John Oliver Cancels Trip to Israel

The comedian, who was due to participate in the inauguration of HBO programming through Israel's Hot cable TV provider, cited unforeseen production obligations.

John Oliver, 2015.
Charles Sykes/AP

Comedian John Oliver announced on Saturday that he was canceling his trip to Israel due to unforeseen production obligations.

The late-night TV host was due to arrive in Israel on January 15 to help launch HBO programming on Israel's cable television provider Hot. The next season of Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" will also be broadcast in Israel in February.

Billy Eichner asking Manhattan residents if they know John Oliver YouTube

For the time being, Oliver is appearing on Billy Eichner's "Billy on the Street" on truTV. In a particularly notable clip over the past week, the two are seen together asking gay men in Manhattan if they know Oliver, who had devoted a number of monologues to support the LGBT community. In the clip, most of those whom they asked were not familiar with him.

Oliver, who won five Primetime Emmy Awards, began his television career as a correspondent on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" in 2006, and later was a hit in standup comedy, as well as acting in the NBC comedy show "Community." He returned to "The Daily Show" as a replacement host for Stewart.

Hot announced a few months ago that it had purchased rights to broadcast HBO's content library, which had been show exclusively on the Yes satellite channel until recently. As part of the deal, Hot bought the rights to popular series such as "Game of Thrones," "Westworld" and "Girls." Hot paid much more than Yes to HBO for the rights.

Yes will continue to broadcast HBO shows, at least until the end of 2017, and including the last two seasons of "Game of Thrones."  If Yes wants to continue with HBO after that, it will have to renegotiate, which is expected to cost them dearly.