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Daily Show fans need not lament the absence of beloved host Jon Stewart: his temporary fill-in, John Oliver, has got it covered, and on his first day subbing for Stewart, managed to make the Comedy Central late-night staple his own.
“I am John Oliver, and let’s all acknowledge for a moment that this is weird. This looks weird, it feels weird, it even sounds weird,” said the British comic in Monday’s opening monologue.
“If you hadn’t heard by now, Jon Stewart is going to be away for the summer. He’s gone to a small Italian village to learn how to cobble shoes,” he quipped, drawing big laughs with a reference to Daniel Day-Lewis. (In reality, Stewart is is taking the summer off to direct his first feature film.)
STORY: John Oliver Will Try Not to Destroy ‘The Daily Show’
Over the course of the show, Oliver, 36, channeled Stewart’s mix of bemusement and exasperation but with an added dose of self-deprecation. He’s “barely out the door, and it turns out that not only is the government tracking everyone’s phone calls, but that’s just the tip of the [bleep]-berg,” complained the Daily Show correspondent, who predicted in an earlier interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “The ratings are going to go down.”
Here is the substitute anchor-satirist’s opener, which leads — not surprisingly — with commentary on the National Security Agency leaks.
Oliver also introduced the new segment “Good news! You’re Not Paranoid,” which “is brought to you by tinfoil.”
During his first on-camera celebrity interview with Seth Rogen, Oliver confessed to having an “anxiety dream” involving Jaden Smith in which he faced retribution from Will Smith after giving the teen a negative review of After Earth.
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