Ahhhh my favorite TV writer is interviewing my favorite British person/second-favorite comedian (bolding is mine)
How he found out he was hosting The Daily Show:
[Jon] called me one weekend early last year and, you know, I knew that he’d been writing this script for a while. I knew he’d been writing the script for a while, and he said they had the money to do it and he was going to direct it. He said, “I’m gonna need to take a few months off. Would you host for me over the summer?” And I said yes without thinking about it really, because I’ll say yes to anything he asks me. And then he said, “We’ll talk about it in the next few months and that was it.” I hung up, and then my wife said, “What was that?” And it was only when I said it out loud to her that I realized what I’d just agreed to. I said, “I’m gonna guest host for Jon over the summer.” And she goes, (skeptical) “Really?” So there were some initial waves of panic, that’s for sure. And then it was just months of doing my regular job, which doesn’t really give much time for thought about other things. And then it all happened very fast. He left on Thursday and the Edward Snowden story broke the next day. So there wasn’t much time for my feet to hit the ground, which is probably a good thing.
man, I never imagined it had been over the phone…I was sure the conversation had been in person.
On his last night at The Daily Show, when Jon surprised him with a best-of-John-Oliver reel:
I was completely blindsided. And I’m British. I don’t really have access to my emotions on a daily basis. It was a tough day. I was not ready to leave that show. I knew I should. But there was no real reason to leave, in my heart, because it was the happiest I’ve ever been in a job. I just knew that I should do something else. I should take the skills that I’d learned and use them in a different capacity. So it was a very very difficult day. Then he sprung this surprise on me in playing these clips. I was still alright. I don’t know if it was actually audible, after the last beat, he could see I was getting upset, he leaned in and said, “Are you okay?” And that just finished me. And that just finished me. It was such a microcosm of how caring he’s been to me over a decade, and always checking in about how I’m feeling and if I’m doing okay. Even over the summer, when he had no time — he’s on the other side of the world directing a movie — he still checked in just to make sure that I was feeling okay with everything and to give advice. It was a really, really emotional day. I was not planning to cry like a little girl, although I did.
oh my God, my heart. The relationship my favorite people have is threatening to kill me dead.
Discussing American issues that make zero sense to him as a British person, and the quintessential American dream for a ten-million-dollar estate before you die:
Particularly things like the estate tax. Which doesn’t make sense to me. But here’s the innate American hope for the future where people think, “Well, I don’t want there to be tax on estates bigger than ten million dollars because one day I’m gonna have an estate of ten million dollars and I don’t want it to be taxed.” And that is a fundamental difference. That hope becomes kryptonite in a sense then, because it kind of stops any good legislation from getting passed for the greater good. But a British person has kind of given up a bit. How on earth is it the popular thing to do to not tax the richest people in the country? How do they get away with that? You need to understand the people think that’s going to happen to them. So it’s ending their future hypothetical earnings. And, you know, you don’t want to come across like a British talent show judge, but you don’t want to say, “Yeah, but it’s not gonna work out.”
And it seems that John is under the impression that no one watches Community, omg:
I love that show. I wish more people watched it. I’d never done a pilot before. That’s the only (acting) part I’d done. And I was always under the assumption that pilots don’t get made, so I just did it because I like Dan Harmon and I like Joe (Russo). I thought it would be fun to see what America sitcoms are like — just like a glimpse into that world. Then it got picked up. I think it’s a really funny show. And I think it’s much more accessible than people think. I just wish more people watched it. It’s such a shame.