How can I watch The Daily Show With John Oliver from the UK? And is it any good?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has become an institution in the US - a mocking, opinionated, comic alternative to watching actual news for a whole generation of left-leaning young folk. So when well-established host Stewart went on a break to direct a movie, obviously Comedy Central weren't going to take it off air.

Instead, high-profile correspondent and British import John Oliver took over for the summer. For those of us familiar with both his excellent podcast The Bugle with Andy Zaltzman or his reliably fun reports for The Daily Show in the past, this was an exciting prospect. But, 2.5 weeks into the gig, how is it really?

But first, TECHNICAL TIPS on how to legally watch The Daily Show from the UK.

  1. Install and open Google Chrome.
  2. Go to MediaHint.Com and install the MediaHint plugin.
  3. Go to the settings/extensions menu in Chrome and ensure MediaHint is enabled.
  4. Go to The Daily Show site and watch video indiscriminately.

If this stops working, then believe me, I will be as sad as you. And now, one of Oliver's excellent Daily Show reports on gun control. Review follows video.

If an opinion falls on the internet, does anyone pick it up?

The title sequence at the start of every The Daily Show episode still adds With Jon Stewart to the end, so clearly Oliver isn't getting his feet too far under the table. His version of the show is very similar to Stewart's, albeit with more bleeped out cursing.

In fact, now he's not pretending to be a comedy Brit quite as much, listening to Oliver's opening monologues on The Daily Show is a lot like listening to his longer rambles on The Bugle podcast, only without Andy Zaltzman to drag him down the path to absurdity. As a Bugle fan, obviously I'm not complaining.

He allowed himself one show to make all the obvious jokes about his own status as fill-in, and then quite correctly moved on, covering the news with all the despair and occasional anger we expect from that chair. I've only watched regularly during Oliver's tenure, and the interviews at the end with incredibly US-centric celebrities sometimes lose me a bit, but the opening 10 minutes are always excellent work. The middle segment... I'd say 50/50 hit rate?

People often say the UK equivalent of The Daily Show is 10 O'Clock Live, and I enjoy that show, but it does look really loose and rambled compared to the polished monologues produced by its US rivals on a daily basis. Even with its host on holiday, still a satirical machine. If you enjoy Oliver's work here, try The Bugle, it's pretty funny.

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