig­na­tion. The big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing Oliver and Last Week Tonight is carv­ing out a unique place and iden­tity in a satir­i­cal news/com­men­tary land­scape that al­ready in­cludes his for­mer home, The Daily Show, its very pop­u­lar spinoff, The Col­bert Re­port, and HBO’s long-run­ning Real Time with Bill Ma­her. When he faced the me­dia for the first time af­ter his HBO show was an­nounced last Jan­uary, Oliver — a grad­u­ate of Cam­bridge Univer­sity who was a mem­ber of the pres­ti­gious Cam­bridge Foot­lights com­edy troupe (whose alumni list also in­cludes John Cleese, Gra­ham Chap­man, Peter Cook, Stephen Fry and Hugh Lau­rie) — said his goal was to cre­ate a show that de­liv­ers fast-break­ing com­edy while tak­ing full ad­van­tage of the added

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