John Oliver is in an enviable position. Many people who’ve watched Jon Stewart on The Daily Show over the past 14 years have thought to themselves, “Hey, that’s what I want to do when I grow up” — but Oliver is actually getting to do it.
So why is this 36-year-old British comedian in The Big Chair instead of you? We asked Oliver, one of the 50 stars featured in EW’s New Hollywood Issue (on stands now), just that.
EW: What’s the best career decision you’ve made?
John Oliver: I’ve said yes to everything that Jon Stewart has asked me to do. That’s been a pretty good career decision, I think. That rule has led me to move to America for him, guest host The Daily Show over the summer for him, and smuggle $3 million worth of cocaine out of Columbia for him. Hold on, forget I told you that last one. You’re not going to print that, right?
We’ll see. And what was your worst decision?
It’s a little known fact, but I actually played Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider 2. I thought it would be my big break, but everyone just thought I was the actual Nicolas Cage.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I once got told to “duck.” The person was right. Something was about to hit me in the face.
And what’s next for you, professionally?
I honestly don’t know. My main aim before guest hosting was just not to completely destroy The Daily Show. It was an honor to have Jon trust me to do this for him, and I desperately didn’t want to let him down. Anything beyond that hasn’t even crossed my mind.