John Oliver performs first stand-up gig in two years at club
HBO star John Oliver made a surprise appearance at Stand-Up New York on the Upper West Side this week — marking his first standup set in two years, he told the crowd.
“He came in right after the host opened the 8 p.m. show and went right up on stage as the first comic of the evening,” veteran comic and comedy journalist Jeffrey Gurian, told us of Oliver.
“He said he hadn’t done stand-up for the past two years, and warned the audience not to expect too much — but he went on to have a great set, to a packed house, for about 20 minutes or so,” Gurian said.
We hear that Oliver’s material covered becoming a US citizen, and shooting his show, “Last Week Tonight,” from home during the COVID-19 pandemic with his family around.
Also, “He commiserated with an English guy named ‘Bernard,’ who just happened to be in the audience,” Gurian told us. Oliver was “complaining about the American accent, and how no one here pronounces ‘Bernard’ properly — like ‘Ber-nerd.’”
Oliver also riffed on why he doesn’t like being interviewed by the press, and recalled he once allowed himself to be interviewed by an English newspaper as a favor to a pal — but when the piece came out, “He was horrified to see that the headline read, ‘Failure In British Comedy, Who Makes Americans Laugh,’” Gurian related.
Club owner Dani Zoldan was heard saying that Oliver will be back at the club to perform this weekend.
Meanwhile, Oliver’s HBO show is reportedly also opening cheeky art exhibitions at museums this month and donating money to the institutions.
Art pieces in the “Last Week Tonight’s Masterpiece Gallery” include a portrait of Wendy Williams, plus a greeting card for the host that visitors can sign, as well as a provocative piece involving amorous rats.