John Oliver quotes

  • You don't need people’s opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking: ‘Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?’ or ‘Do owls exist?’ or ‘Are there hats?'
    -- John Oliver

    #Numbers #People #Owl

  • I think being an outsider in general always helps you in comedy. I think it helps to have an outsider's eye. And so I have an outsider's voice. You know, as soon as I start talking, I don't belong here. And I think that helps in a way.
    -- John Oliver

    #Eye #Thinking #Talking

  • News is not a game show. You don't win a car if you happen to be right.
    -- John Oliver

    #Winning #Games #Car

  • I don't know if there is some psychological thing of wanting to know where your doctor got his degree from before he comes into the medical room.
    -- John Oliver

    #Doctors #Degrees #Rooms

  • Drug companies are a bit like high school boyfriends-\-\they're much more concerned with getting inside you than being effective once they're in there.
    -- John Oliver

    #School #Drug #Company

  • When you do stand-up, you're just concerned with trying to leave with some semblance of human dignity at the end of your performance.
    -- John Oliver

    #Trying #Dignity #Ends

  • Anybody who claims to be excited for April Fools' Day is probably a sociopath.
    -- John Oliver

    #Fool #April #Excited

  • Once you learn how to make people laugh, then you get to choose exactly how you want to make them laugh.
    -- John Oliver

    #People #Laughing #Want

  • The moment I accept that there's an artistic, redeeming quality in puns, I have a horrible feeling I'll get hooked.
    -- John Oliver

    #Feelings #Quality #Artistic

  • I think the best analogy for where we are right now is that America is Elvis Presley -- the most beautiful, talented, rebellious nation in the history of Earth. And now, you're in your Vegas years. You've squeezed yourself into a white jumpsuit, you're wheezing your way through 'Love Me Tender' and you might be about to pass away bloated on the toilet. But you're still the King.
    -- John Oliver

    #Beautiful #Kings #Thinking

  • Congress never loses its capacity to disappoint you.
    -- John Oliver

    #Congress #Capacity #Disappoint

  • People in Britain see Richard Quest as a kind of an offensive cartoon character.
    -- John Oliver

    #Character #People #Cartoon

  • People are always going to say stupid things, and you're always going to be able to make jokes about that, but it should be the last thing you add in, because it's the easiest thing.
    -- John Oliver

    #Stupid #People #Add

  • The only thing I'm nervous about is talking to guests like human beings, because all of my interviews so far have been attacking people. I have a genuine concern about sitting across from an actor whose movies I obviously haven't seen.
    -- John Oliver

    #Talking #People #Sitting

  • You know that things are not going well when you lose the moral high ground to a TMZ reporter,
    -- John Oliver

    #Moral #Wells

  • If you’ve been here, in New York, it has been dominated by the UN General Assembly, the annual event where delegates come from all over the world to ***** up this city’s traffic.
    -- John Oliver

    #New York #Cities #Events

  • In improv, the whole thing is that it is a relationship between the two people, as a back and forth. In standup, you don't really want to be listening to what somebody is saying; you want to project your jokes into their face.
    -- John Oliver

    #Two #People #Listening

  • It's pretty physically unsettling, living life on a visa.
    -- John Oliver

    #Live Life #Visa

  • Being a Mets fan is like lending someone a lot of money and you just know that you'll never get paid back.
    -- John Oliver

    #Fans #Lending #Mets

  • There is an inherent hope and positive drive to New Yorkers.
    -- John Oliver

    #Inherent

  • Pumpkin spice lattes are egg nog for morning people.
    -- John Oliver

    #Morning #Eggs #People

  • I think Americans still can't help but respond to the natural authority of this voice. Deep down they long to be told what to do by a British accent. That's why so many infomercials have British people.
    -- John Oliver

    #Thinking #Voice #Long

  • According to current Florida law you can get a gun, follow an unarmed minor, call the police, have them explicitly tell you to stop following [the minor] and choose to ignore that, keep following the minor, get into a confrontation with them, and if at any point during that process you get scared you can shoot the minor to death, and the state of Florida will say, 'Well, look: you did what you could.'
    -- John Oliver

