Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–)  imdb rss

Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health, Peeple  Season 2, Episode 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]
posted by JHarris on Oct 5, 2015 at 2:57 AM - 3 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Refugees flood Europe  Season 2, Episode 28

This week.... Pope Francis visits the US. The book Call Me Dave alleges a bizarre and hilarious fact about UK Prime Minister David Cameron: he once put his penis into the mouth of a dead pig's head. German car company Volkswagon faces huge fines and criminal charges for rigging automobiles to beat emissions tests, causing the resignations of several executives including the CEO. Last Week Tonight presents a new VW ad unveiling not-made-up features like solid gold breaks and a dick-sucking engine. "Volkswagon: Hitler trusted us. Why won't you?" The main story: the huge wave of refugees atttempting to immigrate into European countries. For a Syrian refugee girl who's a fan of Days Of Our Lives, LWT got her two favorite characters back together (one of whom had recently died on the show) for a short reunion -- during which they describe the plight of the refugees. YouTube (18m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 28, 2015 at 11:52 PM - 5 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The sad state of public defense in the US, OLOPE shuts down  Season 2, Episode 27

Michigan state representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat leave office, the first resigning, the second removed from her position, due to allegations they were having an affair together. Guatemala elects a new President following the resignation of Otto Pérez Molina. Queen Elizabeth becomes the longest-serving monarch in British history. And Now: Some More Descriptions Of The Queen's Ridiculous Hats. Main story: public defenders, their relatively short history (only since 1963), and the many ways our legal system stacks the deck against them. (YouTube 15m) Last Week Tonight produced a short piece reimagining cop shows' Miranda warnings in light of the challenges faced by public defenders. And Now: An Important Message From Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption (OLOPE), an update on the state of the church, which is closing down, and all the things they sent, at least one of which is really NSFW. Last Week Tonight is off next week. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Sep 15, 2015 at 5:20 AM - 8 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: LGBT Discrimination  Season 2, Episode 26

This week.... Hostilities flare up between North Korea and South Korea. Vladimir Putin bans the import of many types of food from the West. Greece President Alexis Tsipras resigns (but will still run for reelection) after just seven months in office amidst controversy over his bank-mandated austerity measures. And Now: Another Check-In With The Most Patient Man On Television. (That would be Steve Scully of C-Span's Washington Journal.) The main story: discrimination against LGBT couples still legal in surprisingly much of the nation. YouTube (15m) And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Faces His Greatest Challenge. Finally, a follow-up on the business of John Oliver's church, Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption. They got rather a lot of mail, including a giant bag of seeds, followed by gianter bag of seeds the next day. They also got beef jerky and a 100-Trillion-dollar bill from Zimbabwe (worth about 40 cents). Last Week Tonight is taking a break for two weeks. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 24, 2015 at 3:08 AM - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Televangelists  Season 2, Episode 25

This week.... Cuba allows their US embassy to reopen for the first time in decades. Historians confirm that US President Warren G. Harding had a child out of wedlock. New Zealand is considering changing their flag, and held a competition for people to suggest designs. John Oliver points out some particularly ludicrous entries. And Now: Six More Actual Flag Designs Submitted to the New Zealand Goverment, With Descriptions of What They Look Like. Main story: Televangelists, those forgotten scourges of the poor, their tax-exempt status, and the surprisingly legal things they get away with. YouTube (20m) To demonstrate the extent of the problem, LWT started their own church, "Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption." Said church has a website, www.ourladyofperpetualexemption.com. Metafilter thread about the episode. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 18, 2015 at 2:41 AM - 8 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sex Education  Season 2, Episode 24

This week.... The Republican debates happened, and one of the debators was Donald Trump. The Indian government blocks a few hundred adult websites, provoking outrage throughout the nation. Whole Foods comes under fire for their ludicrously high prices, including a plastic cup of water with two asparagus stalks soaking in it selling for $5.99. Last Week Tonight made a commercial on behalf of Whole Foods, apologizing for their prices. Main story: Sex education in the United States. LWT presented a small educational piece with famous faces providing some rudimentary sexual information. YouTube (21m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 10, 2015 at 11:48 PM - 10 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The case for Washington D.C. statehood  Season 2, Episode 23

