Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump vs. Truth Season 4, Episode 1
The first episode of season four! And so let's get right on to THIS WEEK....
- The inauguration of Donald Trump, and his whirlwind of activity, which Oliver describes as "the tip of the shitberg."
- AND NOW: Donald Trump Can't Shake Hands Right.
- MAIN STORY: Trump vs. Truth (24m, NSFW). While just over a quarter of Obama's statements rated Mostly False or worse by Politifact.com, nearly 70% of Trumps rate so. In the process of covering this rich topic, we visit a Fox News commercial with a "cowboy," Breitbart, Alex Jones (apparently a primary source of information for him). They cover the history of the "three million voted illegally" lie from Twitter rando to President-Elect Trump to clueless person parroting it, creating a hideously self-reinforcing echo chamber that is currently driving policy in the United States.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 2016 Election Result Season 3, Episode 30
This week (11/13):
- The only story is the outcome of the 2016 Election and the selecting of Donald Trump as the next US President. The full consequences of this are detailed, and his staff picks are discussed, and also offered is a look into how this happened: the prevailing use of social media to isolate people into echo chambers and feed them disinformation. A list of many organizations you can donate to and volunteer for is offered. It ends with a hearty FUCK YOU to the year 2016.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Multilevel Marketing Season 3, Episode 29
This week (11/7):
- The final pre-Election 2016 segment! Contains a couple of old Daily Show clips, of John Oliver 1. begging Donald Trump to run for the comedy potential, and 2. claiming the Cubs will never win.
- And Now: The Inevitable, Sad Consequences of Morning Shows Celebrating Halloween
- Main story: Multilevel marketing companies like Herbalife, Kyäni and "Nu Skin," and their suspecious similarity to pyramid schemes. With LWT's own pyramid scheme at the end -- money isn't involved, but passing a video around to five of your friends is. Because MLM companies are now targeting the Latino community, the segment is offered on YouTube with Spanish subtitles. English - Spanish subs (both about 32m))
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Segregation Season 3, Episode 28
Week of 10/30:
- Regrettably, more on the 2016 Election, putting aside a story on Pirate Party making progress in Iceland, among others, to make room for it. OH WELL:
- The FBI finds a few Clinton emails in an investigation into oh god I can't believe I'm typing this Anthony Weiner, yes HIM again, Carlos Danger himself. Worth watching just for the footage of Biden reacting to the words "Anthony Weiner."
- And Now: The Stream-Of-Consciousness Musings of WCBS-2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main story: School segregation, and its surprising continued prevalence, not in the South, but in New York state. YouTube (18m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Voting On Tuesday (It turns out to have started because, in the 1800s, people were expected to be spending Monday travelling to the polling place to vote.) YouTube (4m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Opioids Season 3, Episode 27
Week of 10/23:
- The final debate of the election, and some highlights of awful Trump statements made during it, particularly his promise to keep us "in suspense" as to whether he'd accept a loss or not. Clinton and Trump were also both present at the Al Smith dinner in New York, where Trump spoke, and bombed. Henry Kissinger's reaction to Trump's speech: "Dis is not good." At the end, in order to allow Trump to save face should he lose the election, Oliver makes a bet with Trump on-air: he will bet Trump that he wins the elction, with the stakes being Oliver's Emmy award statuette.
- And Now: You'll Never Guess What Christ Matthews' Favorite Movie Is
- Main story: The rise of addictive opioid prescription pain killers (Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet), resulting in over 30,000 overdose deaths a year, and actively promoted, predictably, by the pharmaceutical industry. YouTube (19m)
- People Who Somehow Got Elected: US Representative from Wisconsin's 6th District Glenn Grothman.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Third Party Candidates Season 3, Episode 26
Week of 10/16:
- Donald Trump has had quite the week as multiple women come forward with news of unwanted contact. Trump continues to rotate wildly, lashing out at both Clinton's campaign and his own. But dangerously he also loudly proclaims at rallys, "The election is rigged!"
- And Now: The Most Patient Man on Television (Steve Scully): 2016 Election Edition
- The issues with third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), who despite Johnson's loud recorded protestations, have a high chance of being spoilers this election cycle. YouTube (19m)
- And Finally: A Glimpse Into the Innter Workings of the Most Patient Man on Television
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Guantanamo Bay Season 3, Episode 25
For the week of 10/9:
- Trump's tape talking to Billy Bush bragging about being able to grope women. A portion of it on YouTube (5m)
- And Now: A Look Back At Billy Bush's Creepy Bromance With Donald Trump YouTube (1m10s)
- Main story: Guantanamo Bay, President Obama's continued difficulties in closing it, and the true meaning of "Freedom Isn't Free." YouTube (21m)
- And Now: A look Back At Billy Bush Being Creepy With Everyone. YouTube (1m20s)
- Another look at Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who's now running a reality show and staging martial arts battles among children. This is the guy who Oliver teased earlier this year, asking "Is this your cat?"