    #Gun #Law #Florida

  • Mr. President, no one is saying you broke any laws, we're just saying it's a little bit weird you didn't have to.
    -- John Oliver

    #Law #President #Littles

  • I'm British, so obviously I repress any powerful emotions of any kind in relation to anything.
    -- John Oliver

    #Powerful #Emotion #Kind

  • Veterans' issues are quite close to my heart. I find it quite hard to talk about, actually.
    -- John Oliver

    #Heart #Issues #Veteran

  • Whatever the occasion, [the Queen] has a face which demonstrably says 'I don't give a royal s**t.'
    -- John Oliver

    #Queens #Giving #Faces

  • Congratulations, Congress! 77% disapproval rating! You may be about to become the English language's most offensive C-word.
    -- John Oliver

    #Congratulations #May #Language

  • I get nostalgic for British negativity. There is an inherent hope and positive drive to New Yorkers. When you go back to Britain, everybody is just running everything down. It's like whatever the opposite of a hug is.
    -- John Oliver

    #Running #Opposites #Negativity

  • My family are from Liverpool, so I have some twang there - I have a Midlands accent, and I was raised about an hour north of London, so my voice is a mess. Although, to American ears, it sounds like the crisp language of a queen's butler.
    -- John Oliver

    #Queens #Voice #London

  • My family is from Liverpool, so I have some of those vowel sounds, I've got the slack tone of someone from Birmingham, and then I was raised in Bedford, which is just north of London. So my accent, if it's possible, makes even less sense to a Brit than to an American.
    -- John Oliver

    #Tone #Sound #Vowels

  • We in Britain stopped evolving gastronomically with the advent of the pie. Everything beyond that seemed like a brave, frightening new world. We knew the French were up to something across the Channel, but we didn't want anything to do with it.
    -- John Oliver

    #Pie #Brave #World

  • Sarah Palin has been hired back by Fox News, and she only left five months ago. She has now effectively quit quitting. She can't even commit to being uncommitted.
    -- John Oliver

    #Foxes #News #Months

  • I've always been interested in socially political, or overtly political, comedy.
    -- John Oliver

    #Political #Comedy

  • A Southern accent is not a club in my bag.
    -- John Oliver

    #Southern #Bags #Clubs

  • Americans just don't understand dry wit.
    -- John Oliver

    #Dry #Wit

  • Armando Iannucci is one of my heroes. As I was growing up, he was probably the most influential comic voice that I had.
    -- John Oliver

    #Growing Up #Hero #Voice

  • I knew I was going to go into the field and make fun of people to their faces. I knew what I was getting into.
    -- John Oliver

    #Fun #People #Fields

  • I know I'd be an absolutely horrendous politician.
    -- John Oliver

    #Politician

  • There are so many low points with stand-up. You are perpetually humiliated, so it doesn't really matter anymore. I don't have any dignity left to lose. An audience can't hurt you anymore when you've been completely dismantled.
    -- John Oliver

    #Hurt #Matter #Dignity

  • I think puns are not just the lowest form of wit, but the lowest form of human behavior.
    -- John Oliver

    #Thinking #Behavior #Form

  • I'm not really much of an actor, so when I started on 'The Daily Show', I was just trying to adopt the faux authority of a newsperson.
    -- John Oliver

    #Trying #Actors #Authority

  • I realize how desperate it sounds for me, as a comedian, to ask you to laugh at my jokes.
    -- John Oliver

    #Laughing #Comedian #Sound

  • I watch one news channel until my soul can't take it anymore. It's the background of my life.
    -- John Oliver

    #Soul #Watches #News

  • I would much rather America was a more stable, wonderful place. You know, I love it.
    -- John Oliver

    #America #Wonderful

  • I wanted to be a soccer player. I knew that couldn't happen.
    -- John Oliver

    #Soccer #Player #Soccer Player

  • If you're asking me, would I have voted for Mitt Romney, the answer is absolutely not. Emphatically not. I cannot envision a world in which I would have voted for Mitt Romney unless I sustained a massive concussion.
    -- John Oliver

