John Oliver is still trying to figure out a format for his upcoming HBO series.
Network president Michael Lombardo announced last November that HBO offered the British comedian his own weekly talk show after watching him take over hosting duties for The Daily Show. Oliver hosted for eight weeks over the summer while Jon Stewart was filming his upcoming drama, Rosewater, in Jordan. The film is based on the memoir They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy.
Speaking at a TCA panel, John Oliver joked that he didn’t want to ruin The Daily Show while Stewart was gone.
“I set myself the achievable goal of not destroying that particular franchise,” he said. “I guess it went well? But comedy is subjective and I’m sure some people thought, ‘Get that British impostor off of my favorite TV show.’”
The 36-year-old also said that he has yet to finalize an overall plan for his currently untitled talk show.
“The format does not exist at the moment, we’re working on that,” he said. “The show will be making fun of things.”
Although it has yet to be decided whether the talk show will be half an hour or an hour, John Oliver did say that it will air on Sunday evenings, allowing him to “look backwards and forwards.”
The Birmingham, England, native also thanked Jon Stewart for his mentorship over the years. Oliver joined The Daily Show as a its Senior British Correspondent in July 2006 after a recommendation from Ricky Gervais.
“He has been invaluable over the last seven-and-a-half years of my life in almost everything,” Oliver said. “So I talked to him about this decision, and he’s been amazing. As a comedian, I’m almost allergic to sincerity, but he has been incredible.”
The Daily Show gave John Oliver an emotional sendoff with a retrospective of his best — and most embarrassing — moments on the show. Oliver visibly teared up at the end of the clip and Stewart appeared to be fighting back some tears of his own before having director Chuck O’Neil play Mystikal’s “Danger” to lighten the mood.
Oliver’s new HBO series is set to premiere in April.
[Photo credit: Generation Progress / Flickr]