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: Prison Heat Season 8, Ep 15
From the white void once more. Ohio State House hosts a distraught lady worried that the vaccine turned her magnetic. The NYC Mayoral primary season is underway, using ranked choice voting for the first time. Interviews have revealed that the candidates are, for the most part, grossly out-of-touch concerning housing costs in Brooklyn. And Now: Someone Please Stop Stuart Varnet From Saying This ("Flattery is the mother's milk of television.") Main story (13m): As temperatures rise around the world, prisoners have to suffer extremely high temperatures, often in facilities that do not offer air conditioning, resulting in heat stroke and sometimes death, most frequently in Texas, but across the US as well. And Now: Ernie Anastos Left Fox 5 One Year Ago This Week, And We Miss His Man On The Street Segments More Than Ever. Finally, LWT offers a free commercial concept to any used car place that asks, under the condition that: they produce and air the piece, and that they must agree to use it sight-unseen. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump & Election Results Season 7, Ep 30
This week, it's one more installment from the White Void of Sad Facts. The main story is about Trump's refusal to concede the election and the webs of conspiracy theories he, his supporters and right-wing media have woven to claim that there was massive voter fraud. On YouTube (18m) And Now: 2020 Bingo. Finally... John Oliver takes a FaceTime call from Adam Driver. Uh-oh.... We find out what's outside the White Void! And we get some vengenance against the hellish, hateful year we're now nearing the end of. On YouTube (11m) This is the final episode of Season 7 of Last Week Tonight. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Election 2020 Season 7, Ep 25
This week, again from the White Void of Sad Facts: Trump comes down with COVID-19 in an epic display of poetic justice. And Now: Newscasters Trying To Have Fun With What Month It Is. The main story is the election, now coming in less than a month. Remember: in most states, you don't have to vote on election day or rely on the mail to count your ballot, you can vote at home and hand it to your registrar. Go to canivote.org for information on how to vote in your state, perhaps doing so early to take pressure off of voting systems. And Now: People Miss A Lot Of Things Due To The Pandemic. Finally, museums are experiencing significant issues during the pandemic, with around a third of them expected to close forever. To attempt to help them out, Last Week Tonight is offering to donate money to museums that sponsor their tour of paintings, including the rat erotica they bought, Lisa Kudlow's tie paintings, and a painting of Wendy Williams enjoying a lamb chop. Direct queries to john[at]johnoliverhasyourraterotica[dot]com. [more inside]
"The Great Hack," relives the 2016 presidential election by following the personal journeys of key players in the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal. David Carroll, a media professor who spends the film doggedly trying to retrieve his personal data from Cambridge Analytica. British journalist, Carole Cadwalladr, who exposes how Cambridge Analytica harvested data from more than 50 million Facebook users to create targeted ads for the Trump 2016 campaign. And Brittany Kaiser, the former director of business development at Cambridge Analytica, turned whistleblower
Based on the initially anonymous blockbuster 1996 account of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, the film version continues the novel's weak à clef distance, casting a thinly disguised John Travolta as Bill and Emma Thompson as Hillary as they navigate the ethically trying road to the White House. [more inside]
Active Measures chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladimir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mike Pence Season 5, Ep 5
- Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
- Putin wins reelection as President of Russia to no one's surprise, ensuring horrible threats, poisoned opponents and meddling in foreign elections for foreseeable future.
- And Now: Local News Cannot Be Trusted With St. Patrick's Day
- Main Story: Mike Pence, the hyper-fundamentalist, hyper-intolerant Vice President in the Trump Administration, and the one person in it Trump cannot fire. His opposition to gay rights is well known, but, as Oliver admits, he has a cute rabbit named "Marlon Bundo." Pence has a book out, A Day in the Life of the Vice President, about his rabbit. LWT is putting out another book, about a different rabbit named Marlon Bundo, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, where a boy rabbit falls in love with another boy rabbit. (See inside for more.)
Steven Universe: Dewey Wins Season 5, Ep 5
Steven addresses his personal problems the only way he knows how: by throwing himself headlong into solving someone else's problems. [more inside]
I am toying with this idea, in part because of chainsofreedom's new fictional "in these trying times" club and Miko's excellent recent ask. Except these days, most of what I read is nonfiction. Anyone up for a nonfiction #resisting club tackling useful works to know about? I'm thinking a mix of history, maybe some political thought, maybe some sociology kinds of things. Suggestions inside the cut. [more inside]
We share our thoughts and feelings on the outcome of the election, the role of the internet, and what we think we can do next. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 2016 Election Result Season 3, Ep 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, Ep 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, Ep 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, Ep 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, Ep 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, Ep 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?"
- 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)
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)
- 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: U.S. PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES Season 3, Ep 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.
This week we learn the truth behind Carl Diggler, the internet's most successful election forecaster. And a special Yes Yes No featuring comedian/actor/podcaster Jason Mantzoukas.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Encryption Season 3, Ep 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]
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]
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, Ep 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]
On the eve of the 2015 General Election in the UK, take a jaunt through the etymology of election-related words. Find out why casting a vote should be more like basketball, and why polling is hairy. [more inside]
I was thinking, it could be fun to watch movies about the US presidency/election craziness as a tangential escape from the news media juggernaut that goes on. Maybe even look back in fondness at a simpler time, a time before 24 hour coverage of a Chipotle visit. Would anyone else enjoy this? [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The IRS Season 2, Ep 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.
THE SPIRIT OF 99 - a high school student rigs an election, and all hell breaks loose [more inside]
Person of Interest: Prophets Season 4, Ep 5
In which a golden boy political pollster discovers the harsh realities of campaigning in a digital dystopia, Harold reminisces about the Machine's formative years, Reese goes to anger management, and Root finally meets her adversary's avatar.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Embargo on Cuba and A Look at The Miss America Pageant Season 1, Ep 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.
The Prisoner: Free For All Rewatch Season 1, Ep 4
It's election time in The Village! You don't want to have an uncontested election in a democratic society like The Village — bad for morale, you know. Number Six is persuaded to run for the position of Number Two. [more inside]
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]