John Oliver is Funnier Than You Are

On this blog, we usually write about tech policy, the First Amendment, and an open Internet.

But I was at the Democratic National Convention this week. Obviously, I was mainly going to events related to Internet policy and seeing the speeches.

After President Obama’s speech, I went to a party with some friends. There were also some celebrities at this party. All of us were star-struck by one group of celebrities–the Daily Show cast. We’re political news junkies, and the Daily Show aspires to have “the Best F#@king News Team Ever.” We were like kids running into star quarterbacks.

I chatted with John Oliver–he was friendly and chatting with everyone. I told him I loved the song about Team Very Rich and Team Very Poor, and he tried to remember it and sang some of it for me. (That was cool.) I asked for a photo, and he handed the photo to his assistant, and they made some inside jokes to one another about whether this assistant was his “First Assistant” or his “Second Assistant.” They both found the joke funny.

Seeing this interaction with the assistant, and to mess with John Oliver, my friend Seth Bannon handed his own camera to John Oliver and said, “Hey, I’d love a picture with your assistant. Could you take it, John Oliver?” This photo would reflect the spirit of inclusion we heard about in Joe Biden’s speech. Seth is the CEO of Amicus, which is one of Silicon Valley’s most talked about new companies, a recent graduate of Y Combinator, and is very funny and sharp.

He poses for a photo with Oliver’s assistant, everyone’s laughing, the assistant loves the attention and points a cocked finger at the camera.  John Oliver snaps a photo in good cheer.

And then Oliver hands me the camera and dashes off before I can look at it. This is the picture he took.

Translation: You might be funny, but John Oliver is funnier. Don’t even try to mess with him.


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