John Oliver: Terrifying Times

DVD Reviews | Aug 17th, 2008

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Starring John Oliver, Andy Zaltzman
Written By:
Directed By:
Studio: Paramount/Comedy Central
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John Oliver is the British comedian, writer, and newscaster for the Daily Show. He sounds like Monty Python’s Eric Idle to me and is probably one of the funniest cast members on the show since Steve Colbert and Steve Carell. Terrifying Times is John Oliver’s Comedy Central TV special but now you can watch it uncensored & extended!

John warns the crowd as soon as he gets on stage that he talks in a British accent, so be prepared for the words to come with more authority than we’re used to. He then talks over an hour or less about politics (obviously), The United States, our current lovely President, evolution, imperialism and lots of other topics. What’s impresses me the most about John Oliver is how well educated he is, and how he sounds like a real news reporter. I guess that’s why Jon Stewart and the Daily Show people brought him on board. John provides the audience with some visuals on stage as well. When watching this, his stand-up reminded me of Eddie Izzard’s stand-up style. Granted John isn’t in drag while performing but they have a similar style I think. Especially when John talks about old time British history & politics.

I thought John Oliver was funny at times during Terrifying Times, but I think I find him the funniest when he’s just being on the Daily Show. His material seems to be all over the place at times. For someone who’s not considered an intellectual, it’s kind of hard to follow or keep up. I think if Oliver spent more time on a specific topic it might have been better to follow. That’s not to say this wasn’t a funny comedy performance, it was. I just thought it could have been funnier.

Besides the comedy special, there’s a lot some extras on here as well. The DVD menu is quite hilarious and probably runs 10 minutes long? I eventually turned it off because it started to get redundant but definitely just leave the DVD running. It’s John Oliver just riffing off the DVD menus and wondering why you didn’t pick anything yet. I remember a similar DVD menu on the Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle DVD. I love those menus! There are some John Oliver segments from the Daily Show on this DVD and I really liked watching those again. My favorite among the bunch is with John Oliver and Larry Wilmore investigating about the N word usage. It’s a brilliant piece and definitely should be seen if you haven’t seen it yet. Other extras include a behind the scenes featurette and some interviews. Overall, this is a DVD for fans of the Daily Show and comedian John Oliver. Others might not be impressed or might get bored. I don’t know, I think it’s worth watching at least once.

– Some of John’s appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
– Behind the Scenes at a Political Animal taping at the UCB Theatre
– “John & Andy On”: Interviews with Andy Zaltzman

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color


Favorite Scenes:
Rating: NR
Running Time: 56 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: