Entertainment TV John Oliver: ‘I’m not a serious journalist’

John Oliver: ‘I’m not a serious journalist’

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It’s hard to believe it’s only been one year since John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight first aired.

In that time, Oliver has scored a coveted interview with Edward Snowden, won a prestigious Peabody Award and captivated audiences around the world with his satirical take on current affairs.

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Last month he was also named one of Time‘s Top 100 Most Influential People.

But in a new interview with influential American journalist Jorge Ramos, the British export insisted he was just doing his job as a comedian.

Ramos asked Oliver how he secured an interview with Snowden, who is living in exile in Russia.

“Why do you think he [Snowden] chose you and not a – should I say – respected journalist?” Ramos probed, trying not to offend OIiver.

“You’re right,” Oliver laughed. “I’m not a respected journalist because I’m not a journalist. I’m a comedian.”

John Oliver Edward Snowden
Oliver interviewing NSA leaker Edward Snowden earlier this year.

“But you’re doing a job of a journalist,” Ramos responded.

The Last Week Tonight host insisted he was a comedian first and foremost, despite serving up serious topics to audiences week in, week out.

“No, I’m doing the job of a comedian. I make jokes about the news. I’m pretty clear about the lane that I’m in,” he said.

“But you have more credibility than most journalists here in the United States and, I would say, in many other countries,” Ramos countered.

“That is more of an insult to the current state of journalism than it is a compliment for the state of comedy,” OIiver said.

Hard-hitting journalist or comedic genius – whatever the 38-year-old is doing is working.

Oliver’s first standup tour of Australia in August sold out in less than 24 hours, with scalpers already charging exorbitant amounts for the chance to see Oliver weave his magic in person.

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