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John William Oliver was born 23 April 1977 and is an Emmy-winning British stand-up comedian, and correspondent/writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has worked extensively with Andy Zaltzman; their work together includes Political Animal, The Department and The Bugle.
Born in Birmingham and raised in Liverpool,Oliver attended Mark Rutherford Upper School in Bedford. He is a graduate of Christ's College, Cambridge, where he studied English and was vice-president of the Cambridge Footlights for 1997/98, when the president was Richard Ayoade. He also featured in that year's revue, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
Oliver first appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2001 as part of The Comedy Zone, a late night showcase of newer acts. He performed his debut solo show in 2002 and returned in 2003. In 2004 and 2005 he collaborated with Andy Zaltzman, each year performing a show as a double act and co-hosting Political Animal, a stand-up show with different acts performing political material.
After relocating to New York to work on The Daily Show, Oliver began performing stand-up in small clubs around the city, later moving on to headline shows in larger venues.
Oliver's first stand-up special entitled John Oliver: Terrifying Times debuted on Comedy Central on 20 April 2008 and was later released on DVD.
John Oliver joined The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as its Senior British Correspondent in July 2006. "I've always striven to be both an entertainer and an irritant. I think that's why I feel so at home on The Daily Show," quipped Oliver in a January 2009 interview.
Oliver was one of the many writers on the picket lines during the Writer's Guild strike which brought The Daily Show to a halt, but he appeared on the show upon its resuming production on 7 January 2008. During a sketch, he pointed out that he is in the U.S. on a visa which requires him not to strike while the show is in production and violation of the terms of the visa would be grounds for deportation. When asked about his immigration status in a recent interview, Oliver said, "It's an ongoing, and slightly unsettling, battle to be honest. I tried engraving 'Give me your tired, your poor, and your aspiring comic performers' into the base of the Statue of Liberty, but apparently that's not legally binding.