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John Oliver's 'Last Week Tonight' begins Sunday; a list of other 'Daily Show' refugees
John Oliver's new HBO topical/comedy/interview show begins Sunday (HBO, 11) and first guest: Gen. Keith Alexander, retired as director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command.
So, maybe not so funny, but topical.
"Last Week Tonight" features a host who finds himself at the head of a long conga line of talent that has left "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" over the last 15 years. Credit due to Stewart, and to "The Best [Expletive Deleted] News Team Ever." Maybe not the best. Indisputably the funniest. Here's a partial list of on (and off) screen stars who have moved on.
* Josh Lieb: Former executive producer (2007-2010) is currently producer-in-chief of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," and -- you may have heard -- Josh and Co. are doing quite well.
* Ed Helms: Hungover in "The Hangover" and Dr. Ed in "Children's Hospital," and much, much (much) else, Helms was correspondent from 2002 to 2006, where he seemed to channel a later creation, Andy Bernard of "The Office."
* Sarah Vowell: Certainly one of the more unusual post-"TDS" career tracks, she is (and was) a best-selling author during her days. "TDS" once boasted another distinguished ink-stained cast member: Former Newsday writer and former "TDS" movie critic, Frank DeCaro, who now hosts a Sirius Satellite Radio show.
* Stephen Colbert: From 1997 to 2005, he perfected the persona that he brought to "The Colbert Report," which he will shed when he joins "Late Show" next year. (His pal, former comedy associate, "Report" contributor, and "Strangers with Candy" star, Amy Sedaris, had also been mentioned as a possible "Colbert" replacement.)
* Rob Corddry: Former correspondent ('02-'07) and has been everywhere -- or seemingly so -- ever since. (A couple dozen credits, including "Community," "Happy Endings," "Children's Hospital" . . .)
* David Javerbaum: Another alumnus and head writer from '03 to '06, will see his book "The Last Testament: A Memoir by God" rendered into a Broadway play for the '15 season. (He got a Tony nom for the musical "Cry-Baby.")
* Josh Gad: Before he was famous, or at least before he starred as Elder Cunningham in "The Book of Mormon," Gad was briefly a "TDS" correspondent. Who knew?
* Rob Riggle: From '06 to '09, correspondent Riggle had also been in the U.S. Marine Corps and a player on "Saturday Night Live."
* Steve Carell: Needs noooo intro. The head of this class, or at least he shares that distinction with Colbert, he was correspondent from '99 to '05, and became a major star afterward. His greatest TV role: "The Office," of course.