This week.... Afghanistan reports Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar has died; it's been revealed that he actually died in 2013 and the Taliban has been lying about it ever since, and has even been releasing statements in his name. Three teenage girls in Chechnya bilked ISIL fighters, who thought they were securing themselves brides, out of thousands of dollars. A member of British Parliament, Lord Sewel resigns as deputy speaker of the House of Lords in the wake of a scandal after a video surfaced purportedly showing him taking cocaine with prostitutes. John Oliver supplies some context on the House of Lords. And Now: Ten Actual Titles of Current Members of the British House of Lords, Paired With Photos of Pets Who Look Like They Would Have That Name. Main story: On statehood for Washington D.C. (YouTube, 17m) John Oliver presents a rewrite of the song that names the fifty states alphabetically to cover the plight of Washington D.C., and sings it with 19 kids. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 3, 2015 at 3:47 PM - 7 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mandatory minmum sentencing in the US  Season 2, Episode 22

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]
posted by JHarris on Jul 27, 2015 at 11:05 PM - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Waste in the US  Season 2, Episode 21

This week.... The US and Iran are on the verge of signing a historic nuclear arms deal. Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escapes from prison by constructing a surprisingly elaborate tunnel a mile long. North Korea gears up to celebrate their "Liberation Day" with a concert by Slovenian band Laibach. And Now: CBS This Morning's Awkward Sex Talk. Main story: The fact that the US wastes 40% of the food it produces each year, and its consequences. YouTube (18m) Last Week Tonight produced their own, more honest version of an "American" cheeseburger commercial produced by Carl's Jr. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 21, 2015 at 12:35 AM - 4 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Over-expensive sports stadiums  Season 2, Episode 20

This week.... Iran may be about to make a deal over their nuclear program. Greece may default on loans and possibly exit from the Euro currency. South Carolina finally lowers the Confederate battle flag flying over their state capitol. Last Week Tonight offers, to any team with an offensive mascot costume, to replace it with one of their previously-made mascot costumes. And Now: Whoopi Goldberg Defends Ten Surprising Things. Main story: On lavish sports stations built using public money. (YouTube 19m) John Oliver makes an impassioned sports speech to convince cities to make teams pay for their own stadiums. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 13, 2015 at 3:30 PM - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Same Sex Marriage Legalized in U.S., Transgender Rights, The Leap Second  Season 2, Episode 19

This week: In a landmark decision the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court also upholds the subsidies of the Affordable Care Act. CNN mistakes a flag covered with images of sex toys for an ISIS flag. The ex-president of Ukraine emerges from hiding to defend his private zoo, and LWT marks the occasion with video footage of ostriches mating. And Now: A Few More Seconds Of Ostrich Sex. Main story: Transgender rights, and the legal challenges remaining to transgendered Americans. YouTube (17m) And Now: This Is Not CNBC's First Rodeo. Finally, on June 30 a leap second will be added to the clock. Last Week Tonight commemorates the event with the sites spendyourleapsecondhere.com and johnoliversecstapes.com. Web exclusive: And Now: Five Years Of People Prematurely Declaring The End Of Obamacare. (2m) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 29, 2015 at 6:33 PM - 7 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Online Harassment of Women  Season 2, Episode 18

This week: Shootings in South Carolina. Russians plan "Patroit Park," a theme park for national military fans. The US $10 bill is being redesigned to include a woman's face. And Now: C-Span Callers Suggest Women For The $10 Bill. Main story: On the harassment of women on the internet. YouTube (17m) Last Week Tonight remakes an old AOL ad.
posted by JHarris on Jun 23, 2015 at 1:33 AM - 16 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US torturing of detainees, upping the stakes against Jack Warner  Season 2, Episode 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.
posted by JHarris on Jun 15, 2015 at 10:20 AM - 5 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The problems with the US bail system; John Oliver drinks Bud Light Lime  Season 2, Episode 16

