John Oliver
John Oliver Credit: Courtesy John Oliver

Last year Daily Show writer and correspondent John Oliver opened a stand-up set with this disclaimer: “I came to America six years ago, and I love it here. I absolutely love it here. And I need you to remember that during some of the things that I’m going to be saying over the next ten minutes.” The Birmingham-born comic was a rising star in England who had never been to the U.S. when The Daily Show sought him out on the recommendation of Ricky Gervais. He started work on the show one day after his arrival in New York, in 2006; his brainy but goofy style has proven him suited to the task of covering the troubling and ridiculous world of U.S. politics.

A former member of Cambridge University’s Footlights comedy troupe and performer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Oliver has continued his stand-up work during his time at The Daily Show with the 2008 Comedy Central special John Oliver: Terrifying Times and four seasons of John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show on the same network, as well as on the long-running political satire podcast The Bugle. This fall’s eight-city stand-up tour follows his acclaimed run this past summer as guest host of The Daily Show, during which he expertly navigated the show’s coverage of gun control debates, Edward Snowden, and the overthrow of DOMA. It left him poised as the heir apparent to Jon Stewart—or at least as someone who, at this moment, can do whatever he wants.