John Oliver talks llamas, Ray Lewis and the greatness that is Herman Cain
You'll be performing at Comedy Works in Denver this weekend. Have you enjoyed your past visits to Colorado, and do you have an all-time favorite Colorado moment?
My all-time favorite moment was when I was there in September for a wedding. We went to the "Shining hotel" in Estes Park. We had a weekend up there. It was fantastic. She had a wedding with llamas -- llamas in the wedding party -- so it was phenomenal.
With... llamas? The animal?
Yes. Llamas. Llamas in formal dress. [Laughs.] Because you know, it's a wedding! You gotta dress a llama up! The least you can do is put a bow tie on a llama. Have some respect!
What do you think the nation's perception of Colorado is outside the state?
Well, I think the perception is probably that it's too high for a place to be, and as was proven in the debates, it's too high for the human brain to function at its optimal capacity. I think that will be the main thing that people will think of: It's just too high.
You mean, both literally and figuratively?
That's right. In light of your recent law in that region, yeah, it is too high.
What aspect of the comedic process do you prefer: writing or performing?
I like writing. But it's all part of the same process, really. It's just with performing you get to see everything right straight through to the end. So yeah, I like all the parts of it. I think I'd be bored if I only did one. I like having the full process.
I recently read that you're a Liverpool F.C. fan. Who's your all-time favorite player?
Probably Kenny Dalglish or Ian Rush. I carry an autograph around in my pocket that Ian Rush gave me when I was twelve years old.
Really? Wow. That's incredible dedication. But that's typical for a soccer fan, right?
Yeah, when you become a fan, you're in for life. You're in for good.
Have you ever been involved in a hooligan brawl?
No, but I've been to matches so you're generally in the middle of a hooligan brawl at matches. You don't have to throw a punch to be in the middle of one.
I also read that you're a Mets fan. Did Jon Stewart convince you to become a Mets fan or is this something you decided to undertake on your own?
No, the Yankees convinced me, of course. The Yankees have this relationship with a football team in England called Manchester United who I hate with a passion I find it hard to articulate. I've grown up seeing fans of Manchester United wearing Yankees hats without knowing what they're wearing. So that very symbol I find nauseating. So no, I was forced into being a Mets fan and through no fault of my own I was channeled into a life of misery. But that's what I associate sports with, anyway. You should support a team that brings you nothing but pain.
Well, I salute you for choosing the Mets over the Yankees.
Yeah, of course. You can't chose to be a Yankees fan and not be a total asshole. If you live in the Bronx or if your family are Yankees fans, that's fine; if you chose to be a Yankees fan, you are a platinum-grade asshole. Life doesn't work that way. You don't get to chose to be a Yankees fan. That's not the way life is. Life is being a Mets fan. It's a series of unending disappointments and misleading moments of hope.
That's a great way to describe it. I'm a Rockies fan, so I can relate.
Yeah, so you know the way of pain.
Let's let this story fully shake out and let's see. I want him to be more involved, but I'm worried he wasn't. I'm waiting for the Tuiasosopo interview -- that's what I'm really waiting for.
What's that even gonna be like?
I don't know. I just don't know. Everything about the story is phenomenal. I can't wait for it.
But the more involved Te'o was, the better his chances of being inducted into the Crazy Sportsman Hall of Fame, correct?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. If he says, "I was involved in this the whole time," he will be inducted the next day.
A few days ago Downton Abbeywon Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actor's Guild Awards. Are you a fan?
[Laughs.] I've never seen it. I've never seen it. It strikes too close to home. That's basically the way I grew up, which is why I can't watch it.
You mention in your act how Mitt Romney's favorite period in civilization would have been Victorian London. So, do you think he's a fan of the show?
Oh, I'm sure he is! Because that's the way he sees the world. It's a very rigorous class structure that he's on top of.
Lastly, for whatever reason Fox News and other news corporations are already talking about the 2016 election. There's speculation that Hillary Clinton could be a frontrunner for the Democratic Party. Do you think America is ready for its first female president coming off the heels of its first two-term African-American president? And would this be the straw that broke the camel's back for conservatives?
Yeah, I think America is ready. What America is really gonna have to do is come to terms with the idea of a Joe Biden candidacy first. I think that might be more of an emotional leap. America is not ready for that level of fun. America is not ready for old uncle Joe with nuclear missiles at his fingertips.
John Oliver will be at the Comedy Works South on Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 1, with two shows each night. Find more information here.