If you missed last night’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, then you missed one of the most tear-filled and British goodbyes to a Daily Show correspondent in the show’s long history. Stewart surprised longtime correspondent and fill-in host John Oliver with an on-air send off that not only surprised The Daily Show’s resident British expert but actually reduced him to tears on camera.
Stewart’s on-air farewell to Oliver actually had quite an elaborate setup. Apparently, the two spent the entire day working on a sketch for the show about Queen Elizabeth getting upset with members of the British police eating too many bowls of mixed nuts laid out for guests in Buckingham Palace, a revelation revealed in court over the News of the World’s extensive phone hacking program. If it sounds like a completely throwaway story idea even for the likes of The Daily Show, you’re right.
Stewart stopped Oliver in the middle of the desk piece to ask him how it was going and then announced that last night’s show would be his last as he’s leaving to host his own topical comedy show on Sunday nights on HBO.
The segment had the tone of a roast mixed in with a maudlin scoop of “We’re gonna miss you” as Stewart proceeded to play clips of some of Oliver’s best work on the show including clips from Oliver’s short stint as the show’s host while Stewart was overseas shooting his dramatic movie Rosewood. Oliver was so moved by the moment that he literally cried on camera–and we couldn’t help but feel a little teary-eyed as well.
Oliver was one of the show’s best correspondents and that’s going back to its early days when former TV host Craig Kilborn was sitting behind the desk. He will be sorely missed, especially now that we realize we have to actually pay more money for the privilege of watching him take down the day’s talking heads.