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The Museum of the Moving Image honored HBO CEO Richard Plepler and long-time television journalist Charlie Rose at a dinner June 11 at the St. Regis New York. Several of the honorees’ colleagues an…
Bongo Christ? Dick Tickler? Fabian Assmann?
GROSS: We could see you wiping tears from your eyes. And I thought Jon Stewart looked surprised, like he wasn’t expecting you to be that emotional. And he was almost a little concerned.
OLIVER: Yeah, I think - well, the problem - I think that this is the - the moment when I fell apart was - I think he could see that I was getting upset towards the end. And he - I don’t know if you can even hear it on camera, but he kind of - I can’t remember - he kind of like brings me in and he said - asked me - are you OK? And I just fell apart ‘cause that was just such - it was so emblematic of the way he’d been with me over nearly a decade, which was constantly checking if I was OK, helping me through things, teaching me how to do things that I perhaps should already know how to do.
You know, before he left for the summer at a time when he had no time, when he had a movie to prepare, he was so generous with, you know, giving me advice on how to run things, when there can be problems in the process, how to feel when something like this happens. He helped me with everything. He was always so generous. And so at that moment, the fact he said, are you OK - that was - I’m afraid my elegantly constructed British dam was broken.”
But I think there was one day, to be honest, in particular, that was very, very difficult. And it was something I’d been concerned about going in. Occasionally, when something really painful happens, there are times when people just want to hear from Jon about it. And, you know, there have been times in the past when he’s helped people, you know, with comedy to kind of feel some kind of catharsis through some very difficult events. And I said I’m worried that I have no authority to occupy that position. You know, I can make fun of things, but if anything painful happens, I’m worried that it’s unearned - any authority I have is unearned.
And he said, “Well, now would be the time that you would have to earn that.””