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Police Accountability, Wells Fargo Season 3, Episode 24
- Trump tries to spin his terrible debate performance by citing terrible, exploitable online polls, and his thin skin somehow gets even thinner, as he casts aspersions on a former Miss USA winner by, well.... Oliver: "That is a candidate for President of the United States urging America to check out a sex tape. Just do me a favor. Look up into the sky right now. Higher. No, higher still. Do you see that? Way up there? Way up above the clouds? That's rock bottom. And we are currently way down here."
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies
- Main Story: Police accountability, or rather its lack, as it turns out that police who use deadly force practically never get called on account for it, due to a variety of increasly infuriating reasons. YouTube (20m)
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies, All Christ Matthews Edition
- More on Wells Fargo, how the company retaliated against whistleblowers who called an internal ethics hotline to warn of wrong-doing. It turns out that the case for ethics had been made by a training video that Wells Fargo themselves had commissioned. The host of that video, it turns out, now works as a writer for Last Week Tonight! He stars in an update for that video. YouTube (4m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Presidential Campaign Scandals Season 3, Episode 23
This (last) week:
- The protests in Charlotte over yet another police shooting, and the release of video from the incident.
- Employees for Wells Fargo created a huge number of accounts for people without their knowing, in order to extract fees for those accounts, due to an "aggressive" sales campaign.
- And Now: Wait, Is WCBS2 News at 11 Just Fucking With Us At This Point?
- Main story: The scandals plaguing the Clinton and Trump campaigns, how the Clinton ones tend to be more annoying than truly serious, while the Trump ones tend to all be blockbusters that would doom any other candidate, resulting in scandal fatigue. YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Charter Schools Season 3, Episode 22
- US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte (4m) and others trashed a men's restroom, and Lochte flees to us while his collegues are detained.
- Main story: The downsides of many charter schools (18m): poor planning, profit seeking and corruption.
- And Now: One Final Second of Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte The Perfectly Encapsulates His Entire Personality, Career and Worldview.
- Finally, LWT tonight noticed surprising parallels between the campaign of Donald Trump and the book "The Kid Who Ran For President." Part 1 (5m) - Part 2 (5m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: API's New Ad,and Auto Lending Season 3, Episode 21
- Hillary Clinton releases her tax returns. Donald Trump claims Obama founded ISIS. He also claims that, if Hillary beats him, it must have been because of vote cheating. He also loves charts. Part 1 (4m) - Part 2 (4m)
- The American Petroleum institute airs a new commercial, and totally rips off the style of Last Week Tonight's intro! Of course you know, this means war. (4m)
- Main story: Predatory auto lending (18m) and its effects on the disadvantaged.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Journalism Season 3, Episode 20
- A recap of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Part 1 - Part 2 (both 4m)
- And Now: Newscasters Perv Out Over a Shirtless Olympian in National Dress
- Main Story: Journalists (19m), and the increasing difficulty that news outlets have staying in business while not compromising their work. With a special guest appearance by Tronc (MeFi)! Finishes with a trailer for "Stoplight," a depressingly realistic take on the plight of a reporter in the 21st century.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Democratic National Convention Season 3, Episode 19
- Restrictive voting laws struck down in Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina. (4m)
- A military coup fails in Turkey, and the Turkish President Erdogan seeks revenge. (4m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Tanning Beds
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention (18m)
- And Now: Some More Highlights from the Democratic National Convention
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Republican National Committee, and Campaign Songs Season 3, Episode 18
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention, and Hillary Clinton's choice of Tim Kaine as her VP pick.
