Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus: Sports
May 18, 2020 7:57 PM - Season 7, Episode 12 - Subscribe

This week: Another episde from the Void. Rick Bright became a whistleblower into Trump's Coronavirus response, while Trump dissipated his energies unveiling the "Space Force" flag. There is a scandal around North Carolina Senator Richard Burr for profiting off of non-public Coronavirus briefings back in February. And Now: Rachael Ray Is Doing Her Best With Her New, One-Man Production Crew. Main story: Sports, why shutting them down for a while was the right thing to do, and what they've been doing in the meantime, some of which is actually fairly positive! Although some are fairly sucky, with the drive to earn profits overruling some team owners and even schools' desire to keep their players healthy. Which brings us... to Last Week's Tonight's newly-announced sponsorship of Marble League 2020, Jelle's Marble Runs (the producers of Marbula One) Olympics-like marble sports competition! On YouTube (22m) LWT is off next week.

Trump: "I call it the 'Super-Duper Missile. Space is going to be, it's going to be the future. We're now the leader in space."
Oliver: "Yeah. That happened."

On Rick Bright's testimony before Congress, "It seems that's what Congressional testimony is now, just career public health officials saying, on the record, 'Shit's fucked, motherfuckers!'"
On Trump: "He truly has the spirit, brain, appetite, temper, patience and wit of a child that you hate."
Sports: "The thing O.J. Simpson used to be famous for."
Adam Driver (in context of wrestling):
--"Choke-slam me to hell, you nasty shed!"
--"Jam your mandible-claw down my throat, you irredeemable steer!"
(in context of possibly legal action against Last Week Tonight for their Adam Driver bits)
--"DO IT! Slap a restraining order on me, you forlorn block!"
--"Beg me to stop, you menacing obstacle!"

F.37 "Bestus in Showem" FRED WILLARD
posted by JHarris (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Disseminating the marble runs is wonderful, sponsoring it it joyous.

I'm amazed at the support HBO is giving John Oliver - it has to be paying off on the balance sheets. Or does it?
posted by porpoise at 10:39 PM on May 18, 2020 [5 favorites]

I have trouble imagining the post-trump future where all these shows just show regularly-awful segments.
posted by Marticus at 10:40 PM on May 18, 2020

porpoise, we wondered that too. He doesn't have ads, audience tickets are were free, and he just announced donating $100K, on top of whatever they paid for the marble sponsorship. Not to mention things like buying the wax presidents and filming that huge production number through the streets of Manhattan late last season. And then they make 2/3 of each show free on youtube. I wonder how HBO justifies all that.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:09 AM on May 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

The big production numbers are a big part of the show though. HBO gives all of its shows a lot of money, that's what makes them good, that's why people subscribe to HBO; their shows feel lavish, unlike everything else around us that looks & feels like austerity. And then he apparently has a magnificent team who know *exactly* what to do with the money, which counts for a lot.
posted by bleep at 8:57 AM on May 19, 2020 [9 favorites]

I'm super excited that they're bringing Jelle's Marble Runs mainstream and even sponsoring the ML2020. I'm also surprised that's how you pronounce "Jelle".
posted by numaner at 10:22 AM on May 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

HBO had an estimated 43 million subscribers in 2019. Let’s say that they actually make from each is $10. (Makes the math easier and maybe accounts for the cut they actually get from cable companies). $430 mil a month. I doubt they are losing money on Jon Oliver.
posted by thewalledcity at 10:47 AM on May 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

It's worth noting that a show like this isn't cheap to produce, a lot of people work on it, and all those salaries add up. I wouldn't expect buying the wax presidents was even a significant part of their budget.

Renting Time Square, however, that was probably some cash.
posted by JHarris at 11:07 AM on May 19, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think LWTwJO keeps a lot of subscriptions alive between the big tentpole series. It certainly influences me.,
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:16 AM on May 19, 2020 [5 favorites]

It definitely is the reason I keep my subscription. I've only really watched a few series.
posted by emjaybee at 12:24 PM on May 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

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