By Hillary Busis
August 15, 2013 at 05:09 PM EDT
Comedy Central
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For the past nine weeks, viewers expecting The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to live up to its name have been in for a rude awakening.

Aside from one quick Skype visit, Stewart himself has been nowhere to be found. Instead, the show’s been helmed by another, more “h”-happy John: John Oliver, who stepped in for Stewart on June 10.

In reality, Stewart took the summer off to film a movie in the Middle East. But explaining that over and over again would have gotten pretty boring pretty fast — which is why Oliver has instead opened each of the show’s past 31 episodes with a new, ridiculous explanation for where Stewart’s actually been hiding.

Before Oliver sits down at the anchor’s desk one last time tonight, relive his tenure as Daily Show host by reading every single one of those excuses — some of which come with an awesome photo illustration, courtesy of TDS‘s graphics department. (Many of the lines double as reminders about this summer’s biggest news stories; remember when that red panda escaped from the National Zoo?) Sure, we’ve missed Jon the First — but these jokes are reason enough to celebrate his scrappy British replacement.

“I am John Oliver — still here for Jon Stewart, who…

“…is going to be away for the summer. He’s gone to a small Italian village to learn how to cobble shoes.”

“…is currently living out a live action Lord of the Rings role-playing experience deep in the New Zealand wilderness, where I believe that he is serving as admiral of an Elvish navy vessel.”

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“…is gone for the summer. I’m not actually supposed to say this, but someone got him pregnant. He’s gone to a community for older men in a similar situation.”

“…is off for the summer, performing a David Blaine-like stunt where he spends 90 straight days not hosting a talk show.”

“…is at home, recovering from a state of the art procedure in which he switched faces with Nicolas Cage.”

“…was out hiking, and now has his arm caught under a boulder. But don’t worry — we have sent a rescue team to bring him a Swiss Army knife so he can cut his arm off by September.”

“…at this hour remains trapped in a Chilean mine with 18 other talk show hosts.”

“…is spending the summer on an Eat Pray Love-style journey to find himself. I think he’s currently at the point where he’s sleeping with Javier Bardem.”

“…is currently in Moscow. Or Ecuador. Or a flight somewhere, or escaped from the National Zoo. We don’t know. We don’t know at this point.”

“…is currently walking across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope.”

“…has taken the summer off to follow his dream and work as a nude model for the arts program at Rutgers.”

“…is currently searching for treasure based on a map he found on the back of the Constitution.”

“…is currently on a Rumspringa, and he will be back some time at the start of September. He loves roller coasters.”

“…is not here, because he has grown tired of watching you having sex during his show. That’s right — this is a two-way screen. Whereas for me, I’m still learning things from you.”

“…is currently waiting to emerge from Kate Middleton’s vagina. Push, Princess, push!”

“…is spending the summer undercover posing as a high school student in order to bust a drug ring. Oh s—, I think I just outed him. Now they’re going to realize he’s not a real teenage girl. Get out of there, Rebecca! Run as fast as your hairy legs can carry you!”

“…we are all missing him terribly here, which is why we were so glad this weekend to see him tweet a picture of himself. Oh yeah! And if you don’t get the reference for that photograph, then congratulations — you live in a far happier world than the rest of us.”

“…is actually upstate in the Catskills, teaching sexy dancing to a community not yet ready to handle it. He is having… the time of his life.”

“…is on tour with his ambient jazz quartet, Jonny F. and the Electric Stew Machine. Those guys can blow.”

“…is still not here. Word is that he has been kidnapped and is trapped in a cave in the Middle East, constructing his own Iron Man suit.”

“…is away this summer filming a National Geographic special, slowly gaining the trust of a family of meerkats.”

“…is waiting at home for Time Warner to come fix his cable. They said they’d be there between noon and 2 on June the 10th; frankly, he’s still waiting there.”

“…is spending the summer with a lonely millionaire. Say what you will, but he’s making $3,000 and he doesn’t have to kiss on the mouth, so don’t judge.”

“…is currently on an uninhabited island in the Pacific, learning about the human condition and befriending a volleyball.”

“…is currently attempting to break the world record for smashing the most watermelons with his head in under 2 minutes.”

“…in a huge deal, [has] actually been taken over by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Such a shame — Jon Stewart proudly owned himself for 50 years.”

“…is currently competing to be America’s Next Top Model. Oh no, they voted him out! Don’t listen to them, Jon — you’re beautiful on the inside, and there is no shame in being more catalog than editorial. That’s a fact.”

“…is spending the summer fulfilling the terms of his crazy uncle’s will by spending the whole time in a haunted house. He doesn’t like g-g-g-ghosts!”

“…due to a comical mix-up is actually currently hosting The Doily Show, America’s greatest satirical lace centerpiece program. He is eviscerating that lace work, and that is a direct Huffington Post quote. He’s telling that lace some truths.”

“…is currently preparing his costume for next year’s Carnivàle. He looks spectacular.”

“…has been spending the entire summer at training camp with the New York Giants. Apparently he’s extremely happy and in almost constant pain.”

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