Danger! Danger! John Oliver has parlayed his superb turn as fill-in host of “The Daily Show” into a new weekly topical comedy series for HBO.
According to HBO, Oliver’s show will debut in 2014, “presenting a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events,” and air on Sunday nights. (Presumably at 11, since HBO tends to fill the previous two hours with scripted series.)
This move also means that Oliver will be leaving “The Daily Show,” where he has served as Senior British Correspondent since 2006.
“I”m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now,” Oliver joked in the statement. “I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at ‘The Daily Show” for the best seven and a half years of my life. But most of all, I”d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it”s entirely his fault.”
While Stewart was out of the country directing a movie this summer, Oliver did a terrific job as replacement host, bringing a slightly more indignant tone to the stories he was covering – chief among them Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner’s ongoing public self-destruction – than Stewart would have, and yet still finding the comedy within the anger. Because Stewart seems in no hurry to permanently leave the anchor chair, the show’s brightest stars have periodically moved on to new gigs, whether other talk shows (Stephen Colbert) or sitcoms and movies (Steve Carell, Ed Helms). It was clear after the summer that Oliver was destined to get his own show; now he has it.
What does everybody else think? Are you sad to be losing Oliver’s voice from “The Daily Show,” or are you looking forward to his own full-time project? And assuming there are no additional “Daily Show” defections in the near future, who deserves the next chance to fill in whenever Stewart needs another break?