Some of you may know him from his position as Senior British Correspondent on The Daily Show. You may know him from his role as psychology professor, Dr. Ian Duncan, on Community. Others may know him only from the world of stand-up. Regardless of how, and whether you do or not, the important thing is that if you find yourself sans anything to do on Saturday, 12 March, head on over to the House of Blues in Dallas’ West End for what will be nothing short of a laugh-filled evening with John Oliver, himself.
It was a tellyspotting brush with greatness recently and an opportunity to spend some time with the self-described entertainer and irritant, John Oliver, in advance of his trek to the North Texas area.
John Oliver: Good question; and one that I imagine about 90% of your readers are already asking themselves. Who the hell is this guy I’m being asked to be curious about? I think the easiest way of putting it is that I’m “that British guy” from “that thing”.
TS: You grew up in Liverpool. For a first-time visitor, play Chamber of Commerce head and share with us the top-5 must do things to do or see in Liverpool.
JO: I did not in fact grow up in Liverpool; Actually, family is all from Liverpool, but I grew up elsewhere. Therefore, from my experience, the top 5 things I would say to do or see in Liverpool all involve visiting my Grandparents.
TS: As a former office holding member of the Cambridge Footlights, have you ever thought of the legacy of other members such as John Cleese, Peter Cook, Douglas Adams, Stephen Fry, David Frost and Hugh Laurie and wondered “..why wasn’t I picked to play HOUSE instead of Hugh Laurie?”
JO: Absolutely. I feel I could play a cantankerous, limping doctor at least 20% as well as he does. Either that, or my accent qualifies me to be a witheringly negative judge on America’s Got Talent. I guess the producers there went with Steven Tyler instead.
TS: You’re a fan of Liverpool FC and the New York Mets. If Liverpool FC and Manchester United were to play an FA Cup final in Yankee Stadium, as a Mets fan, could you bring yourself to enter Yankee Stadium for a match of this magnitude?
JO: That would be a very tricky. I think I would have to go to the game, but I would bring with me an industrial sized bottle of Purell to douse myself with every five minutes.
TS: Was your British accent key to you becoming Senior British Correspondent for The Daily Show?
JO: Yes – I just demanded that they employ me, and luckily this accent still carries enough authority that they capitulated on the spot.
TS: Do you ever stop to realize the importance people put on The Daily Show as their primary news source?
JO: No. I completely disagree with the idea that this show is a news source. If it is anyone’s ‘primary news source’, then the person in question is in real trouble.
TS: You, John Oliver, are someone’s main source of news for world events. Are you consumed with sheer terror, overwhelming responsibility or just sadness that it’s come to this at this point? Or, all three?
JO: As I’ve said, I feel no responsibility; so it would really be a mixture of terror and deep, deep sadness.
TS: Did your recent pilgrimage to Texas and recent report on the election of the Speaker of the Texas State House change your thoughts with regards to Texas seceding from the United States and becoming the Republic of Texas?
JO: To be honest, the main memories I have of that trip was eating some of the best BBQ I have ever shoveled into my face. I’m still reeling from some brisket that I ate in Houston – my British palate has never had such flavors to comprehend. For its meat alone, the rest of the United States should never let Texas secede.
TS: In 2500 words or less, please explain the concept of cricket to America and why it not only seems to last for days and days, it does.
JO: Cricket is an endurance sport both for the participants and for the spectators. It might well be the first ever tantric from of athletic competition. To play for five full days and not achieve a result provides the kind of inner peace that Buddhist monks spend years on mountain tops trying to achieve.
As John said at the beginning, people may think of him as “…that British guy from that thing”, but I can assure you that, after the show, you will walk to your car thinking you’ve just spent the evening with a truly great rising star comedian who possesses a brilliant sarcastic wit and impeccable….timing.