I am a cool, young, and hip person. Groovy, even. So, you can rest assured that I did not just look up the term “based” in Urban Dictionary to ensure I used it correctly. Why should I? I’m too on fleek to look something up! You can take your dictionary and yeet it into the sun! While you’re doing that, I’ll explain how John Oliver is totally based.
Oliver’s show, Last Week Tonight, is on hiatus until the AMPTP decides to pay writers and actors appropriately. Meanwhile, he’s doing a podcast with his co-hosting cohorts, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and the secondary star of the movie Taxi. In the most recent episode, Oliver revealed that he was fired from his first TV gig. The reason he was fired feels like classic Oliver.
Oliver was working for the U.K. morning show The Big Breakfast (which I assume is primarily beans). Employees were tasked with writing jokes for an “emergency” segment. If there was a lull, the host would draw questions from the emergency pile. Oliver, assuming the chances of his question getting pulled were low, decided to write a question about current events. The question he chose? “Obviously the war in Kosovo isn’t going well. It doesn’t seem like airstrikes are going to be enough. Would you send in ground troops?” Despite the low odds, the question was picked, and it did not go over well.
According to Oliver, his co-workers knew what was coming. He claimed that he was told, “You are totally fucked right now.” The guest at the time, Tatyana Ali of Fresh Prince fame, was thrown by the question. As Oliver remembers, the actor said something akin to, “Uh, I don’t know, I wasn’t expected to talk about this.” Not the best beat for a morning talk show.
Still, it would be perfect for Last Week Tonight or The Daily Show. Oliver has never been afraid of tackling political and global issues through a comedic lens. If anything, we’re lucky this didn’t scare him from political comedy forever! Instead, Oliver decided to lean into what he knew. If you ask me, that’s pretty based (nailed it).