This week: Sepp Blatter steps down as president of FIFA, a week after John Oliver promised to drink Bud Light Lime if he did... but that's for later. First, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner promises to review damaging information about his former employer, and bought time on Trinidad television to air it. Last Week Tonight has also bought five minutes on Trinidad TV, to show their own opinion on the matter -- it will air Tuesday night at 9 PM local time. Chinese hackers are suspected of stealing data on four million US federal employees. In Turkey, a member of the opposition party accuses the Turkish president of buying a golden toilet with taxpayer money. And Now: Last Week Tonight Salutes All The Horses Who Didn't Win The Triple Crown This Week. Main story: the problems with the bail system in state courts, and how they disproportionately harm the poor (sometimes forcing them to plea guilty rather than pay) over the rich, and how reality television has glorified bounty hunters that profit off it. (YouTube 18m) LWT produced their own, less exciting, reality show depicting a saner alternative. And, finally, John Oliver wears a pair of goofy golden Adidas shoes, takes a bit out of everything on McDonalds' Dollar Menu, and, yes, drinks an entire Bug Light Lime. In one go, in fact. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 8, 2015 at 9:12 PM - 22 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: FIFA caught on corruption charges, the Thai love for Hitler  Season 2, Episode 15

This week: Cuba is removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. Nebraska becomes the 19th US state to abolish the death penalty. Ireland votes to legalize gay marriage by a 2-to-1 margin. And Now: Newscasters Finding The Fact That They Don't Know Words Hilarious. (Watch for the THUG LIFE joke.) The main story: FIFA is revisited as issues with corruption have resulted in successful criminal prosecution against FIFA officials in the United States. YouTube. (13m) The indictment, which Oliver recommends you read due to being "amazing," is here. (164p PDF) And Now: Bernie Sanders Asks Interviewers Questions. And finally, we look at Adolf Hitler's bizarre cachet in Thailand, where his image is used as a general mascot and cultural signifier. Who would be better than Hitler? Rip Taylor, who appears in a segment stating his case. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 3, 2015 at 8:03 AM - 7 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Plight of Chicken Farmers  Season 2, Episode 14

This week: The House passes the "USA Freedom Act," which might ultimately curtail of the NSA's phone record collection. FIFA elects a new president, and is somehow expected to reëlect scandal-prone Sepp Blatter. Johnny Depp illegally brought two dogs to Australia, and its government threatened to kill them unless he took them away. LWT produces a short piece demanding Australia remove Australian things from the US. Main story: chicken farmers (YouTube 18m), and the systems of contract farming, gladiator payouts and vindictive secrecy that keeps them impoverished and the chickens mistreated.
posted by JHarris on May 18, 2015 at 5:10 AM - 9 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S.' Poor Work Provisions For New Mothers, Japanese Mascots  Season 2, Episode 13

This week: United Kingdom holds elections and in an upset David Cameron remains Prime Minister. Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen refuses to pay up on a bet that Manny Pacquiao would defeat Floyd Mayweather in the World Heavyweight Boxing championship. Russia holds a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, but is snubbed by many world leaders protesting Russia's treatment of Ukraine. And Now: The Continuing Adventures Of The Most Patient Man On Television (Steve Scully of C-Span's Washington Journal), this time versus profanity. Main story: Mother's Day, and America's awful leave provisions for new mothers, among the worst in the world (YouTube 12m). LWT provides a helpful commercial illustrating US business' actual opinions towards mothers. And finally, Japan and its weird love affair with cartoon mascots for districts and government agencies. Supposing they may be on to something, LWT presents their own mascots for 11 U.S. government agencies. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 11, 2015 at 9:18 AM - 9 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Standardized Testing  Season 2, Episode 12

This week: Baltimore protests over death of Freddie Gray. Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro targeted... with a mango actually, by a lady in a crowd, who wanted an apartment, so he gave her one, and so the floodgates opened. Bud Light unveiled a new slogan that is, unimaginably but actually, "The Perfect Beer For Removing 'No' From Your Vocabulary For The Night." LTW produces their own commercial for Bud Light, more prominently featuring the word NO, because "Bud Light tastes like the scared urine of a rabbit." The main story is on standardized testing. (YouTube 18m) Oh, and that is Wyatt Cenac in the Bud Light "commercial."
posted by JHarris on May 4, 2015 at 7:22 PM - 18 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sweatshop Labor in the Fashion Industry  Season 2, Episode 11

