Verdict: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

David and I have fallen in love with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. It is quick witted, funny, and up to date on current events. The show is on HBO, so it has a slightly limited access, but thankfully they have decided to make whole segments available on YouTube. This means that even if you do not get to watch the whole thing you still get to see some of it. It is becoming well known enough that public figures are commenting on things that the show is saying. One of the best is when the head of the FCC makes a comment during an open meeting that he is not a dingo, which was a reference to a comment made my John Oliver. He definitely talks about a variety of issues that came up in the last week, but usually he has a focus for most of the episode. The issues that he discusses are real and I appreciate how he discusses the points, although it is obvious to see a bias that is okay because it is entertainment. To talk about this further I wanted to discuss some of my favorite moments so far.

Net Neutrality Discussion

John Oliver delivered what might be considered the best explanation of Net Neutrality I have heard yet. He did it in a way that many people could understand and get behind, as well as might listen to because he made an excellent point. Net Neutrality sounds like the most boring conversation topic ever. He did a similar take on the issues around the World Cup, which was also a fantastic episode.

Interview Pepe Julian Onziema

In the most recent episode John Oliver discussed the history behind and recent updates to the anti-gay laws in Uganda. As part of this segment they first showed an interview with Ugandan LGBT activist Pepe Julian Onziema where they were the most poised a person in face of out right lies and attacks. John Oliver follows this up by doing an interview with Pepe. It is a brilliant segment and a great look at the issues facing Ugandans.

Interview with Stephen Hawking

I kind of hope that this is really the start of a series where John Oliver interviews some of the great minds of today. Starting with Stephen Hawking is a brilliant beginning. The part of the interview that is brilliant is discussing the idea of the singularity, where a computer gains consciousness. What is great is that they get down to asking whether John Oliver is really talking to Stephen Hawking or talking to the computer who is pretending to be Stephen Hawking. The interaction with Stephen Hawking is fantastic.

Steve Buscemi Tap Dancing

In response to the critique of Dr. Oz turning medical information in to spectacle, often promoting unregulated supplements, John Oliver wanted to show spectacle without promoting unsound medical advise. Part of the spectacle that he showed ended with Steve Buscemi tap dancing and out comes Steve Buscemi tap dancing. I clapped as soon as Steve Buscemi came out because it was absolutely brilliant and I kind of love him as an actor.

Right Said Fred

So apparently Syrian President Assad is a fan of Right Said Fred, so John Oliver got them to come on the show and got them to preform an anti-Assad version of “I’m Too Sexy”. The song is so brilliant and I love that he tells Assad to stop downloading our tracks. The idea is creative, entertaining, but so poignant. It is also an interesting look at an artist not wanting to be associated with a tyrannical dictator.

So I guess the bottom line is you should watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver or at least watch all the clips that you can on YouTube because it is brilliant.


10 responses to “Verdict: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

  1. Geraint Isitt

    I liked John Oliver when he would show up on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a correspondent (kind of like Stephen Colbert did way back when). The writing on all of those three shows is excellent. The best place to get your news from actually.


  2. I’m in love with this show, always checking youtube for updates. Loved the Dr Oz segment, especially when he got George R.R. Martin on Skype… “I just killed your favourite characters.” Brilliant. And Steve Buscemi tapdancing. Simply wonderful.


  3. NotAPunkRocker

    Ah, my future ex-husband. When or if he becomes single again LOL


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