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).
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, 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance, Interview with Edward Snowden Season 2, Ep 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, Ep 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, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US Territories Season 2, Ep 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.
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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Judge elections in the US and the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat Season 2, Ep 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?
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]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prescription drug marketing to doctors, the thin skin of Rafael Correa Season 2, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Police Response In Ferguson, Wage Differences Between Men and Women Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Payday Loan Industry, Russia Bans Food Imports Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Argentina vs. Elliott Management and Native Advertising Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Thailand Mad At John Oliver, Nuclear Weapons, #GoGetTheGeckos Season 1, Ep 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).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: America's Prisons Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Obama's Tour, Income Inequality, CIA Image Problems Season 1, Ep 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.
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).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Monarchy Around The World, Dr Oz & Dietary Supplement Regulation Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The State of Immigration Reform, Interview with Stephen Hawking Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Dirt on FIFA and Syria President Bashar al-Assad Season 1, Ep 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).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Europe Swings Right, Net Neutrality, National Spelling Bee Ends In Tie Season 1, Ep 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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gay Marriage Turns 10, GM Recalls 11M Vehicles, Fareed Zakaria Season 1, Ep 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.
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]