TCA 2014: HBO host fully credits “Daily Show” fill-in as reason for his new gig
New HBO host John Oliver bashed Sarah Palin’s new Sportsman Channel TV show on Thursday — despite that he’s never seen it, nor did he know she even had a series.
“So she’s going to do to sports what she did to politics,” Oliver quipped.
The former “Daily Show” staffer left a roomful of journalists in stitches and wanting more at Thursday’s final Television Critics Association press tour panel, when a reporter asked Oliver if he would be attending the following morning’s breakfast, sponsored by Palin’s new network, the Sportsman Channel. The Brit was so excited at the near-serendipitous timing with the former Vice Presidential candidate that he considered aloud changing plans to show up for the “moose meat.”
Oliver also credited his summer job filling in for former boss Jon Stewart behind the “Daily Show” desk for his newfound marketability.
“I think it led in some way, and lets just say, the only way,” Oliver said. “That is probably the key reason why I’m here right now.”
HBO’s newest political humorist looked ahead to the new show — which is still untitled and does not have a release date — at Thursday’s Pasadena panel. Oliver said that in just its third day in production, the weekly pay-TV comedy series is trying to find its own space among established hits such as “The Daily Show” and “Politically Incorrect” in what he believes to be the “Golden Age” of late-night comedy.
Finally, Oliver looked back, speaking to TheWrap about his final “Daily Show,” which began with a fake comedy segment, redirected to a beautiful tribute for the departing veteran, and ended in hugs and waterworks.
“I’m British, so I’m not in touch with anything regarding human emotion,” Oliver began his explanation of how the touching events unfolded.
The comic had written — and re-written — and produced and rehearsed an entire Act 1 for his final on-air moment, which was (broadly) about the Queen being annoyed about people stealing nuts from her bowl at Buckingham Palace, he told TheWrap. Instead, Stewart propped his feet up on his desk and rolled several montages celebrity his understudy’s tenure.
“He said some nice thing, and I burst into tears,” Oliver concluded.