    #Asking #Answers #World

  • I think deep down, this planet yearns for the days of the British Empire again. They long once more to be treated that badly, that politely. We did far worse things than you can possibly dream of, but we did it with that certainly gentlemanly swagger... Dreadfully sorry, but we seem to have crushed your entire continent's infrastructure. Allow me to make it up to you by offering you a job 4,000 miles away. No, no, I insist.
    -- John Oliver

    #Dream #Jobs #Sorry

  • When you're doing stand-up, you want to stand onstage and, to the extent that you can, uncomplicatedly entertain.
    -- John Oliver

    #Want

  • Here in America, people come out to see what they've known you to do. In England, it's like everyone comes out to tell you exactly how well they think you're doing.
    -- John Oliver

    #Thinking #America #People

  • I would hate to meet myself at 15.
    -- John Oliver

    #Hate

  • Stand-up, for me, is really more of an addiction, so you have to feed the beast whenever you can.
    -- John Oliver

    #Addiction #Beast

  • Believe it or not the war on Iraq is based on a sound scientific principle, The bee hive principle. Which clearly states that if you are stung by a bee, you should follow it back to its nest and then proceed to beat nest to a pulp with a baseball bat until the stripey little turd has learned its lesson.
    -- John Oliver

    #Baseball #War #Believe

  • I have exactly as much rhythm as you think I have.
    -- John Oliver

    #Thinking #Rhythm

  • I find it hard in my general life to think further than the week ahead.
    -- John Oliver

    #Thinking #Week

  • I feel non-stop Brit shame!
    -- John Oliver

    #Shame #Feels

  • The disconnect between America and its military is shocking.
    -- John Oliver

    #Military #America

  • I feel more at home knowing I'm not really at home. It takes all the pressure off you trying to fit in!
    -- John Oliver

    #Home #Knowing #Trying

  • Having a human conversation is not something I've had any training in either as a comedian or as, you know, a human being.
    -- John Oliver

    #Comedian #Training #Conversation

  • I did sketch comedy, but I never did improv. So I've just tried to learn as I go.
    -- John Oliver

    #Comedy

  • I can't relax. I find vacations problematic.
    -- John Oliver

    #Vacation #Relax

  • Welcome to The Daily Show, I'm John Oliver. Jon Stewart is still not here. He is currently living out a live-action Lord of the Rings role-playing experience deep in the New Zealand wilderness.
    -- John Oliver

    #Role Playing #Roles #Welcome

  • Attending a Sarah Palin rally was simultaneously one of the strangest and most chilling events of my life.
    -- John Oliver

    #Events #Chill #Palin

  • Campaign ads are the backbone of American democracy if American democracy suffered a gigantic spinal injury.
    -- John Oliver

    #Funny #Democracy #Campaigns

  • Every empire has to get sucked down the drain. As a British person, I know how it feels.
    -- John Oliver

    #Empires #Drains #British

  • You don't really know when stand-up material is TV ready; it's just at what point you're willing to let it go and not work on it anymore. I'm not sure there is a point at which you think: 'And that is finished.'
    -- John Oliver

    #Thinking #Let It Go #Tvs

  • The British press are a group of unremitting scumbags. And sometimes they use that scumbaggery to good ends, and often not.
    -- John Oliver

    #Groups #Use #Scumbags

  • It really helps a comedian to be an outsider.
    -- John Oliver

    #Comedian #Outsiders #Helping

  • Politicians don't really bring up religion in England.
    -- John Oliver

    #England #Politician

  • There are two kinds of hecklers: the destructive and constructive hecklers.
    -- John Oliver

    #Two #Hecklers #Kind

  • There is no greater anesthetic than sport.
    -- John Oliver

    #Sports

  • When you're dealing with serious subjects, there is a pressure to be absolutely sure that you know what you're doing.
    -- John Oliver

