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: Afghanistan Season 8, Ep 22
Farewell to the white void! It's the last episode from the blank existential nothingness voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. This week... we begin going right into the main story (24 minutes), about the withdrawal, after twenty years, from Afghanistan, a process that began under Trump, continued under Biden, and arguably had to happen someday, but we had hoped would be done in a more orderly and less violent and chaotic way than it has. And Now: Tamron Hall Will Have You Know She Is Fifty. Then, a word about the legal battle between our old friend, Jim "Texas Hammer" Adler, and newcomer to the tool-wielding, television-advertised personal injury law scene, Mike "Alabama Hammer" Slocumb, who looks like he may have stolen some of Jim's shtick. John suggests a new nickname for Slocumb: "The Alabama Banana Slicer," complete with prop that he will happily send on request. And, at last, another, final, moment with the void.... Last Week Tonight is off for the next two weeks. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Emergency Medical Services Season 8, Ep 19
This week: still in the void, for (perhaps) four more weeks. A crisis is developing over the fate of translators in Afghanistan, who are experiencing difficulties in obtaining visas to enter the US as troops withdraw, a life-or-death situation for them. And Now: Jim Cramer Loves Chipotle. Main story (22 minutes): about ambulence service in the US, often staffed by the underpaid, and yet are still frequently extremely expensive. [more inside]
Meanwhile, back on Earth....
- Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer digs an incredible hole for himself, first appearing to claim that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was worse than Hitler because Hitler never used chemical weapons (he did), then that Hitler never used them against innocent people (he did), then making up the term "Holocaust centers" as the place where Jews were gassed.
- Trump meets with China president Xi Jinping, who apparently in 10 minutes convinced him to do what over half the United States desperately wanted him to do for months: learn a damn thing about North Korea. Alas they did so at Trump's Mar-a-Lago, having recently been cited for 13 health code violations. Trump continues to flip-flop on practically everything related to foreign policy, underscoring how desperately stupid his campaign was.
- Trump drops a "MOAB" (Mother Of All Bombs) on Afghanistan, causing euphoric celebration at Fox News from Geraldo Rivera. When directly asked if he had authorized the strike, Trump danced around the question.
- And Now: You Put Easter And Local News Together, And What Do You Fucking Expect?
- Main Story: The upcoming French Presidental elections, between 11 different candidates, at least three of which have been assaulted in public by citizens throwing baking ingredients. YouTube (18m)
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]
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York. Continued riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and the failed PR response. Mahmud Karzai steps down as President of Afghanistan. And now: Words newscasters coyly refuse to say. (At least one for every letter of the alphabet!) A damning piece on US drone strikes. How Is This Still A Thing: Ayn Rand. Kansas selling seized porn and adult toys to help make budget shortfall.
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.