Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Kentucky Senate Race & Global Warming Debate
May 12, 2014 1:51 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The third episode of John Oliver's satirical "whatever this is" for HBO. Covers the drafting of the first openly-gay player in the NFL, the Eurovision Song Contest, the Russia v. Ukraine commemorative "coin," the FEC allowing contributions in Bitcoin, the Kentucky Senate race (NSFW), people dressing up as other races and the dangers of global warming.

HBO viewers can watch the episode on HBO Go. It is unlikely that this one will make it to YouTube, due to substantial nudity.

In episode 3, a good one overall:
- First openly-gay player in the NFL draft. Pretty happy, this bit!
- The Eurovision Song Contest. "There is this thing called the Eurovision Song Contest. It happens once a year, and it is basically the craziest thing you will ever see." Followed by the camera zooming in on the expanse of exposed cleavage of a well-endowed woman churning butter on a brightly-lit stage.
- Putin annexing the Ukraine, Russia minting a two-pound silver coin to "commemorate" the event.
- FEC allows US campaign contributions to be made in Bitcoin. "The currency of choice for heroin dealers and assassins is now perfectly fine for political candidates to accept." $50M senate race in Kentucky, fueled greatly by out-of-state money. We learn that 28% of Kentucky residents don't have internet access; for Alaska, that figure is only 18%. Kentucky problems presented in animated GIF form.
Actual quotes from campaign ads found by the show:
* "I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm!"
* "And for as long as I can remember, my father had this rifle real handy" (cocks gun) "...just to keep us safe!"
* (boom) "My forefather used a cannon like this to fight the British [...] and win us a Constitution!"
* "If you're the sexual predator and sociopath who murdered my sister Lynette, if you come to my front door to harm my girls, I'll use my Glock" (dramatic head turn) " blow your balls off!" (winning smile)
Keeping with the theme established by those clips, presented are Last Week Tonight's suggested attack ads for Kentucky Senate candidates McConnell and Grimes. McConnell's ad presents Grimes as a chainsaw murderer -- with HBO-allowed levels of gore. Grimes' ad, well, is also something that would probably only be seen on HBO. (Not safe for work or lunch.)
- "How Is This Still A Thing?": Dressing up as other races.
- The danger of global warning. "We've all been asked, 'Don't you want to leave a better Earth for your grandchildren?' and we've all collectively responded: 'Eh, fuck 'em!'" Considering how global warming is supported by 97.1% of relevent scientific papers, "Last Week Tonight presents a statistically representative climate change debate," with Bill Nye and 97 scientists against three climate change deniers.

Interestingly, there was no interview tonight, not even one pushed to the web.

Last Week Tonight's website only numbers episodes, so the title given is made up. Substantial portions of this post are copied from a comment I made on the MeFi Last Week Tonight thread.
posted by JHarris (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
While the naked bits are prooooooobably not going up on YouTube anytime soon, you can (depending on region) find some of the segments on their channel.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:00 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Heh. @LastWeekTonight tweeted "Sorry for what we just did to your eyes, east coast. Please don't spoil the surprise for folks out west." and I'd thought it was about the Eurovision segment. Then the Grimes ad was amazing.

I fucking love this show.

And I don't think Youtube would go anywhere near those attack ads.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:05 PM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I like that the mid-debate selfie showed up on Twitter.
posted by sparklemotion at 3:35 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Such a great show!

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:23 PM on May 12, 2014

I'm still traumatized by that McConnell bit.
posted by goethean at 3:10 AM on May 13, 2014

Mitch McConnell
posted by Pronoiac at 5:46 AM on May 13, 2014

Via @LastWeekTonight, some gifs of John Oliver and Bill Nye: "bobbing like a polar bear on an ice floe," "ch-ch-churning it up" (um. ... one is DOING IT WRONG), and they "demonstrate a funky transfer of energy."
posted by Pronoiac at 10:48 AM on May 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

As a KY native, I am deeply traumatized by this episode. And I need an adult.
posted by DigDoug at 5:23 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Mother Jones interview is amusing to me because of his identifiable voice. It sounds like how I imagine he'll explain it to Andy Zaltzman on The Bugle.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:17 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

John Oliver explains to Mother Jones how they cast the McConnell stand-in.

I watched this week's episode with my girlfriend last night, and we had this exact discussion over how they found the McConnell stand in. I thought it was a great bit; the show is already starting to find a voice.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:17 AM on May 14, 2014

I'm beginning to think that John Oliver might be the beginning of his own little comedy empire, between The Bugle, his stand-up comedian specials and Last Week Tonight. All hail our new intelligent erudite comedy overlord (who once in a while misuses "begs the question," which I bring up only because it gives me an iota of smug superiority).

On the penis selection process, described in gladly's excellent link:
It's a standby trope that penises are gross to look at. I wonder how much of that is fueled by homophobia? I do know that the scene in question is as hilarious as it is unsettling, and it's useful having a standby "unpleasant image" that, if shown, doesn't actually cause harm. Like Rickrolling. No one likes it, but it's really just all in fun.

BTW in a recent Bugle, it was revealed that neither Andy or John know what goatse is. Producer Chris told them: "Google it. Wait, on second thought, don't google it." I hope for all our sakes they don't.
posted by JHarris at 2:40 PM on May 14, 2014

Re: penises - I, for one, find scrotums ridiculous.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:12 PM on May 14, 2014

gladly: John Oliver explains to Mother Jones how they cast the McConnell stand-in.
JO: We went through photos. It was basically the penis version of a headshot.

MJ: So this was like models?

JO: Models, basically.
And there you have it. Find the best, old, funny penis for the job, from a selection of penis models.

Really, I'm trying to warn people that there is an extended segment that features videos of a penis, because I watched it on a public train from work today. Luckily, I think I hid the screen fast enough, and repeatedly.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 PM on August 5, 2014

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