- David Cameron's successor Teresa May's controversial pick of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
- And Now: A Summary of Roger Ailes' Contribution to Our Political Discourse
- Main story: A recap of the 2016 Republican National Convention. (12m)
- And Now: A Few More Highlights From the Republican National Convention
- Referencing both the RNC's unapproved use of Queen's "We Are The Champions" for their convention, and the long history of Americal political parties misappropriating music, often unlicensed and frequently ironically, LWT got Michael Bolton, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Cyndi Lauper, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Dan Reynolds, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson together to make a music video to speak against the practice. (7m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brexit Update, Doping in Sport Season 3, Episode 17
- The UK votes to leave the European Union, and in the wake David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister of the UK. YouTube (5m)
- And Now: The Things News Anchors Are Scared Of
- Main Story: Doping in the Olympics, and its creeping ubiquity. LWT provides an inspirational athlete bio that may be more realistic than the usual uplifting sports story. YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The NRA and Brexit Season 3, Episode 16
- The aftermath of Orlando shootings, from Trump's predictably awful remarks to the Democratic Party's filibuster, and the choke-hold the NRA holds over Congress and regulatory agencies, despite relatively low membership and campaign contributions. YouTube (11m)
- And Now: "60 Minutes" Anchors Are Still Prompting People to Deliver the Exact Soundbite They Need
- Main story: Brexit, that is to say, the motion to remove Great Britain from the European Union. Last Week Tonight debunks some of the reasons given for exiting. At the end, LWT provides their own (foul-mouthed, half-hearted) lyrics supporting staying in the EU, sung to the tune of Beethoven's "Ode To Joy." YouTube (16m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Retirement Plans Season 3, Episode 15
- Cold open, without an audience, in which John Oliver discusses the shooting in Orlando. YouTube (2m)
- Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic Party's presumptive candidate for US President, and gets involved in a Twitter scuffle with Donald Trump. Part 1 - Part 2 LWT provides a GIF of a vomiting Abraham Lincoln.
- And Now: People on Television Asking You to Imagine Things
- Main story: Retirement plans and how many people are charged fees far exceeding what they expect. (Here are LWT's print-out certificates of Elf Spotting and Financial Planning.) It ends with a piece offering LWT found to be the best, simplest way to manage your 401K: low-fee index funds, and gradually moving money from stocks to bonds over time. YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump University and Debt Buyers Season 3, Episode 14
- Trump and his businesses, it turns out, have been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits over three decades. LWT focuses on those concerning Trump University. YouTube: Part 1 (4m) and Part 2 (9m)
- And Now: Wolf Blitzer States the Obvious
- Main story: Debt, how Americans are in it (to the tune of $12 trillion dollars), how they get in it (often unavoidable medical reasons), how debt buying has become an industry to itself, and how it operates (predictably, badly) To demonstrate how easy it is to organize as debt buyers and buy debt, LWT organized as debt buyers in Mississippi, set up an EXTREMELY bare bones website, bought $15M of medical debt, the debt of 9,000 Texas people, and forgave it. The cost to them was a mere $60K, but it was technically the largest televised giveaway in history, beating out Oprah Winfrey's famous car giveaway. Oliver: "It is done! It is done! I am the new queen of daytime talk!" YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES Season 3, Episode 13
- Protests rock Venezuela as their economy continues to deteriorate due to low oil prices.
- Canada Prime Ministar Justin Trudeau hits a very minor scandal, "Elbowgate," due to his pushing his way through a crowd of people in the House of Commons.
- And Now: John McLaughlin Angrily Introduces Discussion Topics.
- Main story: Primaries and Caucuses, the means by which the Democratic and Republican candidates get chosen, which is far from proportional to public will.
- And Now: Increasingly Weird Bell Ringers at the New York Stock Exchange
- Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, widely considered to be a brutal strongman and who idolizes Putin, has completely lost his cat. LWT launches a campaign to find Kadyrov's cat before anyone suffers for it. Follow-up on Huffington Post.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 911 Season 3, Episode 12
- Donald Trump starts to mend fences with the Republican elite (5m), as we all knew he would; refuses to release his tax returns; invented a publicist for himself in the 80s that was actually just him.
- A recording of the Queen of England caught her saying a remark about a Chinese diplomat. (2m)
- Budweiser announces temporarily changing the name of their beer-like substance to "America." (2m)
- People Who Somehow Got Elected: Paul LePage, Governor of Maine. (4m)
- Main story: 911, and the difficulties it faces in the age of cell phones. (16m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Science Season 3, Episode 11
- Ted Cruz drops out of the race for the Republication Nomination, leaving Donald Trump as presumptive nominee. (YT 4m, via Fortune!)
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calls the first meeting of their Worker's Party since 1980. (YT 4m)
- And Now: The Next President of the United States
- Main story: Science (YT 19m), and how good, and not-so-good, studies get trumpeted by the media as saying things that they don't all the fucking time. LWT presents a parody of TED talks, "TODD," to make their point.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Puerto Rico Season 3, Episode 10
- Obama visits Saudi Arabia, but is snubbed when he's greeted at the airport by a governor, not the king.