This week: The 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, how it's reported in the US media, and Obama's attempts to tiptoe around the word genocide in official statements. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key is called out for repeatedly yanking a waitress' ponytail and pretending his wife did it YES THAT REALLY HAPPENED. An update on everyone's favorite media quack, Dr Oz fights allegations that his show is a biased, misleading, terrible source of medical information. And Now: Political Figures Interviewing Themselves. The main story: The fashion industry's long-standing and continued reliance on oversea sweatshop labor (YouTube 17m).
posted by JHarris on Apr 27, 2015 at 11:47 AM - 17 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Patent abuse, more on CNN's End Of World Video  Season 2, Episode 10

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.
posted by JHarris on Apr 21, 2015 at 2:26 AM - 7 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The IRS  Season 2, Episode 9

This week: Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy for President of the United States. Brits prepare for upcoming electoral fights, including a heated race for Prime Minister between current PM David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Milliband. Obama meets Raúl Castro to work towards normalizing relations with Cuba. And Now: Excruciatingly Awkward Silences Caused By Technical Difficulties. Main story: The loathed IRS (YouTube 18m), the difficulty of their thankless job, and the issues an unpopular but essential agency faces when their budged gets slashed year after year. Michael Bolton sings a song in support; the word anus is used more than once.
posted by JHarris on Apr 13, 2015 at 9:57 PM - 12 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance, Interview with Edward Snowden  Season 2, Episode 8

This week: An extra-long episode of Last Week Tonight. Iranian nuclear talks, with John Kerry, the Beau Rivage Hotel and the Inglorius Fonkers. Real democracy makes inroads in Nigeria. President Obama goes to Utah, but hasn't been to South Dakota, so LTW produced a tourism video featuring "hobo George R.R. Martin." Main story: Government surveillance (YouTube 33m), plus interview with Edward Snowden. (Oliver: "HO-LEY SHIT. HE ACTUALLY CAME. EDWARD FUCKING SNOWDEN!") MeFi [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 6, 2015 at 5:39 PM - 16 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Municipal Violations  Season 2, Episode 7

This week: Elections in Israel go again to PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. --- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asks employees to discuss race matters with customers. --- 4th Graders in New Hampshire draft a bill to declare the Red-Tailed Hawk the official state raptor and travel to the state capital only to watch it get (metaphorically) shot down in flames. To make it up to the kids, LWT declares it the show's official bird, brings one into the studio, and airs a short promotional video. --- And Now: People On TV Honoring St. Patrick's Day In The Most Offensive Way Possible. --- Main story: Municipal violations in the US and how grievously they punish the poor. (YouTube 18m) LWT produced a short video piece against the practice, using hashtag #shutdownthefuckbarrel.
posted by JHarris on Mar 23, 2015 at 12:45 PM - 9 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The NCAA  Season 2, Episode 6

ISIS gains an ally in Boko Haram. Ireland accidentally legalizes a number of psychoactive drugs for a day. Brazil prepares to investigate politicians taking bribes from oil companies. And Now: Newscasters Who Don't Know About You. Main story: NCAA is a billion dollar industry, but with many problems with how it treats its players (YouTube 21m). Last Week Tonight introduces the hashtag #soybeanwind and ends with an ad for their more realistic NCAA simulator video game.
posted by JHarris on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:35 PM - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US Territories  Season 2, Episode 5

This week: Federal civil rights committee finds evidence of systemic racism in Ferguson police department. Upcoming elections in Israel. Fanta ad pulled in Germany for referencing war-related origins. (Last Week Tonight makes a commercial for Fanta.) Main story: the rights of citizens and nationals in US territories. (YT 13m) How Is This Still A Thing: Daylight Savings Time. (YT 3m) And an update on the tobacco industry, and LWT's #jeffwecan tag and meme.
posted by JHarris on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:40 PM - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Decaying Infrastructure in the United States  Season 2, Episode 4

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.
posted by JHarris on Mar 2, 2015 at 1:43 PM - 19 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Judge elections in the US and the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat  Season 2, Episode 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?
posted by JHarris on Feb 23, 2015 at 7:28 AM - 13 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The worldwide tobacco boom  Season 2, Episode 2

