He plays a recurring character, Professor Ian Duncan, on the television series Community. He has worked extensively with Andy Zaltzman; their body of work includes hundreds of hours of satirical podcasts and radio broadcasts, including series such as Political Animal,The Department, and The Bugle.
In 1998 he graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge, where he read English and was Vice-President of the Cambridge Footlights for 1997–98, when the President was Richard Ayoade. He also featured in that year's revue, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
John Oliver currently lives in New York with his wife Kate Norley, an Iraq War veteran. Oliver has said that they met at the 2008 Republican National Convention where he was doing a piece for The Daily Show and Norley was campaigning with Vets for Freedomafter she and other veterans hid Oliver, the other correspondents, and the camera crew from security. The two married in October 2011.
Oliver's status as an immigrant placed certain constraints on what he could do in his adopted country, but also provided him with comedy material as he poked fun at the opacity and occasional absurdity of the process of attaining US citizenship. Oliver was one of the many writers on the picket lines during the Writers' Guild strike which brought The Daily Show to a halt,but he appeared on the show upon its resuming production on 7 January 2008. During a sketch, he pointed out that he is in the U.S. on a visa which requires him not to strike while the show is in production and violation of the terms of the visa would be grounds for deportation. When asked about his immigration status in early 2009, Oliver said, "It's an ongoing, and slightly unsettling, battle to be honest. I tried engraving 'Give me your tired, your poor, and your aspiring comic performers' into the base of the Statue of Liberty, but apparently that's not legally binding." In an episode of The Bugle released 31 October 2009, Oliver announced that he "finally got approved for [his] green card," noting that now he can "get arrested filming bits for The Daily Show".
Graduated from Cambridge University.
Often writes and performs with friend Andy Zaltzman.
Writer and star of Radio 4's 'The Department' alongside Chris Addison and Andy Zaltzman