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Where has Jon Stewart been all summer? Let John Oliver explain...

For the past nine weeks, viewers expecting The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to live up to its name have been in for a rude awakening.

Aside from one quick Skype visit, Stewart himself has been nowhere to be found. Instead, the show’s been helmed by another, more “h”-happy John: John Oliver, who stepped in for Stewart on June 10.

In reality, Stewart took the summer off to film a movie in the Middle East. But explaining that over and over again would have gotten pretty boring pretty fast — which is why Oliver has instead opened each of the show’s past 31 episodes with a new, ridiculous explanation for where Stewart’s actually been hiding.

Before Oliver sits down at the anchor’s desk one last time tonight, relive his tenure as Daily Show host by reading every single one of those excuses — some of which come with an awesome photo illustration, courtesy of TDS‘s graphics department. (Many of the lines double as reminders about this summer’s biggest news stories; remember when that red panda escaped from the National Zoo?) Sure, we’ve missed Jon the First — but these jokes are reason enough to celebrate his scrappy British replacement.

“I am John Oliver — still here for Jon Stewart, who…
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'The Daily Show': Bearded Jon Stewart Skypes in

jon stewart skype daily show

Jon Stewart, who sort of looks like The Santa Clause now, beamed in to The Daily Show via Skype Thursday “from somewhere far, far away” to let John Oliver know he’s doing a phenomenal job as temporary host while Stewart directs a movie, the geopolitical thriller Rosewater. Check out that beard! “When you get off the plane in the plane in the Middle East, they give it to you, like Hawaiians give you a lei,” Stewart joked.

Stewart claimed he hasn’t been able to keep up with The Daily Show, mostly because it’s too weird — “It’s like watching someone have sex with your wife’s desk,” he confided in Oliver. Stewart assures his team he misses them “like crazy cakes” and can’t wait to return after Labor Day.

“This has been exciting and invigorating, but weird as hell,” said Stewart.


Read more:
John Oliver ratings steady as ‘Daily Show’ host
John Oliver hosting ‘The Daily Show’: So, how did he do?
John Oliver on ‘The Daily Show’: A look back at his best segments — VIDEO

'Daily Show': How does John Oliver's debut compare to Jon Stewart's? Watch both! -- VIDEO

Did you catch John Oliver on The Daily Show last night? The longtime correspondent took over for Stewart for the first show of his three-month substitution and, well, he didn’t suck! It speaks to The Daily Show‘s strong writers that for many fans — save for an accent — there wasn’t a huge difference in performance.

Of course, it’s hardly fair to compare Oliver’s one 30-minute show to Stewart’s standard. Stewart has had 14 years to develop the smart and snarky on-air persona we all know, love and already miss. But that’s where the mighty Internet comes in. Thanks to the World Wide Web, viewers can look back on a time when Stewart was the new kid on the block, specifically January 1999. That Stewart sure is a different (and, man, noticeably younger-looking!) guy than the man who regularly yells at fans about Fox News circa 2013. The show back then was goofier, more irreverent (there was an interview with the munchkins from Wizard of Oz! For real!) and, I guess, less important-feeling?

Oliver’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart feels more like The Daily Show than Stewart’s first outing did, despite one Jo(h)n’s presence over another. Check them both out below (and brace yourself for a whole host of Monica Lewinsky jokes!) and then let’s discuss.
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John Oliver hosting 'The Daily Show': So, how did he do?

Americans love it when British people criticize us. Get Simon Cowell to insult our singing, or Gordon Ramsay to rant about our cooking, or Len Goodman to scrutinize our dancing, and we’ll be very happy. And we might have to fight another Revolutionary War before we understand the reasons why. English journalist and former Top Chef judge Toby Young once theorized that Americans love getting chastised by folks in the U.K. because it reminds us of the days when the United States was still a British colony. He thinks this memory allows us to believe that we’re still underdogs instead of the overbearing imperial power that we’ve become. In light of all this, I have to wonder what Young would make of The Daily Show‘s “senior British correspondent” John Oliver replacing Jon Stewart for the next three months.

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Sayonara, Jon Stewart -- John Oliver takes over 'The Daily Show' -- VIDEO

Fake news fans, get ready for a British invasion.

Traveling to the Middle East to film a movie based on BBC journalist Maziar Bahari’s book Then They Came for Me: 118 Days in Iran’s Most Notorious Prison probably isn’t the best way to beat the heat this summer. Even so, that’s what Jon Stewart is planning to do for the next 12 weeks — and while he’s off directing his first feature, Daily Show correspondent John Oliver will be stepping in to play anchor on Stewart’s Comedy Central series for eight of those weeks. (During the other four, Comedy Central will air reruns.)

Though Oliver has reason to be nervous — he told EW that he hasn’t had any time to practice his host persona in demo shows — you’d never guess it from last night’s final tag, in which the Brit crashed Stewart’s very last Moment of Zen. Something tells me an Oliver-led Daily Show is going to be a little zanier than usual:

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Robert Downey Jr. straps on his movie promotion suit for 'Daily Show' interview -- VIDEO

Anyone else got a sneaking suspicion that Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark are actually the same person? They’re both super-rich bad boys with troubled pasts. Both excel in the same fields as their accomplished fathers. And both have a habit of treating interviews like one big joke, only occasionally trading confident quips for shots of insight.

Exhibit A: RDJ’s Daily Show appearance last night, in which the Iron Man 3 star blithely said that being an Avenger is like being a Beatle and joked that the original Superman didn’t really make him believe a man could fly, “because the effects weren’t very good back then.” It’s nice to know that even if this entry in the series is grimmer and bleaker than previous Iron Man tales, its star is still as flippant as he’s always been.

Downey did, however, drop the cool-kid act when saying how excited he is about this movie finally incorporating the Mandarin, a classic villain Downey’s been pitching since the first Iron Man flick. He also dabbled in fortune-cookie philosophy at the end of the interview, sagely recounting this proverb for Jon Stewart: “The optimist believes his future is uncertain. The pessimist is always right.”

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Jon Hamm reveals why 'Mad Men' keeps secrets better than the CIA -- VIDEO

Mad Men creator Matt Weiner’s obsession with confidentiality is no secret. The show’s actors keep mum in interviews, terrified of letting slip even the tiniest hint of a sliver of a spoiler. When reviewers received advance copies of the show’s sixth season premiere this year, they were instructed not to reveal what year the episode took place, the existence of any new characters, and “whether the agency has expanded to an additional floor.” And according to star Jon Hamm, new featured guest star Linda Cardellini wasn’t even allowed to attend the show’s premiere — since doing so would have effectively announced that she’s on Mad Men this season.

Jon Stewart was fascinated by this anecdote when Hamm told it on The Daily Show last night. “The CIA cannot keep their people from being outed!” the comedian exclaimed. “How do you, in a cast and a set, and with all the people–”

That’s when Hamm interrupted Stewart, revealing the secret to Mad Men‘s secret-keeping success. It’s simple: “We frequent, as a cast, far fewer Venezuelan prostitutes than the CIA. Just as a group.” Point: Don Draper.

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Jon Stewart to Boston: 'Thank you for ... solidifying my belief in humanity'

After a repeat episode on Monday, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show returned on Tuesday night and it was inevitable — and for devotees of Stewart, a necessary catharsis — that he addressed Monday’s marathon bombing in Boston. Stewart didn’t delve too deeply into the tragedy, but opened the show with a heartfelt tribute to the city that is often positioned as one of New York’s biggest rivals. “I’m just going to say this to Boston: Thank you. Thank you for once again in the face of inhumanity inspiring and solidifying my belief in humanity and the people of this country,” Stewart said. “New Yorkers and Boston obviously have kind of a little bit of a competition, often times the two cities accusing each other of various levels of suckitude. But it is situations like this that we realize that is it clearly a sibling rivalry and that we are your brothers and sisters in this type of event.”

Watch the entire opening below: READ FULL STORY

Peter Dinklage made a raven call on 'The Daily Show' -- VIDEO

In the world of Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage plays Tyrion, the least-loved son of a noble house and a manipulative lothario. In real life, Dinklage plays a charming actor. No, really — here’s last night’s Daily Show as proof: READ FULL STORY

'Daily Show' does the Harlem Shake, ditch edition -- VIDEO

If you — unlike us — were out celebrating your Valentine’s evening with a certain special someone, then woe to you, readers, for missing The Daily Show‘s take on the latest viral-video dance fad to sweep the Interwebs: the Harlem Shake.

Since last week, thousands of iterations of the dance have surfaced online. From My Little Pony to the Kardashians, the UGA Men’s Swim and Dive team to Today, everyone’s getting in on the trend. The basics: Take DJ Baauer’s 2012 Harlem Shake remix, add one person pelvic-thrusting, writhing, or performing any other vaguely uncomfortable dance move while the rest pointedly ignore him, wait for the music to really kick in, then everybody dance! Or at least that’s usually how the story goes. Unless you’re Jon Stewart, that is. Check out the video below, courtesy of last night’s Moment of Zen: READ FULL STORY

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