Summer ‘Daily Show’ Host John Oliver’s Main Goal is to Not Destroy the Show

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It was announced in March that Jon Stewart will be taking three months off from hosting The Daily Show this summer to direct his first movie, Iranian torture drama Rosewater, and that longtime correspondent John Oliver, who’s been with the show since 2006, will be guest-hosting beginning June 10th. Oliver spoke to The Hollywood Reporter this week about his plans for his eight weeks behind the anchor desk, which mostly involve just not ruining the show. “When he gets back I’m just trying to make sure this building is not on fire both physically and metaphorically,” Oliver explains. “That is the aim, just to keep the show on the air for a few months.”

Jon Stewart called John Oliver about filling in for him a few months ago, and Oliver said yes right away. “Anything he asks me to do, I’ll do. It was only after hanging up when I was trying to re-articulate the conversation to my wife that it started to sound insane.” Oliver’s hosting stint is set for the summer, when TV ratings normally decline and he expects that effect to be larger with Jon Stewart gone. “The ratings are going to go down. Ice is cold and the ratings of this show are going to go down in the summer,” Oliver expects. “Add to that the fact that I’m here, so you’ll have your regular summer decline and that will become a more elemental nosedive. I just need to Sully myself – you know, like Chesley Sullenberger – I’ve got to at least land this show in the water. So I know the ratings are going to go down, I just have to make sure that they don’t collapse.”