- Obama visits the UK, and is met by the Queen, driven by a 94-year-old prince, and his hand shaken by the adorable child Prince George.
- Norway reacts to Syrian migrants by tightening the borders.
- And Now: Everyone Likes Mispronouncing "Target"
- Main story: Puerto Rico (21m), and it's $70 billion debt crisis.
- Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda sings in behalf of his native Puerto Rico.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Lead Season 3, Episode 9
Vladimir Putin's annual call-in show, reactions to the Panama Papers in the United Kingdom, Böhmermann affair, Flint water crisis and lead poisoning [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US CONGRESSIONAL FUNDRAISING Season 3, Episode 7
This week.... Vladimir Putin snubs the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, and Donald Trump demonstrates that nuclear weapons is another thing he doesn't have much knowledge about. Baseball season prepares to begin, and the New York Yankees annoy and frustrate fans by making it difficult to resell premium tickets online, claiming that the tickets may end up in the hands of people who the Yankees owner figures may not know how to treat the privilege of sitting in the first five rows at a Yankees game. LWT is running a short impromptu context: tweet a picture of yourself wearing something that would would look ridiculous sitting in premium seats at a Yankees game with the hashtag #IHAVENEVERSATINAPREMIUMLOCATION, and you can win one of those seats to a game. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump's Border Wall Season 3, Episode 6
This week.... Brazillians protest against their president Dilma Rousseff and their legislature moves to impeach, although 60% of members themselves face criminal charges of some kind. Obama nominates Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Scalia's death. And Now: two segments on CBS This Morning's Awkward Sex Talk. Main story: Trump's proposal to build a border wall along the US/Mexico border. (YouTube 19m) Finally, Last Week Tonight begins to consider updating their All-Dog Supreme Court and asks the public to choose a dog for the event that Garland gets confirmed. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Encryption Season 3, Episode 5
This week....Hillary Clinton apologizes for remarks made about Nancy Reagan on the occaision of her death. Trump rallies erupt in violence, but he claims (despite multiple recorded examples) not to have encouraged it. International Women's Day is observed, sometimes oddly, throughout the world. Swiss president Johann Schneider-Ammann commemorates the Day of the Sick with a weird speech. And Now: Everybody Listen, Bernie Sanders Has Something to Say. Main story: Software encryption (18m), especially relevant concerning Apple's current court case. LWT made a commercial on behalf of Apple about the nature of software security. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Abuse of Special Districts Season 3, Episode 4
This week.... The Republican primaries degenerate into yet more chaos, and the Republican elite tear into Donald Trump. LWT presents a short clip of Morgan Fairchild reading Trump's former wife Ivana's (remember her?) barely-fictionalized account of sex with him. Trump's confrontational attitude in tweets has begun to inspire imitators even worse than the original. And Now: People On TV Mean "Fucking." Main story: Special-purpose districts (YouTube 15m), local governmental entities created for a purpose but given little oversight, and which are sometimes wildly abused. Many people don't know what they are, so to help spread the world, LWT made an explanatory video with the help of some California school children. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Donald Trump Season 3, Episode 3
This week.... Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attempts to tackle his nations economic woes while wasting money on red carpets and begging for donations. President Obama tries, again, to close Guantanamo Bay over the objections of Congress. And Now: Basketball Enthusiast Pat Roberts Spends Twelve Minutes of Sentate Time Fantasizing About Playing One-On-One with the President. "Our main story tonight, and I cannot believe I am saying this, is Donald Trump." (YouTube 22m) A long and hilarious segment on Trump's many many failings, ending with the revelation that his ancestral family name was, in fact, Drumpf -- a word which the show has filed paperwork to trademark. They also own the website donaldjdrumpf.com, and offer an extension for Chrome called The Drumpfinator. Additionally, last week's segment on Hollywood Whitewashing (5m) is available on LWT's YouTube channel. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Hollywood Whitewashing, Abortion Season 3, Episode 2
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 inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Voter ID Laws in American States Season 3, Episode 1
Last Week Tonight S03E01 Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at age 79. Chipotle restaurants face federal investigations over food safety. (LWT produced a small commercial for them.) Main story: Voting (YouTube 14m), and the increased obstacles put in place to make it harder for US citizens to vote in elections. And Now: Newscasters Using Entirely The Wrong Tone. New Zealand's Prime Minister Steven Joyce is smacked in the head by a thrown phallus and is thereafter nicknamed by the New Zealand Herald "Dildo Baggins." Joyce tweeted to send it the GIF to John Oliver to get it over with -- and so they put the image on a flag, and gave the flag to Peter Jackson to wave. And then things got weird.... Yes that's right: Last Week Tonight is back! [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Syrian Refugees, The Penny, End Of Year Recap Season 2, Episode 35
