Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Corporate Taxes
April 15, 2018 11:59 PM - Season 5, Episode 8 - Subscribe

This week--
  • The Comey interview, which happened after LWT taped.
  • The FBI raids Michael Cohen's office, home and hotel room. And a bunch of other stuff happened as well.
  • And Now: Ari Melber, Rap Genius
  • Main story: Corporate Taxes, the lengths that companies go to in order to avoid them, and how they stand to profit under Trump's budget.
  • And Now: Ari Melber, Rap Genius, Volume Two: Just Jay-Z Quotes
  • There are two remaining Blockbuster Video locations remaining in the United States, last remnants of a vast empire, and one of them is in Alaska. Last Week Tonight bought Russell Crowe's leather jockstrap from the movie Cinderella Man at auction, among a lot of other stuff. How do these two facts concide? Well, let's just say the store should get in touch with LWT within the 48 hours after airing.
The main story is on YouTube here (16 minutes).

Trump's anger level: "Permanently between 'child who accidently ate a pound of cocaine throwing a tantrum in a K-Mart' and 'Alex Baldwin after being told the other party's finishing dessert and the table's going to be another 10-15 minutes.'"
Taxes: "Essentially, the government's GoFundMe page."
The people who like best: "Eric Trump, Rosannne Barr, and anyone who's ever looked both ways before whispering, IT WAS THE JEWS."
Total cereal: "It tastes like your spoon somehow missed the cereal and now you're just eating the box that it came in."
The John Carroll Jr. operetta: "We may have found the only musical resistant to race-blind casting. You can't go Hamilton on this one, because those people really have to be white."
Alaska: "The state we purchased from the grizzly bears for 50 pounds of salmon. You stupid fucking bears."


The information that, between 2008 and 2015, 18 large, profitable companies paid no tax at all, including General Electric, International Paper, and PG&E, comes from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy's report "The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth." They also note that one-fifth of U.S. corporations paid taxes at an effective rate of less than 10%.

Here's the Bloomberg Businessweek article, with a good number of video clips, about the operetta staged in honor of John Carroll Jr., the man who invented the strategy of moving companies offshore to avoid taxes.

F.37: "P90-EX," PAUL RYAN
posted by JHarris (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This one was great. I honestly, actually laughed out loud between the moments of frantically shaking my head and screaming inside.
posted by Samizdata at 1:25 AM on April 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

That operetta! Even knowing that lady was a paid singer, I was so repulsed by her. So I mean...well done, whoever put it together, I guess.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:08 AM on April 16, 2018

I'm always amused by the "silly things" budget HBO gives LWT.

Tim Cook: Republicans buy sneakers iPhones, too
posted by lmfsilva at 10:58 AM on April 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Holy cow - looking forward to the followup for this, a most whimsical stunt.
posted by porpoise at 8:27 PM on April 16, 2018

i got a real kick out of that vest from Les Mis. I don't know why. I want to visit this Blockbuster so badly now.
posted by numaner at 2:43 PM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Blockbuster segment was vintage John Oliver and left me grinning for hours afterward.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:40 AM on April 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

That moment, when John has insisted, over and over again, that of course they didn't buy the jockstrap, that would be insane, they absolutely did. not. do. that. ...

That moment, that ellipsis, that pause where you know what is going to happen, you have known it all along, and you know that he knows that you have known it all along, and yet... just for that merest interval, when you know that he knows that you know, but...

That moment should be taught in comedy classes.
posted by Etrigan at 7:50 AM on April 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

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