Americans love it when Brits critique us. Whenever Simon Cowell or Gordon Ramsay insults us, we’re thrilled. So it makes sense that The Daily Show tapped ”senior British correspondent” John Oliver to play host while Jon Stewart takes a three-month hiatus to direct a movie: Sometimes only an outsider can expose just how absurd this country is. Oliver might rely too heavily on his I’m-just-a-poor-bloke-from-the-motherland shtick, but his dry humor mostly works well behind the Daily Show desk. Joking that the NSA scandal affects only the few citizens who use the telephone and the Internet, he quipped, ”I’ll bet the Amish are feeling pretty f—ing smug right now. Or they would be feeling that way, if they had any idea that this story was happening.” In the extended online version of Oliver’s interview with Veep creator (and fellow Brit) Armando Iannucci, the two men riffed on the U.S. government, noting that our series of checks and balances prevents anyone from having the power to do anything. ”American politics — I think Americans would be the first to acknowledge this — is inherently ludicrous,” Oliver insisted, earning cheers from the audience. Maybe hearing an English guy make fun of the U.S. soothes our Revolutionary War guilt. Or maybe we think that people with fancy accents are smarter than we are. Either way, it’s not just the Amish who should be feeling smug right now — the British should too. B+
THE BRITISH ARE COMING John Oliver takes over for Stewart (Neilson Barnard/Comedy Central)
Genre: Comedy; Series Premiere: 06/10/2013; Broadcaster: Comedy Central; Status: In Season
Posted June 21 2013 — 12:00 AM EDT
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