British-born entertainer John Oliver may be a permanent resident of the United States, but since 2001 he has used his status as a national outsider to his advantage, poking fun at American political c...
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|The Love Guru||Actor||Dick Pants||1|
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|John Oliver: Terrifying Times (2006-2007)||Executive Producer||n/a||2006||3000005|
|John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show (2008-2012)||Executive Producer||n/a||2008||3000005|
|Weds Iraq War vet Kate Norley|
|Begins hosting John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show|
|Joins cast of "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart"|
|Given his first film role as Dick Pants in "The Love Guru"|
|Stand-up special "John Oliver: Terrifying Times" debuts on Comedy Central|
|Temporarily replaced Jon Stewart during "The Daily Show's" summer season.|
Oliver was born in the Birmingham section of England's West Midlands. Educated at Christ's College Cambridge, he studied English while honing his skill as an actor and comedian with the Cambridge Footlights, a famous amateur theatrical club founded in 1883. Oliver, along with fellow British comedian Richard Ayoade, was featured in the club's revue "Between a Rock and a Hard Place." Oliver graduated from Cambridge in 1998, and in 2001 appeared at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of a late-night comedy showcase of up-and-coming comedians known as "The Comedy Zone." In 2002 he performed his debut solo show there, and in 2004, he and another British comic named Andy Zaltzman joined forces to co-host "Political Animal" (2004-), a radio show that began at Edinburgh but soon transferred to BBC Radio 4. The show offered the opportunity for various guest comedians to perform their own political material on-air, and was the perfect venue for Oliver to display his own talent for insightful, dry political satire.
In the mid-2000s, no less a comedic giant than Ricky Gervais mentioned Oliver's name to Jon Stewart, host of the irreverent and wildly popular "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Oliver joined the cast as the show's "Senior British Correspondent" in 2006. The years following the reelection of George W. Bush were marked by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the "War on Terror" and the economic aftermath of 9/11, leaving Oliver and his co-writers with many opportunities for clever jabs at the American political system. Having relocated to New York for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Oliver performed his stand-up routine at a number of small clubs in the New York City area. His successes at small venues and visibility on television gave him the opportunity to headline at larger, more prestigious clubs and eventually led to Oliver's televised stand-up special, "John Oliver: Terrifying Times" (Comedy Central, 2008), which was later released on DVD.
While still working on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" John Oliver began hosting "The Bugle" (2007-), a comedy podcast he helmed with his former "Political Animal" cohost Andy Zaltzman. The show is satirical in nature, focusing on politics and other newsworthy events in the United States and the United Kingdom. The program was distributed by The Times of London during its first few years of existence but has been an independent production since 2012.
In addition to his stand-up career and his work as a political satirist, Oliver has taken on a number of roles as an actor, beginning in 2008 when he was cast as Dick Pants in the panned Mike Meyers vehicle "The Love Guru" (2008). He also played several parts in "Important Things with Demetri Martin," (Comedy Central, 2009-10), a variety-sketch show hosted by oddball comedian Demetri Martin. Oliver's first role on a major network sitcom came with his addition to the "Community" (NBC, 2009-) ensemble as recurring character Dr. Ian Duncan, professor of psychology -- although he never officially joined the cast: "it's such a strange situation that I have over there, so I have no idea what's going on." (A.V. Club, July 2012). Beginning in 2010, Oliver hosted a standup showcase entitled "John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Showcase" (Comedy Central, 2010-), featuring appearances from some of his favorite comedians. He also lent his voice to the character of Vanity Smurf in the critically despised film adaptation of "The Smurfs" (2011). But Oliver's career reached a new peak when he landed the coveted gig of replacing Jon Stewart as the host of "The Daily Show" for the 2013 summer season.
|Christ's College, University of Cambridge|
|"I've always striven to be both an entertainer and an irritant. I think that's why I feel so at home on The Daily Show." -- from Suicide Girls, Jan. 13, 2009|
|Contributed to "Earth: The Book," a comedy book written by "Daily Show" writers and containing a half-naked Larry King centerfold.|
|As a permanent resident of the U.S. and not a citizen, Oliver is unable to vote in government elections.|
|Met wife Kate Norley, an Iraq war vet, when she hid him from security at the 2008 National Republican Convention.|
|Was part of the 2007-2008 Writer's Guild Strike which, he pointed out on The Daily Show, was in violation of the terms of his visa and grounds for deportation.|
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