Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The World Cup in Qatar Season 9, Ep 30
This week... Elon Musk has been running Twitter for three weeks now and it hasn't been going great. And Now: People On TV Have Some Thoughts On Thanksgiving Foods. Main story: the World Cup comes to Qatar, a nation with some serious problems. A million people are coming to a tiny nation that casually threatens journalists, a nation that will now simultaneously host a plethora of human rights abuses and the world's biggest soccer tournament. On Youtube (25 minutes). And Now: People On TV Interrogate The Important Question: Do You Say Pecan Or Pecan. Finally, this is the last episode of Last Week Tonight for the season, and so we return to AI image generation, along with a whole bunch of clowns on unicycles. "Why do unicycles exist?" Why, indeed.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The British Monarchy Season 9, Ep 29
This week.... the Democrats did unexpectedly well in midterms, perhaps helping to staunch the gaping chest wound the US has been suffering since 2016. Republicans seem to be turning against Trump (FINALLY) and towards Florida governor Ron Desantis (still pretty awful). And Now: Steve Kornacki Is Never Not At The Big Board. The main story involves the British Monarchy, "the best thing to happen to white actors since literally everything else." But these days, what really is the point of the monarchy? And while most British people support the institution, the monarchy has some serious baggage attached to it. On Youtube (28 minutes).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Election Subversion Season 9, Ep 28
This week.... Heidi Klum dresses as a worm in an awesome costume. Lula defeats Bolsonaro (YAY). Elon Musk takes over Twitter, which knowledgable people describe as "a nightmare built on sticks that might fall apart at any time," and he just fired half of the employees. Main story: Election subversion, trying to change the outcome of elections after they take place, a tactic that looks like it is coming to the United States in a couple of days, due to misinformation spread by conservative media. On Youtube. (33 minutes) Ends with a nice clip of Nick Offerman.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Bail Reform Season 9, Ep 27
This (well last) week.... Liz Truss resigns as UK Prime Minister after 45 days, to be replaced by Rishi Sunak. And Now: Unnecessary Full Disclosure. Main story: Bail reform, and how important it is despite it being used by right-wing attack ads to try to damage progressive, and, you know, just plain non-evil candidates. On Youtube (27 minutes) This is LWT's second report on bail; here is the first. (18 minutes) And Now: Unnecessary Full Disclosure All Tamron Hall Edition.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Transgender Rights II Season 9, Ep 26
This week.... Russia's forces, under the direction of General Sergey "Armageddon" Surovikin, strike back at Ukraine for destroying the Crimea Bridge by firing missiles at Ukrainian cities. And Now: More Electrifying Small Talk From San Antonio's "Daytime With Kimberly & Esteban." Main story: the struggle for transgender rights, and Republican efforts to use it to drive supporters to the polls, often using ridiculous exaggerations or outright lies to do so (as is their standard practice). On Youtube (27 minutes). Last Week Tonight is off next week. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Crime Reporting Season 9, Ep 25
This week... protests by schoolgirls in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest for violating hijab rules. And Now: Christopher Columbus: Kind of a Cool Guy (according to Fox faces). Main story: how crime is covered by the media, which is frequently sensationalist and leaves people with a sense that crime is a much bigger problem than it is, and can stoke fears of false problems like "rainbow fentanyl." It's often compounded by an unquestioning stance regarding police statements. On Youtube (26 minutes) And Now, finally: Another Installment of Local News Beat Poetry From NBC4 Washington's Pat Collins. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Antiquities in Museums Season 9, Ep 24
This week... Liz Truss faces a cost-of-living crisis in the UK and decides to solve it with trickle-down bullshit, and is roasted by British media after only one month in office. And Now: Shopping Networks Recognize Queen Elizabeth's Death The Only Way They Know How. Main story: Antiquities, artifacts of great cultural worth that are frequently stolen from their homelands in order to be displayed in museums, where they frequently remain indefinitely, one of those practices that people seem to think is okay mostly because it's done so often, and has been for so long. On Youtube (34 minutes)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Bolsonaro Season 9, Ep 23
This week... Biden declares the pandemic to be over, which it isn't. Florida governor Ron DeSantis flies migrants (from Texas, not Florida) to Martha's Vineyard at Florida taxpayer expense in a ridiculous stunt for the benefit of Fox News. Puerto Rico, hit by Hurricane Fiona, has power problems again, in large part due to the mismanagement of LUMA Energy. Puerto Rican rap artist Bad Bunny drew attention to the island's continuing electrical woes with a video that at first appears to be a music video, but then turns out to be a 22-minute documentary. And Now: The Queue to End All Queues (the one to pay respects to the deceased Queen of England). Main Story: A return to Jair Bolsonaro, the far right President of Brazil who is running for election. He seems likely to lose but may decide to refuse to leave office, following Trump's example and encouraging a riot. On Youtube (20 minutes). At the end, John Oliver wishes support for the people of Brazil, speaking Portuguese while swinging nunchaku around. There's a reason, kind of.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Law & Order Season 9, Ep 22
The President of Chile was undermined during a speech by a toddler on a bicycle in a Superman outfit. Queen Elizabeth died, and Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister of the UK. And Now: Sean Hannity Does The Opposite Of An Ad For Walmart. Main story: Law & Order, not the concepts but the show, and how it's taken as a true depiction of how policing is done when it really shouldn't be. On Youtube (27 minutes).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Carbon Offsets Season 9, Ep 21
This week (for another day or so at least)... Sensitive documents found at Mar-A-Lago. Midterm elections and the legacy of deceased Alaskan Representive Don Young, and the possibility that they could step down from him to Sarah Palin. And Now: Sixty Seconds Of Tucker Carlson Being Right About Stuff. Main story: carbon offsets, corporations idea to fix the environment that seems unlikely to work. The companies in charge of ensuring that offset deals are followed have such hugely lax regulation that John Oliver and LWT started their own offset company, Oliver's Offsets, simply because it's possible and easy. On YouTube (24 minutes) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Afghanistan Season 9, Ep 20
Last week.... Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act which contains substantial efforts to combat climate change, and the FBI searched Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence and found over 300 sensitive documents that he had taken when he had left office. But the main story is on Afghanistan and the problems created when the U.S. withdrew from it a year ago, a situation that was arguably necessary and long overdue, but that also caused issues for the people living there, who it is difficult to help due to the many (reasonable!) prohibitions on cooperating with the Taliban. On YouTube (21 minutes). And Now: Shepard Smith Has The Best Story Intros In The Business. And finally, they visit the phenomenon of AI-generated art, and the curious images prompted by a user named "postpoopzoomies," that resulted, at last, in Steve Buscemi marrying John Oliver to a large prop cabbage.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Monkeypox Season 9, Ep 19
This--last--okay two weeks ago: a French scientist posted a picture of a slice of chorizo (MeFi) and called it a distant star, and Alex Jones was found liable in three lawsuits brought by families of Sandy Hook victims finally. And Now: Some Thoughts From CSPAN's Most Frequent Caller. (Walter, from Butler, Indiana) Main story: Monkeypox, what it is, the stigma attached to it, and its unfortunate echoes of the AIDS crisis. On YouTube (23 minutes) And Now: Walter From Butler, Indiana Has Some Thoughts On Mortality.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health Care Season 9, Ep 18
This week.... A huge heat wave hits Europe, and a walrus called Freya is sinking small water craft in an attempt to find a spot to sunbathe. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is "sad [...] to be giving up the best job in the world, but them's the breaks." Replacement candidates: Rishi Sunak, trying to establish his social conservative bona-fides by attacking "woke nonsense," an rival Liz Truss. And Now: People On TV Daydreaming About Winning The Lottery. Main story: Mental health care. Reported mental health issues have spiked, exacerbated by the pandemic. On YouTube (25 minutes). And Now: The World's Horniest Televangelist (Dr. Mike Murdock).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Inflation Season 9, Ep 17
This (well, last), week.... Boris Johnson agrees to step down. The January 6th hearings continue, and Josh Hawley, who encourged the rioters, later was seen on camera fleeing from them. Main story: Inflation, another of those words that, like Watergate, has been portmanteau'd to pieces. Reasons for it are numerous and varied, creating a "perfect storm" of causes, although many are quick to blame their usual targets, despite it being a global phenomenon. As a subject for examination, John Oliver presents a particular giant frog statue. On YouTube (24 minutes). And Now: Local News Reacts To The Consquences Of Global Warming Exactly As Expected (reprising an old Johnny Carson bit by asking "How hot is it?"). At the end, further news on LWT's quest to obliterate those creepy dolls that washed up in Texas. (A web exclusive bit, that segment was on YouTube: 9 minutes.) Having obtained them, they are now trying to send them to Austrailia to have them destroyed in a polystyrene recycling machine.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Rent Season 9, Ep 15
This week.... The January 6 investigation continues, revealing the complicity of Trump's legal advisor John Eastman. Republicans across the country are fielding election deniers in positions for public office, such as conspiracy theorist and QAnon ally Jim Marchant, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Nevada. And Now: In Honor of Father's Day, ZADDIES. Main story: Rent, which has been skyrocketing across the nation, a crisis that's been with us for multiple decades, has gotten much much worse lately, and no one seems willing to do anything about. On YouTube (22 minutes). And Now: It's Always Happy Hour on QVC. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tech Monopolies Season 9, Ep 14
This week... the January 6th hearings have begun. A Republican Senate primary in Arizona is getting competitive, between current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and opponents such as Jim Lamon and Blake Masters, who admires the Unabomber as a "subversive thinker." And Now: Sean Hannity's Favorite Joke. ("It's an Adam Schiff-show") Main story: tech monopolies, especially Apple, Google, and Amazon, and how they often preference their own products when you turn to them for information, software, or merchandise. On YouTube (27 minutes). Look out for a cameo by three movies from Video Brinquedo!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Resource Officers Season 9, Ep 13
This week.... The Queen of England's Platinum Jubilee. The school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. That leads us directly to the main story: school resource officers, pitched as a way to deter school shootings, but there is little evidence that they do, and there are many drawbacks to their presence in schools. Get ready for terrible stories of police involvement in schools, including a girl getting arrested for a science project that made the cap of a coke bottle pop off. On YouTube (27 minutes) And Now: People On TV Get A Little Too British For The Platinum Jubilee. Finally, vandals last November attacked a banana-and-skull sculpture in Melbourne. The show offers the city, if they will give their sculpture to them, to compensate with donations, plus as a return gift, their statue of a cartoon alligator flipping the bird that they've had pointed at the offices of Dr. Oz. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Subway Season 9, Ep 12
This week.... Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who spread Trump's like about 2020 election fraud (and has said some very disturbing things about how he'd run their election) and marched on the Capitol on January 6, reached a near-tie in the Republican primary for that state. And Now: Some Things They Say In Texas. The main story is about the Subway restaurant chain and the terrible straits their franchisee agreements can put buyers through, which can include opening new stores surprisingly close to each other. On YouTube. (27 minutes) At the end, they present a short romantic drama about a Korean Subway franchisee. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Electric Utilities Season 9, Ep 11
This week (episode taped on 5/14)... Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. was elected President of the Philippines as was feared in the previous episode, Norway presents a severely WTF entry to Eurovision. Alabama bans the use of hormones and puberity blockers to treat transgender patients under the age of 19, making it a felony punishable by 10 years in prison, a bill signed by Governor Kay Ivey. And Now: The Delightful Delight Of Allison Hammond. Main story: electric utilities: the incredible amount of power their wield, how weakly they can be regulated, and the damage that can do, which has resulted both in the creation of spurious and badly-managed projects in order to charge more on bills in profit, and in them attacking community-led solar projects that threaten their bottom line. In the end, John Oliver is killed by Reddy Kilowatt. On YouTube (24 minutes). [more inside]
This week... two main stories! #1 is on abortion, and Alito's draft opinion to overturn Roe vs. Wade. John Oliver's points are: what this ruling means, how we got to this point, and where we go now. YouTube (18 minutes) And Now: Local News Shows Go Through The Motions For "Star Wars Day." Main Story #2: The Phillipine elections, which have a chance of dumping current dictator Rodrigo Duterte, but if so one of the possible replacements is Ferdinand Marcos Jr., largely because of the rewriting of history in their media and on the internet. Be on the look out for John saying: "That is the single dumbest story involving a young Michael Jordan I have ever heard, and I have seen Space Jam." YouTube (20 minutes) And Now: WDIV Meteorologist Brandon Roux Enjoys Cinco de Mayo A Little Too Much.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Harm Reduction Season 9, Ep 5
For the week of March 27, 2022. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its second month, North Korea launched its biggest missile test in years," and "the Senate held confirmation hearings for [Supreme Court nominee] Ketanji Brown Jackson," which involved some awful questioning. Prince William and Kate Middleton tour the Caribbean. And Now: Yet Another Installment Of Coming Up On "Inside Edition." Main story: Harm reduction, practical measures for reducing the damage done by drug use. Part of the story is the ludicrous overreaction of some to Fentanyl exposure. It's on YouTube. (18 minutes) And Now: Still More Of Coming Up On "Inside Edition." Finally: the Nenana Ice Classic in Alaska, a yearly competition to guess when river ice melts, and the journey to participate of LWT mascot Marshmallow, the Polar Bear With A Broken Penis. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Environmental Racism Season 9, Ep 9
This week... Flordia governor Ron DeSantis, Texas governor Greg Abbott and L.A. County sherriff Alex Villanueva engage in destructive messaging to rile up their base. And Now: Shaquille O'Neal Can't Stop Explaining How To Save Money On Gas. Main Story: Environmental Racism, on how minorities are exposed to the effects of pollution much more than white people. On YouTube (22 minutes). Infuriating term of the episode: "sacrifice zone." And Now: People On TV Read Rejected License Plates Out Loud.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tickets Season 9, Ep 4
This week (well, two weeks ago): Russias continuing invasion of Ukraine. In the US, the furor over Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill targeting educators, and Disney's contributions to state legislators who support it. And Now: Jim Cramer Presents Grounds For Divorce (expressing many times his wife's love for Wendy's Baconator hamburger). Main story: the market for event tickets, and the many ways it screws over ticket buyers, from the huge market share and hidden fees of Ticketmaster, to the resale market that allows people to buy up huge numbers of tickets and then, in possession of a near-monopoly, flipping those to fans at a large upcharge. On YouTube (20 minutes).