- “You don’t need people’s opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking: ‘Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?’ or ‘Do owls exist?’ or ‘Are there hats?'” – John Oliver
John Oliver is a genius when it comes to political satire. As a Brit in the United States, he takes a no-nonsense approach to espousing what he believes to be the truth and what is real. Oliver is fearless with his blows, which are padded with a great deal of satire and wit. Oliver takes the concept of being true to one’s self and speaking your mind to another level. This self-concept is what undoubtedly allows him to make statements such as : ” The British media is sinking down, as the American news media has lowered the bar for all of humanity. British news media is definitely trying to stoop down to that level. Everyone is stooping to the lowest common denominator”.
“I feel more at home knowing I’m not at home. It takes all the pressure off you trying to fit in!” – John Oliver
John Oliver provides a great deal of insight into why being yourself is not only an integral part of being a successful political satirist, but also as a successful human being. Oliver is guided by his inner principles on what is factual and thus true. This perspective serves as his foundation for putting the spin of humor and satire on the deviations from truth that are seen so commonly, which Oliver does not hesitate to call out.
“When you see people say crazy things on our show, they mean this stuff, and that’s easy to forget: They’re not joking”. – John Oliver
From Oliver, we can learn that it is important to be true to yourself and to speak your mind. It obviously helps if you can employ a great deal of wit and humor as you do so, however neither are necessities. What is important is that you are able to establish principles that you can live by, and use them to guide you and be comfortable with yourself and to voice your opinion. Oliver is guided by facts and the facts form his opinion on salient issues, which is why his political satire is so effective. If we can make a commitment to be guided by our own inner principles, then we may find our own success as Oliver has.