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British satirist performs

John Oliver wanted a very specific type of reception from the College students assembled at his CUB-sponsored show on Tuesday, March 6 in Kendall Hall. He mentioned that, when he first became a puppy owner, his pooch got so excited when he returned from a trip that it pissed itself at the sight of him.

The witty John Oliver performs at CUB’s comedy show. (Matt Mance / Staff Photographer

That, he said, was the reaction he wanted from an audience. Hopefully the College had the janitorial staff on hand, because by the reactions of the crowd there was probably more than a little urine running down the aisles.

Oliver walked on stage waving like the Queen herself, and wasted no time in busting the College’s “balls.” “I will not perform at any College that does not have four enormous ornamental balls,” he said, mocking the infamous “pixels.”

Famous for his role as a correspondent on “The Daily Show With John Steward,” Oliver launched into a politically-charged routine, starting with the most recent election.

“You have to spend at least $1 billion to fail to live in the White House,” he said, mocking Mitt Romney and referring to his contempt for the poor as “borderline Dickensian.”

Oliver went on to share his plans for making the debates more exciting, suggesting that new rules should be instated to liven them up. These rules included a hot dog eating contest, shots and the releasing of a live chicken half way through the debate (the candidate who catches it gets Virginia).

During an interview before the show, however, Oliver was slightly more serious about the country’s election process.

“The American political system is, at best, a mess. That might be one of the things that American needs to look at the most. Elections cannot cost that kind of money…you can’t have an election cycle last 18 months because then you end up having in a four year term maybe six to 12 months that you can actually govern, and the rest of the time you’re tied up with midterms, with running again, with being a lame duck. There’s not a lot of governing time,” he explained.

Oliver, who came to the U.S. six and a half years ago, prefaced the last half of his routine with, “I love it here. I need you to remember that.” He then proceeded to (lovingly) mock America, wondering what the U.S.’s legacy to the world would be.

He first considered the internet, then went on to describe the horrors it had unleashed on the world, particularly his life. He recalled that, within seconds of posting his first tweet, someone responded to him saying, “You’re terrible, go eat a bag of dicks.”

The abuse only continued when a friend told him about the Daily Show slash fiction that could be found online.

“It was story after story of John Stewart and Stephen Colbert having sex with me,” Oliver told the crowd, mentioning that after reading it for the first time he couldn’t look Stewart in the eyes.

He then suggested that the American legacy could be the T-shirt cannon, or the ill- fated military plan in the ‘60s to fire a nuclear missile at the moon. Finally, he offered up a less material legacy: one of defiance. Fitting, considering the whole “Revolutionary War” thing. (No hard feelings, John.)

Despite being a U.S. citizen, Oliver hasn’t forgotten his roots, or completely forgiven America for its “defiance.” In an interview before the show, he said of the Revolutionary War,

“We don’t see that as being lost, we see that as an active war that we are losing.”

At the beginning of the show, it was announced that Oliver would be taking over Stewart’s role as host of The Daily Show for a few weeks in the summer while Stewart directs a movie.

Opening for Oliver was Dan St. Germain who, with his mane of hair and beard giving him a lion-like appearance, joked, “I think the school wanted to get someone who was the opposite of John Oliver.”

His comedy was indeed a 180 from Oliver’s, favoring jokes based on personal experience rather than politics and the news.

While at times his jokes were a bit too personal to be funny (for instance, hearing about his depression didn’t draw huge laughs from the crowd), his dating fiascos had the audience roaring, especially when he admitted that a girl who he tried hitting on told him, “You remind me of a heavier Charles Manson.”

He followed this with a story asking for a girl’s number and having her return within minutes, demanding her number back.


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