“This photo [of John Oliver] is the first time I ever used strobe lights outdoors. It was an experiment, and what better subject than the U.K.’s latest comedic export, John Oliver. He was new to The Daily Show at the time. I always loved the freeze frames at the end of movies with the people jumping in the air, and, to me, this captures that essence combined with the utter ridiculousness you would expect from a comedian. Was John accidentally tripping, or was he jumping in celebration? That’s for the viewer to interpret. To me, all that matters is that the photo makes me laugh each time I see it.” – Seth Olenick
The photo of John Oliver is featured in New York City-based photographer Seth Olenick‘s new book, Funny Business. Some of the bigger names featured in the book include Zach Galifanakis, Megan Mullally and Jon Hamm, plus Olenick was able to photograph the entire cast of the The State, a sketch comedy show from the 1990s known for its hilarious one-liners. The project began in 2003 when Olenick was the photo editor and photographer for Heeb: The New Jew Review. Heeb hosted a comedy series at a lounge on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Olenick had the opportunity to photograph the show’s host, comedian Todd Barry, which first spawned the idea.