I’m familiar with John Oliver. I like John Oliver. If you’re a fan of the Daily show, you’re probably hip to the wry stylings of this buttoned-up Brit as well. However, I admit I’d never tuned in to The Bugle, Oliver’s satirical take on politics (sort of), life, and complacency about said life. Here’s a little snippet titled: Bugle 229a – The worst bits from 2013:
I admit it: Monty Python was never really my thing. And I tried. I watched Flying Circus; I watched all the movies. And sure I found “The Penis Song” from The Meaning of Life as amusing as the next 12 year old. But the closest I could get to really crushing on Python was Terry Gilliam. And really not even Terry Gilliam, just Time Bandits and maybe The Fisher King.
Now I’m not writing off all post-1970s, anglo-centric humor as offspring of John Clease. Far from it. Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg alone shoot that notion down. But there is something undeniably Python about Oliver’s show.
The Bugle has been around since 2007, and in that time Oliver and co-host Andy Zaltzman have perfected their routine: bone dry political musings delivered with precision deadpan. The show has a few, I’m guessing regular, bits where obligatory shots are taken at the States. Episode 229 had one about Obama going on vacation. Pretty funny.
The pretty funny stuff is what felt like Python. Maybe not my cup of tea. Maybe missing the mark a bit. Maybe both. Now here’s the good part: What wasn’t pretty funny was straight up hilarious! And the jokes hit like predator missiles, so subtle it’s as if they were engaged remotely by a far-away, comedy tactician.
I will be trolling the back catalog for more. I’ll let you know if the rest stack up. So far so good, though.