Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Hollywood Whitewashing, Abortion
February 24, 2016 4:43 AM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

This week.... Donald Trump wins the South Carolina Republican Primary despite a feud with the Pope, and Jeb Bush finishes fourth. Republicans dig in on not confirming whatever replacement Supreme Court Justice Obama nominates. The "Judicial Crisis Network" makes an ad saying Republican senators should not confirm made mostly of smiling faces bought from stock footage sites. Last Week Tonight provides a stock footage rebuttal. How is This Still a Thing: Hollywood whitewashing. This week's main story: breast implants abortion (16m), and the stealth efforts of the right to outlaw it de facto by making it impossible in some states to operate an abortion clinic through the imposition of ridiculously onerous rules. The show finishes up with footage of a bucket of baby slothes -- and one in person, in the studio. Metafilter thread.

More on TRAP laws. (

References to prior Last Week Tonight segments have started appearing in the opening, like Dog Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat. (This actually began last week.)

Barbara Bush on Jeb: "What's left for me to say is that Jeb has been a great son, great father, great husband, married well... and is one of my four favorite sons."
Oliver: "Noooo! I know she's joking, but that is literally what you say about your fourth favorite son!"

South Carolina: "Home of ancestors that you may not want to look up on"
The Supreme Court: "The only thing that rules more than a crab with a knife in its claws."
Breast Implants: "Some are against them, others believe they're fine in rare cases, any many believe you should be able to get them whenever the fuck you want. I'm sorry, did I say breast implants? I meant abortion."
posted by JHarris (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
He is the poor man's Jon Stewart.
But, since we no longer have Jon Stewart, does that mean he's the real thing?\

(And by Stewart, I mean the TV host and not everyone's second favourite Green Lantern).
posted by Mezentian at 4:49 AM on February 24, 2016

Mezentian, I disagree on both counts: John Oliver is better than Jon Stewart and John Stewart is the best Green Lantern.

I genuinely do prefer Oliver's show, mainly because it has fewer lazy jokes that rely on stereotypes. I enjoy their ability to focus on one issue and they don't have to spend time on interviews, which were often the weakest part of The Daily Show.

Really glad he didn't let anti-abortion people off the hook even though he told them not to watch the segment.
posted by chaiminda at 5:21 AM on February 24, 2016 [11 favorites]

I also like John Oliver much more than Jon Stewart (and I like Jon Stewart). I loved this episode.

Also, I just found this article from 2014, which talks about potentially expanding the show to one hour and/or having it more than once a week. I'm not sure if this is still under consideration but if so YES YES PLEASE.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:21 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Samantha Bee is quickly proving herself to be the true, direct heir to the Stewart throne. Her new show is very much in the style of Stewart's version of the Daily Show, and she's bringing the outrage Trevor Noah isn't.

Oliver is, I think, something quite different. This show is closer to Rachel Maddow's, but with jokes. Certainly the 'big piece' each week is closer to straight up journalism that Stewart really tried for. And if I have one complaint about this show (and it's my only one!) it's that the jokes in the big piece often aren't all that funny.

And, on preview -- YES PLEASE! An hour would be SO GOOD!
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:32 AM on February 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

At this point I like Oliver more than I did Stewart over the last several years. The Daily Show fell into making the same lazy jokes over and over and over and it just seemed like they weren't trying anymore. Oliver does default to throwing in useless "Fuck/Fucking/Fuckers" since he can get away with it on HBO (which I also feel is usually a cheap laugh), but on the whole the show is more interesting to me.
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:02 AM on February 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Biggest problem of the Daily Show ? It had to air 4 times a week.
posted by Pendragon at 8:21 AM on February 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think this episode will be pretty good at changing attitudes toward abortion. And its really good at showing the TRAP laws are totally not about women's health for people who thought they were (although I wish they would have gone into a little more on why the admitting privileges is bullshit).

And probably alot of people who watch the show are already on the pro-choice side of abortion, but some of us have spouses or other family members who aren't but who do grudgingly watch LWT with us and learned alot and maybe changed their minds. That's one thing that Jon Stewart and John Oliver are good at: not making it feel like you're preaching to the choir because that itself is enough to turn people off.

(I seriously started crying when they showed that clip of the doctor whose patient asked what she could use in her kitchen. These laws are just the saddest thing ever.)

People who want more information can find it right here on metafilter:
Women's healthcare affected by growing number of Catholic hospitals
Safe and Unrestricted Access to Abortion
Ohio's War on Reproductive Care
Shuttered: The End of Abortion Access in Red America
Awesome post with tons of info about the decreasing access to abortion
What's the matter with Kansas
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:41 AM on February 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

I thought the #NotMyChristian line used for the Pope and Trump was a great callback to Oliver's previous joke about 50 Shades of Grey, but it probably falls completely flat if you'd forgotten about that.
posted by asperity at 11:01 AM on February 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

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