This week... more on the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. US politicians use the opportunity to pile on Syrian refugees. And Now: The Dismal Prop Comedy Of The United States Congress. Main story: The US Penny, its dwindling value, and the issues around supporting it. YouTube (10m) And Now: What In God's Name Are They Covering On WCBS News At 11? And, finally, this is the final episode of this year of Last Week Tonight, so the show provided a retrospective, featuring the return of Wanda Jo Oliver. This concludes LWT's second season; it resumes in February. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Fantasy Sports Season 2, Episode 34
This week.... Terrorist attacks kill over a hundred people in Paris. Singles Day, a minor holiday turned into a gigantic sales event, hits the nation of China, and called in to promote it are foreign celebrities Adam Lambert, Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey as, of all things, his House Of Cards character Frank Underwood. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays his first visit to the UK, while Indian industrialists prepare legal challenge for the return of the Koh-i-Noor, a huge diamond that currently serves as the centerpiece of the Queen's crown. And Now: Another One Of John McCain's Favorite Jokes. Main story: Daily fantasy sports apps DraftKings and FanDuel, and their skirting laws regulating gambling. Last Week Tonight provides a more honest ad for the apps than the ones they have been filling the airwaves with. YouTube (19m) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prisoner Re-Entry Season 2, Episode 33
The UK unveils new surveillance laws. A hearing reveals that the honors to US veterans that often precede sporting events are frequently paid for by the Department of Defense. A certain Washington football team complains about its offensive trademark being cancelled by listing other companies with offensive names whose trademarks still stand. And Now: Everybody Wants To Be An Outsider. Main story: Prisoner re-entry, and the formidable societal and legal obstacles set up to harass prisoners reentering society. John Oliver interviews Bilal Chapman, a tomato grower subject to many of those problems. YouTube (19m) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Medicaid Gap Season 2, Episode 32
This week... John Kerry holds a conference in Vienna to try to get Syria to reach an agreement with rebels, but while delegates from 20 nations show up, neither Syria nor the rebels attend. "Chewbacca" is arrested in Ukraine for campaigning on behalf of "Darth Vader," who is running for mayor there. In the UK, the threatened removal of tax credits for the poor are thwarted by an unlikely benefactor: the House of Lords. And Now: The Inevitable, Sad Consequences Of Morning Show Anchors Celebrating Halloween. The main story: 2015 state elections determine whether more states will opt out of expanding Medicaid to their residents. YouTube (14m) And Now: Oh Sweet Jesus, They've Put The Weather Forecasters In Costumes Too. Finally, China attempts to gain control over shipping lanes in the South China Sea by claiming sovereignty over artificial islands, a situation that has become tensely volatile and a potential cause for war. In an attempt to introduce some reason, Last Week Tonight brought on Kenny G (unexpectedly popular in China) to sing a song about it. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Canada's Election, Misattributed Quotations Season 2, Episode 31
This week.... New Zealand Prime Minister John Key answers surprisingly candid questions on radio. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, unpopular for his reforms, courts controversy with an insensitive TV commercial. A Copenhagen zoo's decision to kill a healthy two-year-old giraffe and feed it to the lions is followed up by the decision to kill two lions and their cubs, and another zoo in Denmark dissected a lion in front of a crowd. LWT helpfully produced an honest commercial for Denmark's zoos. Main story: Canada has an election tomorrow (er, by now, two days ago -- Justin Trudeau won). Cameo appearance by Mike Myers! YouTube (15m) And Now: A Student Passes Out Listening To Steven Harper Speak. (Two students, actually.) Finally, in response to the epidemic of quote misattribution by political figures and generally on the internet, LWT created a website to generate random misquotes from historical figures, definitelyrealquotes.com. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: North Dakota Season 2, Episode 30
Russia fires cruise missiles at targets in Syria and Iran, and the U.S. suspends their rebel training program. FIFA's ethics committee suspends Sepp Blatter for 90 days, and all his replacements are either being investigated themselves or might be soon. The U.S. asks Toyota how come so many of their trucks have gotten in the hands of ISIS. And Now: John McCain's Favorite Joke. Main story: North Dakota's oil rush, and the environmental and human cost to the state. LWT produced a video appeal to North Dakota to hold oil companies to greater account for their malfeasence, and paid for a billboard in the state saying "Be Angry. (Please.)" YouTube (20m) [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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.
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]
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."
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).
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.