    #Pressure #Serious #Subjects

  • People are friendlier in New York than London.
    -- John Oliver

    #New York #People #London

  • I'm British; pessimism is my wheelhouse.
    -- John Oliver

    #Pessimism #British

  • I really love stand-up. I'm more than happy to do it for nothing. I've come to America to do it for nothing. It's the American Dream: Work for free.
    -- John Oliver

    #Dream #America #American Dream

  • Sometimes it's good to remember how bad food can be, so you can enjoy the concept of flavour to the fullest.
    -- John Oliver

    #Remember #Sometimes #Flavour

  • There's never any time I think I'm a real journalist, because I don't have any of the qualifications or the intentions for that.
    -- John Oliver

    #Real #Thinking #Intention

  • Wow. Losing 95 percent of your audience in just five years. That basically makes Obama the NBC of presidents.
    -- John Oliver

    #Nbc #Years #President

  • Net neutrality: The only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are 'featuring Sting,'
    -- John Oliver

    #Two #Boredom #Promise

  • You can write jokes at any point of the day. Jokes are not that hard to write, or they shouldn't be when it is literally your job.
    -- John Oliver

    #Jobs #Writing #Jokes

  • I do one accent - my own. I can make it louder or quieter. That is the sum total of my vocal range. I thought I could do an American accent until I tried it in front of an American - the expression of horror is still burnt onto my retinas.
    -- John Oliver

    #Expression #Horror #Range

  • There are some people who watch NASCAR for the highly skilled driving - but most people watch it for the crashes.
    -- John Oliver

    #People #Watches #Driving

  • Politics has become infused with narcissism in America.
    -- John Oliver

    #America #Narcissism

  • It's exciting to have a role in anything that's Claymation, just because you're always intrigued by what a clay wizard version of yourself would be.
    -- John Oliver

    #Clay #Would Be #Roles

  • I'm always interested in audience interaction. Not so much aggressive audience interaction - I'm genuinely interested in how people see things.
    -- John Oliver

    #People #Aggressive #Audience

  • Southern people are bigger-hearted and kinder than I had any right to expect.
    -- John Oliver

    #People #Southern #Bigger

  • It's a great time to be doing political satire when the world is on a knife edge.
    -- John Oliver

    #Knives #Political #World

  • As a general rule, no one should ever be allowed to say there is no history of racial tension here, because that sentence has never been true anywhere on Earth,
    -- John Oliver

    #Earth #Should #Tension

  • One thing that America is objectively exceptional at is overreacting whenever anyone accuses them of not being exceptional.
    -- John Oliver

    #America #Exceptional

  • Australia turns out to be a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I've ever been in. They've really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper.
    -- John Oliver

    #Australia #Racist #Slippers

  • If your name is Sepp, at the bare minimum you’ve strangled someone in a bar fight.
    -- John Oliver

    #Fighting #Names #Bars

  • Stand-up comedy seems like a terrifying thing. Objectively. Before anyone has done it, it seems like one of the most frightening things you could conceive, and there's just no shortcut - you just have to do it.
    -- John Oliver

    #Done #Shortcuts #Comedy

  • British people would die for their right to drink themselves to death
    -- John Oliver

    #Funny #People #Comedy

  • Ads are baked into content like chocolate chips into a cookie. Except, it's actually more like raisins into a cookie because no one [expletive] wants them there.
    -- John Oliver

    #Chocolate #Cookies #Want

  • The British media is sinking down, as the American news media has lowered the bar for all of humanity. British news media is definitely trying to stoop down to that level. Everyone is stooping to the lowest common denominator.
    -- John Oliver

    #Media #Humanity #Trying

  • I've made so many people angry that they kind of blur into one unpleasant memory of people staring at you with somewhere between passive aggression and active aggression.
    -- John Oliver

    #Memories #People #Kind

  • When you've married someone who's been at war, there is nothing you can do that compares to that level of selflessness and bravery.
    -- John Oliver

    #War #Bravery #Levels

  • You just try to be true to your idea of what is funny and what is also interesting.
    -- John Oliver

    #Ideas #Interesting #Trying

  • You don't need people's opinion on a fact.
    -- John Oliver

    #People #Needs #Facts

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