John Oliver: 15 Now-You-Know-Facts

John Oliver: 15 Now-You-Know-Facts

He might be the worst professor on Community. He's the unlikeliest of comedy revolutionaries. We tune in every week, even the times when it makes us feel way worse about the world. We may or may not have donated to Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption. Here's 15 facts about John Oliver, America's British comedian: 

Co-host of The Bugle

The Bugle logo

Wikimedia Commons: The Bugle

He might be known for The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, but fans of political comedy are missing out if they don't know about The Bugle, the podcast Oliver co-hosted with Andy Zaltzman from 2007-2015. If ComedyNerd can editorialize, this may be one of the most side-splittingly funny podcasts in the history of political podcasts. A must-listen for any Oliver fan. 

John Oliver is not an investigative journalist

Last Week Tonight at the Emmys

Shutterstock: Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro

Pictured: a team of not-journalists celebrating an Emmy for not-journalism

Despite lengthy, well-sourced, and thorough examinations of serious issues that often go underreported in mainstream media done in an easily digestible way in the service of educating the public, John Oliver claims to not do journalism. Well, maybe 60 Minutes better shape the hell up, then, ‘cause we aren’t listening to that irritating stopwatch anymore. The stories that Oliver, uh…talks at us about matter. Everybody else is playing catchup. 

Liverpool Supporter

Liverpool FC logo

Shutterstock: Best Image 888

A piece of information we simply cannot do without when it comes to British celebrities. The bloke with family from Knotty Ash and the Wirral supports Liverpool FC. Man, British town names rule. 

…Who Helped Him Hide From Republican National Convention Security

John Oliver and Kate Norley

Wikimedia Commons: Montclair Film

Oliver and Norley met at the 2008 Republican National Convention. He was there with The Daily Show, she was there with Vets For Freedom. You know how that Avril Lavigne song about meet-cutes goes. Oliver and crew got chased by security for entering a restricted section, so Norley helped them hide. If your partner won't agitate the RNC or help you hide when you do, sorry, they're not the one. 

Initially Terrified of Moving Past The Daily Show

After a substitute run hosting The Daily Show while Jon Stewart directed a movie, it became clear Oliver had outgrown his correspondent role. This was, of course, terrifying. When CBS came calling in anticipation of David Letterman's retirement, Oliver couldn't comprehend it: “I went, ‘No, what are you talking about? No, no, no, no, no!’ It was terrifying. That was my dream job.”

Cambridge With David Mitchell and Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade

Wikimedia Commons: Yusuf Laher

Oliver was a member of the Cambridge Footlights (The Fightin' Footlights, as former colleague Stephen Colbert might say), a theatrical club at some university in Britain we've forgotten the name of. His star-studded contemporaries include fellow patterned shirt enthusiast Richard Ayoade and “our US audiences know him as the ‘are we the baddies’ guy" David Mitchell.

Viola Player


Wikimedia Commons: Ernst Roth

It's not uncommon for kids to learn to odd musical instruments and never play them later in life. What's fun, though, is learning what people's instruments were. John Oliver was ‘infuriated’ by viola. Tell us your embarrassing instrument in the comments. 

He Basically Parachuted Onto the Daily Show Set

John Oliver on The Daily Show

Wikimedia Commons: Ted Kerwin

Oliver interviewed for his Daily Show gig, got the job a few weeks later, flew coach London→New York, then appeared on Comedy Central the next night. What a whirlwind way to launch an ultimately life-altering project. 

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