During the past 168 hours....
- International Women's Day and reactions it it from around the globe, from Russian President Vladimir Putin, from Brazil President Michel Temer, and a particularly clueless San Antonio TV morning show host.
- Wikileaks leaked documents concerning the CIA, although this batch is rather less alarming than Snowden's. It is filled with ridiculous program names though. Program Weeping Angel investigated the possibility of hacking into Samsung TVs to use them as listening devices, which, after two notorious recalls, is everything that company needed. LWT presents a message on behalf of Samsung to try to salvage their reputation, but it doesn't go too well.
- Main story: The Republican response to the Affordable Healthcare Act, the American Health Care Act (YouTube 19m), and the many ways in which it's terrible. The piece concludes with another visit from LWT commercial proxy, the Catheter Cowboy.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Vladimir Putin Season 4, Ep 2
So, what happened last week?
- President Trump continues to amplify unquestioningly whatever whimsical story was presented on Fox News, this time that Sweden is having problems with immigrants, which Sweden denies.
- The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong-nam (Wikipedia), was poisoned in an airport, by a woman who claims she was told to do it as part of a reality show.
- A Florida man plotted to have bombs placed in 10 Target stores in order to drive stock prices down.
- AND NOW: Fox & Friends is Painfully Aware of Who is Watching Them
- MAIN STORY: Russia, specifically Vladimir Putin (YouTube, 20m). Him, his regime, how he's profited, what happens to those who oppose him, and Trump's fascination for him. LWT produced a short dance number about him, refering to the Russian pop song praising Putin.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health, Peeple Season 2, Ep 29
Vladimir Putin launches air strikes against ISIS in Syria. Quick takes from the United Nations general debate: Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe defends their anti-homosexuality laws; Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaims the Iran nuclear deal by silently staring them down for 45 seconds; dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko brings his 11-year-old son to sit beside him in the General Assembly. The Secret Service hits scandal yet again by trying to embarass Congressman Jason Chaffetz by leaking his old job application to their agency. And Now: People On Television Talking Shit About Their Producers. Main story: the horrifying plight of the mentally ill in the United States. YouTube (12m) And Now: Newscasters Stretching The Definition Of The Word "Exclusive." And finally, the new "Yelp for people" app, Peeple... wait that sounds a bit familiar. Last Week Tonight launches a website to facilitate people saying awful things on the internet without actually hurting anyone: screamintothevoid.com. Or consider another suggestion by LWT: Peeble, an app which rates people according to the opinion of Mario Van Peebles. [more inside]
This week.... The Obama administration reaches a historic deal with Iran, but has difficulty selling it to Congress. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is in Russia to kick off preparations for the 2018 World Cup. Ashley Madison, a website that encourages and helps set up affairs between married people, was hacked and the responsible parties threaten to release records on their userbase. LWT produced a short message exhorting married citizens of Ottawa not to have affairs. Main story: The absurdity of mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the US. YouTube (15m) And Now: Unnecessary Full Disclosure. Ukraine threatens to blacklist Gérard Depardieu as a threat to their national security (Guardian) for a statement made last year at a film festival. Over the closing credits, LWT provides a brief slideshow of photos of Depardieu set to "cartoonishly French music." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US torturing of detainees, upping the stakes against Jack Warner Season 2, Ep 17
This week: Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko warns Vladimir Putin likely to invade soon. Azerbaijan prepares to host the European Games, a new Olympics-style sporting festival, drawing closer scrutiny for their terrible human rights record. Canadian senators discovered to have spent over a million dollars of the government's money for things like golf and fishing trips, hockey tickets and holidays -- but spent $24 million to discover it. And Now: Newscasters Trying Not To Swear. The main story is on torture, American's attitudes and misconceptions regarding it, and how little has changed since we learned the CIA engaged in it, how it doesn't work, and why we seem to think that it does. LWT got Dame Helen Mirram to read key excerpts from it. YouTube (15m) And Now: Newscasters Not Trying Not TO Swear. And finally, an update on former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who responded (3m) to Oliver's Trinidad TV response (4m) to his video (7m). The "epic and dramatic music" in Warner's is Ash (3m), by The Secession.
This week: Vladimir Putin holds his yearly four-hour marathon Q&A session with the Russian public. Oklahoma volunteer deputy Robert Bates shoots black suspect Eric Harris. In preparation for Earth Day (it's in a week), they took a quick look at the plight of the polar bear; not only is their habitat shrinking, but pollution is threatening the species by weakening male polar bears' pelvic and penile bones. In studio we meet Marshmallow, the Polar Bear With A Broken Penis. And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Endures The American Public. (That would be Steve Scully of C-SPAN's Washington Journal call-in show.) Main story: Abuses of the US Patent system. (YouTube 11m) And Now: The Continuing Adventures Of The Most Patient Man On Television. And finally, we return to CNN's infamous "end of world" video, with Last Week Tonight's own proposed version (YouTube 7m), narrated by Martin Sheen and featuring footage of an old-time Western saloon peopled by cats.
In Russia, another Putin critic, Boris Nemtsov was gunned down. (CNN) FCC passes Net Neutrality rules. (BBC) Scientists suspect gerbils, not rats, were responsible for bubonic plague. (New Yorker) Last Week Tonight makes a video apologizing to rats and demonizing gerbils. Main story: The crumbling national infrastructure of the United States, and why it's hard to do something about it. (LWT YouTube, 21m) LWT provides a trailer for an action movie about performing basic maintenance on roads and bridges.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Judge elections in the US and the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat Season 2, Ep 3
This week: Greece gets a loan reprieve. Cease fire violated in Ukraine, Egypt butchers the Russian national anthem. The UK's Labour Party tries to appeal to women by means of a pink bus (YT 4m). Last Week Tonight imagines what would happen if Labour did damage control in a video segment, Pretty Princess Ponies. Main story: The many problems with electing state judges in the US (YT 13m). And Now: CNN Weatherman Chad Myers Hates His Job, His Life and Everyone Around Him. China celebrates the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. Or is it Goat?
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators in Afghanistan, Livening Up Supreme Court Reporting Season 1, Ep 21
Ebola Freakout. Vladimir Putin has a full day. McDonalds hires a former Mythbuster to promote their food. Main story: the plight of military translators (16m), with guest "Fnu" Mohammad. And Now: People in Congress Reminding you Exactly How Long They've Been In Congress. How to liven up Supreme Court proceedings (6m): take a cue from Keyboard Cat and replace courtroom drawings with dogs. Presented with raw footage of dogs (and a duck and a chicken) (11m) that news agencies (and you, the viewer at home) can use to make your own backing footage of Supreme Court audio.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: America's Prisons Season 1, Ep 11
This week: Conflict in Gaza. Ukraine rebels shoot down airliner. The Commonwealth Games. John Oliver says the overall theme of the week was how depressing it was, so let's have a long piece on prisons in America... but with a puppet song at the end! John Oliver suffers so that we might laugh.