John Oliver

British-American comedian and television host

John William Oliver (born 23 April 1977)[2] is an English actor, comedian, political commentator, producer, television host and writer. In 2014, Oliver began hosting the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

John Oliver
Oliver in 2016
Birth nameJohn William Oliver
Born (1977-04-23) 23 April 1977 (age 47)
Erdington, Birmingham, England
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • film
  • books
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge
Years active1998–present
Kate Norley (m. 2011)

Oliver's work in Last Week Tonight has become very popular. His work has had a large impact on American culture and politics, which has been called the "John Oliver Effect".[3]

In 2019, he was the voice of Zazu in the 2019 drama-live action remake The Lion King.

Early life and education


Oliver was born on 23 April 1977 in Erdington, Birmingham,[4] to Carole and Jim Oliver. His father was a school headmaster and social worker, and his mother was a music teacher. Both of his parents are originally from Liverpool, Merseyside. His uncle was the composer Stephen Oliver. His father's great-grandfather, William Boyd Carpenter was the Bishop of Ripon and court chaplain to Queen Victoria.[5][6] Oliver learned to play the viola as a child.[7]

Since childhood, he has been a fan of Liverpool FC, noting in interviews that "my mum's family are from Knotty Ash and my dad's family are from the Wirral, so supporting Liverpool was very much not a choice".[8] Oliver learned in Bedford at the Mark Rutherford School.[5][9][10]

After secondary school, he studied at Christ's College, Cambridge. While he was a student there in the mid-to-late 1990s, Oliver was a part of the Cambridge Footlights, the university's club for theatre run by students of Cambridge University. David Mitchell and Richard Ayoade were also in the club. In 1997, he became the club's vice president.[11][12] In 1998, Oliver graduated from Christ's College with a degree in English.[13][14]


  1. Lewis, Hilary (12 November 2015). "John Oliver Baby News: 'Last Week Tonight' Host, Wife Welcome Son". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  2. "John Oliver Biography: Political Scientist, Radio Personality, Actor, Comedian, Writer, Television Personality (1977–)". (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  3. Luckerson, Victor (20 January 2015). "How the 'John Oliver Effect' Is Having a Real-Life Impact". TIME. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  4. Usborne, David (7 April 2010). "Made in Manhattan: John Oliver on taking satire stateside". The Independent. UK. Archived from the original on 28 November 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kamp, David. "John Oliver Is Horrified by Massages and Is a "Committed Coward": What You Should Know About the Host of *Last Week Tonight*". Vanity Fair. ISSN 0733-8899. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  6. "Oliver, Stephen Michael Harding (1950–1992), composer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/51267. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. "My dad told me, always remember Istanbul". 27 July 2016. Archived from the original on 24 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  9. "Interview with John Oliver". The Guardian. London. 23 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  10. Young, Bill (7 March 2011). "Ten Minutes with John Oliver". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  11. "Cambridge Footlights Alumni, 1990–1999". Cambridge Footlights. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  12. Freeman, Hadley (19 October 2012). "David Mitchell: goodbye lonely nerd". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  13. "Reporter 8/7/98: Congregations of the Regent House on 26 and 27 June 1998". Cambridge University Reporter. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  14. "Oliver's Twist on These 'Terrifying Times'". The Tech. MIT. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.

Other websites


  Media related to John Oliver at Wikimedia Commons