This week: The US Government pulls diplomats out of Yemen as Houthis take control of the country. Theaters saw the worldwide release of the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Ecuador president Rafael Correa carps back at John Oliver on Twitter (Washington Post). How Is This Still A Thing: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (YouTube, 3m). The main story (YouTube, 18m) is on the current boom times for the tobacco industry around the world, and the efforts they've gone through to ensure them, which include suing countries through international courts to repeal and prevent public health legislation. Oliver presents a new mascot for free use of the tobacco industry, Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat. Twitter uses can show their support for Jeff with the hashtag #jeffwecan. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 16, 2015 at 1:58 AM - 10 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prescription drug marketing to doctors, the thin skin of Rafael Correa  Season 2, Episode 1

This week: US Congressman Aaron Schock redecorates his office with a Downton Abbey theme. Argentina President Cristina Fernández catches flack for affecting a stereotypical Chinese accent on Twitter. Radio Shack files for bankruptcy and Last Week Tonight prepared a farewell message (YouTube, 3m), on their behalf. The main story: "Prescription drugs. The only ovals that can bring people in the Seattle area joy anymore." Marketing to doctors. (YouTube, 17m) And Equador president Rafael Correa calls out social media users who insult him on national television. John Oliver, in a helpful gesture to help Correa thicken his skin, provides his official Twitter handle, @MashiRafael, so internet users can directly insult him. That's right everybody: Last Week Tonight is back.
posted by JHarris on Feb 10, 2015 at 1:50 PM - 11 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Salmon Cannon, State Lotteries, Season Ends  Season 1, Episode 24

This week: Turkey president Erdogan builds a gigantic thousand-room house. New Yorkers become eligable to register .nyc domain names, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg preregisters a ton before scalpers get them. (LWT registered a few of their own: michaelbloombergisawiener.nyc, tinytinymikebloomberg.nyc and bloombergeatsbabycornasifitsrealcorn.nyc). A brief look at the Salmon Cannon (5m), a device for getting fish up stream past hydroelectric dams. (The show kind of goes nuts with the idea.) Main story: State lotteries, their problems and abuses (15m). And Now: People On TV Misunderstanding What The Term "Spoiler Alert" Means. And, finally, this is the last episode of Last Week Tonight for the season, and the year. They bring back the puppets, the Scottish Unicorn, the Space Sex Gecko, and Breakdancing Lincoln for the closing credits. G'night, John Oliver.
posted by JHarris on Nov 11, 2014 at 1:44 PM - 25 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Lowes Hires Robots, State Legislatures  Season 1, Episode 23

Hungary protests an internet tax. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key floats changes to his nation's flag. Lowes tests out employing robots instead of help staff in a store(6m), prompting Last Week Tonight to make a commercial for Home Depot in response. A couple of days before the 2014 elections, John Oliver takes a look at the madness of state legislatures(17m). Web exclusive: the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel reaches one million subscribers(2m). "I think of YouTube subscribers the same way I think of pogs: I recently acquired a lot of them, and I'm not quite sure what they do." According to the LWT YouTube channel, next week is the end of the first season of Last Week Tonight(1m).
posted by JHarris on Nov 3, 2014 at 11:48 PM - 16 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sugar in US food, interview with Dr. Jane Goodall  Season 1, Episode 22

Sweden freaks out over possible Russian sub offshore near their capital. New York freaks out over Ebola patient. Some of the results from last week's Real Animals/Fake Paws court footage. Main story: FDA plans rules on disclosing on nutrition labels how much sugar is added to food, but are opposed by food manufactuers. Interview with Dr. Jane Goodall. Some of the gaffes of Toronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford, Rob Ford's brother.
posted by JHarris on Oct 28, 2014 at 11:13 AM - 6 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators in Afghanistan, Livening Up Supreme Court Reporting  Season 1, Episode 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.
posted by JHarris on Oct 20, 2014 at 6:07 PM - 5 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Columbus Day, Civil Forfeiture  Season 1, Episode 20

This week: Hong Kong protests China's increasingly intrusive control. A roundup of silly candidates for Brazil's upcoming mandatory election. Norway drops out of the running for the 2022 Winter Olympics due to excessive IOC demands, leaving China and Kazakhstan as the sole remaining candidates. How Is This Still A Thing: Columbus Day. Main story: police abuse of civil forfeiture (16m MeFi). Special guest: Jeff Goldblum. Jell Goldblum outtake clips (1m).
posted by JHarris on Oct 7, 2014 at 6:30 AM - 11 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Drone Strikes, Ayn Rand and Kansas Sex Toys  Season 1, Episode 19

