As fans of The Daily Show are surely aware — and as Bill O'Reilly pointed out in his recent appearance — longtime host Jon Stewart is taking the summer off to direct a movie. And it's not even a comedy, but an adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari's memoir about his 118 days in an Iranian jail in 2009.
Everyone is nervous about this. Stewart has never directed a feature-length movie before, and he's never even had much success acting for the silver screen. The Daily Show producers and Comedy Central are probably biting their nails, too, about how the show will fare when John Oliver sits down at the host's desk on June 10. To prepare viewers (and presumably remind them why Oliver was tapped as Stewart's replacement), The Daily Show compiled a highlight reel from Oliver's six years as the program's Senior British Correspondent. (Watch above.)
And Oliver knows he has (metaphorically) big shoes to fill. When Stewart gets back, "I'm just trying to make sure this building is not on fire both physically and metaphorically," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "That is the aim, just to keep the show on the air for a few months." He continues:
The ratings are going to go down. Ice is cold, and the ratings of this show are going to go down in the summer. Add to that the fact that I'm here, so you'll have your regular summer decline and that will become a more elemental nosedive. I just need to Sully myself — you know, like Chesley Sullenberger — I've got to at least land this show in the water. So I know the ratings are going to go down, I just have to make sure that they don't collapse. [Hollywood Reporter]
Oliver, now a permanent U.S. resident, also tells The Hollywood Reporter that he gets "nostalgic for British negativity." New York has "an inherent hope and positive drive," he says, but "when you go back to Britain, everybody is just running everything down. It's like whatever the opposite of a hug is." As a bonus, here's Oliver staunchly defending his home country — and its right to maintain its moats — from Stewart: