It’s official. John Oliver is The Daily Show’s most funny correspondent. I was medium-warm about John Oliver – he being a replacement for bygone correspondents (I can’t quit you Ed Helms and Rob Corddry) – but the jumpy Brit is growing on me. And, after a string of lame-o newcomers, Oliver is officially the best regular.
Which means it behooves you to see him live at Cobb’s Comedy Club, May 28-30, before he leaves Jon for greener pastures, movie deals, swimming pools, movie stars...
Whether sporting top hat and monocle or in the bathtub re-enacting the navy seals versus Somali pirates maneuver, Oliver can do clever wit and silliness and, more than all others, has the power to make Jon Stewart crack-up.
The Daily Show lost its right arm when Stephen Colbert spun away, but John Oliver is keeping the show one pedigree above becoming a full-on frat boy obnox-fest.
Last week, in fact, the show premiered a new correspondent, Josh Gad, who makes Rob Riggle (appearing at Cobb’s in August ) sound like a rocket scientist. Stewart discussed bank stress tests with Gad, who, in this reporter’s opinion, bombed hugely. Using dumb voices and quick-change wigs, the skit was of the “it’s funny because it’s stupid” school of comedy. Except that it wasn’t.
The Daily Show has been flirting with disaster since the exit of Colbert. But when Ed Helms left and Samantha Bee kept getting pregnant, the show began to careen. Helms is terrific on “The Office,” so all is forgiven there, but Bee just keeps making babies -- turning her attention (how dare she?) to an even more infantile audience.
On the strength of sheer nepotism, her husband Jason Jones sailed in, who isn’t half the funny his wife is. Jones heralded the turn towards frat house humor. Rob Riggle took it over the edge with his no-neck muscle-headed “it’s funny because I'm a jerk” comedy.
Which all is to say, maybe don't go see John Oliver at Cobb’s Comedy next week. We don’t want him to get ideas into his head.