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John Oliver
stand-up comedian, writer, correspondent, and actor
John Oliver

Name: John Oliver

Birth: April 23, 1977 in Birmingham, England

Best Known For:

The Daily Show
with John Stewart


Comedy Central Special:
Terrifying Times

John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show

Smurf Movies
(Voice of Vanity)

The Love Guru


The Bugle

JOHN OLIVER is an English comedian who is known for his political satire and British wit. John became a writer and "Senior British Correspondent" on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in the early 2000s. As a result of his popularity, Comedy Central asked John to write and star in his own one hour stand-up special, "Terrifying Times". But John's big Hollywood break came with his first movie role in the Mike Myers movie, The Love Guru. Later he took on a recurring role in the NBC series "Community," playing psychology professor Dr. Ian Duncan. He declined becoming a regular cast member because he did not want to leave "The Daily Show" for it.

John hosted his own six-episode series for Comedy Central, "John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show," in which John performed alongside some of his favorite comedians. In 2013, John was given a great opportunity to replace hosting duties for Jon Stewart taking a 12-week summer hiatus to direct a movie. This was the first time in Stewart's 14 years as the show's host that he has taken an extended period of time away. Jon Stewart says he is taking a 12-week summer hiatus from "The Daily Show" to direct a movie.
Vanity Smurf Vanity Smurf Character
An interview with John Oliver reveals money wasn't the reason he voiced Vanity in the Smurf Movies...

"Being a Smurf is not a profession; it's a calling. Personally, I was visited in a nightmare by a tiny blue Belgian creature. It threatened me that if I didn't do the movie, it would come back and cut out my "mother-smurfing tongue." I'm sure the rest of the cast of the movie had similar experiences."

John Oliver provides the voice that puts the panache in Vanity...

“Vanity’s role begins and ends with himself, so there’s no real interaction between Vanity and his immediate surroundings – unless those surroundings are reflective. He's the star of his own world. His first and only skill is narcissism – but if that can help save someone, that’s great."

The appeal of playing a Smurf so self-absorbed...

"Playing anyone that selfish is appealing. The first thing you’re taught as a child is not to be selfish, to share things, to be nice to other people. And Vanity kicks against all of that. To him, no one is as good as he is. That’s quite fun to mess around with – the idea that spectacular things can happen all around you, and all of it is less impressive than your own face."

Growing up with the Smurfs...

"I’m British, which, by extension, makes me European, so the Smurfs were an iconic part of my childhood. It wasn’t something you needed to seek out – it was just there all the time. They were a predominant cultural force – these strange, blue, Belgian creatures."

The Smurfs 2 Interview
John Oliver: Voice of Vanity Smurf
John's first movie role was as "Dick Pants" in the Mike Myers comedy, The Love Guru.

Broke his nose fighting for the Confederate army... John broke his nose while filming the segment "War: What It Is Good For" for The Daily Show.

"I have made myself the promise that my work at The Daily Show will not be done until I have tackled every issue known to man and three others."
* John is a fan of Liverpool F.C. and the New York Mets baseball team.

John regularly performs his stand-up comedy act at colleges and comedy venues throughout the United States.

John first did his stand-up comedy acts in England. He got his start performing at comedy festivals and co-hosting a popular political radio show for the BBC.

Both of John's parents were teachers.
John's job on the Daily Show is much the same as a newspaper correspondent, except he has to be funnier... "It's a calling," he says. "Please devote your life to trivializing serious issues. There is a writers' meeting at 9am. Stories are commissioned. In the afternoon there is a read-though, followed by rewrites. Finally, at 6pm, the show is taped for broadcast later that evening. The skeleton structure is journalism - stories have to make sense - but it's just jokes."
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