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York. Continued riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and the failed PR response. Mahmud Karzai steps down as President of Afghanistan. And now: Words newscasters coyly refuse to say. (At least one for every letter of the alphabet!) A damning piece on US drone strikes. How Is This Still A Thing: Ayn Rand. Kansas selling seized porn and adult toys to help make budget shortfall.
posted by JHarris on Sep 29, 2014 at 7:50 PM - 5 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Embargo on Cuba and A Look at The Miss America Pageant  Season 1, Episode 18

After historic turnout, Scotland elects remains in the UK. The ruling party of New Zealand uses an Eminem song in a campaign commercial without permission, and is pretty dismissive about it. More NFL players are under fire from domestic abuse allegations. (2.5m, extended web exclusive) Newscasters refering to the future using the fifty-old cartoon The Jetsons. Obama extends the US trade embargo with Cuba. People on the news insincerely laugh at each other. A long piece on the Miss America pageant and their questionable claims for funding woman scholarships. (15.5m) Surprise guests: Kathy Gifford, and "Giuseppe," who they objectively determine on a runway is a better host than John Oliver.
posted by JHarris on Sep 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM - 19 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scottish Independence, Corporations Misuse Twitter  Season 1, Episode 17

The NFL is embroiled in controversy for their handling of player Ray Rice's assault on his wife. ISIS prompts yet another American military intervention in Iraq (2m). Olive Garden comes under fire from activist hedge fund for poor practices, including not using salt to boil pasta water to prolong pot life. Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom (15m). Newscasters misidentify photographs as selfies. A record of companies misappropriating Twitter hashtags and memes to try to look important and socially-conscious, featuring the hashtag #WeUnderstandThatAsCorporateEntities​OurPresenceInCertainDiscussionsIsNotAlwaysRequired​SoWeWillStriveToLimitOurActivities​ToJustSellingyouShit.
posted by JHarris on Sep 15, 2014 at 5:44 AM - 9 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Student loan debt  Season 1, Episode 16

This week: A secret of ISIS's success may be their use of social media. Libyans hold a pool party. 60 Minutes anchors prompt echoing responses from interviewees. A long piece of student loan debt, with an emphasis on the excesses of for-profit schools. (16m) And the Russian space sex geckos have died. (6m) A Great Big World is on hand to play them off.
posted by JHarris on Sep 8, 2014 at 6:12 AM - 5 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Police Response In Ferguson, Wage Differences Between Men and Women  Season 1, Episode 15

This week: Mo'ne Davis pitches first shut-out in Little League history. Iranian Parliament forbids vasectomies and birth control. A look at a Crimean annexation celebration events. Police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri sparks civil unrest, and a look at police militarization (15m). And a piece on the wage discrepancy between men and women, with commercial for "Ladybucks." Last Week Tonight is off for the next two weeks.
posted by JHarris on Aug 18, 2014 at 7:21 AM - 12 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Payday Loan Industry, Russia Bans Food Imports  Season 1, Episode 14

This week: Americans striking ISIS in Iraq with aerial bombardment. Russian gang steals 1.2 billion internet passwords. A three-day cease-fire in Gaza doesn't quite go the distance. A long piece on the payday loan industry. (16m) Russia bans Western food imports.
posted by JHarris on Aug 11, 2014 at 5:33 AM - 9 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Argentina vs. Elliott Management and Native Advertising  Season 1, Episode 13

Uganda anti-gay law invalidated due to improper procedure. Obama comments on torture. The New York Port Authority sues local New York kitchenware maker Fishs Eddy. Argentina defaults on debts due to machinations of hedge fund Elliott Management. Newscasters telling you about the things that will kill you. And a look into "native advertising," or, ads made to look like news, presented in news contexts. Bonus: The resolution of last week's space sex gecko story.
posted by JHarris on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:51 AM - 13 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Thailand Mad At John Oliver, Nuclear Weapons, #GoGetTheGeckos  Season 1, Episode 12

