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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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John Hodgman takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test

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John Hodgman, whose end-of-days comedy special John Hodgman: Ragnarok is currently streaming on Netflix, hadn’t yet seen Man of Steel when he visited EW to take our Pop Culture Personality Test, so he couldn’t weigh in on Superman’s mass-casualty battle with General Zod (Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Shannon) for Earth, or the ending that had everyone talking. “I know what it is: Superman flies around the Earth and reverses its orbit such that time goes backwards and Zod takes a job in the alcohol enforcement division of the IRS and starts busting bootleggers in Atlantic City during Prohibition. Is that what happens?” he said.

Hodgman could, however, dip into the debate about whether Superman (Henry Cavill) needs to lighten up. “Here’s the thing: I am a big Zack Synder fan. I want anything that you take from my mouth to be prefaced by this: I loved Watchmen, loved Dawn of the Dead. I think 300 is one of the most important American movies of the 2000s, without question. I’m not joking. It’s groundbreaking cinema. But if there’s a Superman movie, I want to be able to take my 7-year-old to see it! Just like I want to be able to take my 7-year-old to see a Batman movie. They’re comic books, everybody,” he said. “I loved the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, and I bet you I’ll love the Superman movie, too. That’s because I’m a big, overgrown juvenile nerd. But I equally — and perhaps even a little bit more — love watching Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoons with my son, because that’s what they’re supposed to be. Thought-provoking — you can do that with comics. Deep, heavy — you can do that with comics. But also entertaining and distracting and not traumatizing for children — another thing you can do with comics.”

For more of Hodgman’s musings on pop culture — including why it pays to have MythBusters‘ Adam Savage, who expertly replicates props from beloved movies in his downtime, as a hero-turned-friend — watch his Personality Test below. READ FULL STORY

'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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John Oliver on 'The Daily Show': A look back at his best segments -- VIDEO

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Tonight, John Oliver will take over for Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show for three months. Oliver previously told EW he hasn’t been practicing his hosting persona — so it’s anyone’s guess how tonight’s debut may shake out. Will Oliver adopt Stewart’s angry outrage? Will he continue to be an above-it-all smug Brit? Will he become the zaniest version of himself because he’s losing the job regardless in three months, so really, who cares?

We’ll get our answer tonight at 11:00 E.T. One thing is for sure: He certainly won’t run out of material. The IRS scandal, possible government spying and even a Royal baby will all likely dominate the news cycle this summer. For now, get ready by watching 10 of Oliver’s greatest Daily Show moments (“We can change that!”) since joining the show as a Senior British Correspondent in July 2006. READ FULL STORY

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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J.J. Abrams talks 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' with Jon Stewart -- VIDEO

J.J. Abrams stopped by The Daily Show last night to discuss Star Trek Into Darkness, and he reminded devoted Trekkies that he was never really one of them: He didn’t like Star Trek as a kid. “It always felt too philosophical,” he explained.

Blasphemy! Abrams went on to say that some of the writers of the movie were huge fans, while his producing partner had never seen it — if everyone, with their different perspectives, was happy, the movie worked. “The goal was to make a movie for moviegoers, not just Star Trek fans,” he explained.

After the two discussed the pros and cons of both Star Trek (don’t worry, it grew on him!) and Star Wars, Stewart naturally delved into the fact that Abrams is now running everything. “I’m not even going to go to the conventions anymore, I’m just going to sit on your lap,” Stewart joked.  Abrams said it was too early to give away any intel about Star Wars, but that didn’t stop Stewart from making a case about why he should be allowed to be a Jedi.

Watch the interview and the extended online clip — where Abrams gives Stewart some directing advice — below: READ FULL STORY

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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