This week: Flordia Representative Curt Clawson mistakes Americans for Indian government figures on camera, ISIS may have ordered genital mutilation for women in an Iraqi city (but may not have, at least they deny it), Thailand's government annoyed with Last Week Tonight's coverage of their silly prince (with a bit about nations with a lèse-majesté law), newscasters annoyed at what they're covering, a long piece on nuclear weapons in the US (YouTube, 15m), politicians using outdated pop culture references, and the temporary loss of that Russian gecko sex satellite (YouTube 3.5m).
posted by JHarris on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM - 18 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: America's Prisons  Season 1, Episode 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.
posted by JHarris on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:42 AM - 10 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Obama's Tour, Income Inequality, CIA Image Problems  Season 1, Episode 10

Japan ends its pacifist military stance. Warren G. Harding wrote naughty letters to his mistress. (YouTube) Obama goes on a tour of the nation. Main story: Income inequality and the estate tax. (YouTube) FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke is a hypocritical bastard. The CIA tries, and fails, to improve its public image.
posted by JHarris on Jul 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM - 9 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US Influence on Homosexual Persecution in Uganda  Season 1, Episode 9

This week: Luis Suarez bites another player in the World Cup for the third time. Snakes and bees drive the terrorist organization Boko Haram out of the Nigerian forest. Obama requests $500M in aid for moderate Syrian rebels. US Supreme Court decides Hobby Lobby case. Politicians misuse the word "literally." Ugandan persecution of homosexuals intensified due to influence by American evangelical groups. Interview with Ugandan transgender activist Pepe Julian Onziema. Part 2 (web exclusive).
posted by JHarris on Jun 30, 2014 at 7:42 AM - 15 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Monarchy Around The World, Dr Oz & Dietary Supplement Regulation  Season 1, Episode 8

This week: Iraq continues to fall to ISIS. Thailand undergoes a military coup d'etat. Antarctic ecosystem threatened by tourists. A long piece on monarchy around the world. And the top story, on Dr. Oz, dietary supplements, and their regulation. To show Dr. Oz that he can pander on his show without making questionable claims, Oliver finishes up with a pander-palooza, which has to be seen to be believed.
posted by JHarris on Jun 23, 2014 at 1:34 PM - 19 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The State of Immigration Reform, Interview with Stephen Hawking  Season 1, Episode 7

This week: Tom Wheeler responds to the show's Net Neutrality piece: "I would like to state for the record that I'm not a dingo," Al-Qaeda offshoot ISIS overruns Iraq, Dan Snyder refuses to rename the Washington Redskins (with parody commercial), the sorry state of immigration reform (with necessary revision to An American Tail) and interview with Stephen Hawking, with an extended version on YouTube.
posted by JHarris on Jun 16, 2014 at 5:08 AM - 19 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Dirt on FIFA and Syria President Bashar al-Assad  Season 1, Episode 6

This week: Racehorse California Chrome fails to win the Triple Crown, a German lawmaker calls Anglea Merkel on their version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, China censors web searches on the Tiananmen Square massacre, a long segment on FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup (13m) (bonus: remix of FIFA President Sepp Blatter falling off a stage [19s]), and ending with the history of Syrian Dictator and professional monster Bashar al-Assad. And in connection with that, surprise musical guests Right Said Fred (3m)! Extra: the Tony Abbott piece from last week's show (4m).
posted by JHarris on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:17 AM - 17 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Europe Swings Right, Net Neutrality, National Spelling Bee Ends In Tie  Season 1, Episode 5

This week: far-right groups including Greece's Golden Dawn party picking up seats in the European Parliament, Ukraine elects candy billionaire Petro Poroshenko as President, Obama's plans to leave Afghanistan, White House Press Secretary Jim Carney retires, the FCC's planned ruling on Net Neutrality (13m), the idiocy of Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and Scripp's National Spelling Bee ends in a tie. The show's official YouTube page offers this bonus clip (4m) coming off the hiatus.
posted by JHarris on Jun 2, 2014 at 6:30 AM - 18 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gay Marriage Turns 10, GM Recalls 11M Vehicles, Fareed Zakaria  Season 1, Episode 4

Episode 4 of John Oliver's satirical news program. Highlights are a video of Mario kissing Link, a disturbingly hilarious internal PR document from GM, John Oliver posting embarrassing pictures of himself to the internet, and an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. Next week the show is on break.
posted by JHarris on May 19, 2014 at 7:51 AM - 10 comments

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Kentucky Senate Race & Global Warming Debate  Season 1, Episode 3

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. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on May 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM - 14 comments

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