Mystery Science Theater 3000: LASERBLAST Rewatch Season 7, Ep 6
Re-rewatch! A kid living out in the desert gets a ray gun that also turns him green, and he takes out his frustrations in an orgy of laser violence against innocent Star Wars signs, until goofy lizard aliens stop him. It's the last episode of the Comedy Central era of the show. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ESCAPE 2000 Rewatch Season 7, Ep 5
Rewatch! An evil construction company is ruthless in its dealings with people hanging onto their residences. Is actually the sequel to the movie 1990: The Bronx Warriors. There was a time when the premises of movies like this seemed a lot more laughable than they do now. Do we really know Amazon wouldn't resort to measures like this if they really wanted a new warehouse? Anyway, this is the next-to-last Comedy Central episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Next week is Turkey Day! Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN Rewatch Season 7, Ep 4
Rewatch! One of MST3K's Double Adjective Man movies, the others being The Amazing Colossal Man, Teenage Cave Man and Amazing Transparent Man. (There's also Indestructable Man, The Brute Man, The Projected Man and, of course, The Pumaman.) An astronaut returns to Earth and is affected by something that makes him kill people, kind of like a slightly more competent Monster A-Go-Go. In the host segments, Crow shepherds his movie Earth Vs. Soup to completion and through focus groups, a sequence inspired in no small part by Best Brains' experiences in getting MST3K The Movie made. Previously.
Re-rewatch! In a fantasy realm there is this guy called Deathstalker, and he's kind of a hero? Previous movies make him seem a lot more unclothed and morally questionable, whereas here he's just a smug jerk with a sword. Anyway, here he enlists the aid of undead warriors against the villainous sorcerer "Troxartus" or something. Great riffing in this one. Previously and again.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE BRUTE MAN Rewatch Season 7, Ep 2
Rewatch! Rondo Hatton is The Creeper, a deformed killer who wants to do something good, and so steals money to help a blind girl, but ends up killing people anyway. Hatton had acromegaly from chemical warfare suffered in World War I, which he managed to use to establish a career in Hollywood as "The Creeper" in a series of movies, but also killed him shortly after The Brute Man was made. Tragedy surrounds us. But there's also a short promising all the wonder and joy and relief from suffering that the future surely has in store for us: The Chicken of Tomorrow! Oh? Oh. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST Rewatch Season 7, Ep 1
Rewatch! A dead astronaut comes back down to Earth, not-dead but infested by aliens who plan to use his body as a spearhead to invade Earth. Is it just me or is that a weird plan? Also with a short, Once Upon A Honeymoon, which naturally has to do with telephones. We re-enter the series after The Movie, without Frank and now with new regular Pearl Forrester. It's the beginning of Season 7, only six episodes long and the last hurrah of the show on Comedy Central. Previously.
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: US Election 2020 Season 7, Ep 29
This week, the white void is a cheerier place. Launching in with the main story, the 2020 Election, and Joe Biden's election to US President, denying Donald Trump a second term. We take some time to celebrate that (including 30 seconds of awesome octopus facts). On YouTube (27m) And Now: At The End Of A Long, Exhausting Week: Dumps. [more inside]
This week, from the white void, two main stories tonight, focusing of two different aspects of the Trump presidency. #1: the Coronavirus. Bewilderingly, a lot of US Americans seem to think Trump has handled it the best he could. LWT identifies three crucial areas he definitely didn't: Preparation, Coordination and Communication. First main story, on YouTube (21m) #2: Trump's Attorney General William Barr, hailed as a responsible figure when brought on, but quickly revealed himself to be a kind of ultra-toady. Second main story, on YouTube (19m) Other items-- And Now: Our Annual Look At What Happens When Local News and Halloween Collide, and, And Now: Public Officials Prepare Children For A COVID Halloween." Playing the show out is a clip of Attorney General Bill Barr playing the bagpipes. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Asylum Season 7, Ep 27
This week from the white void. Trump is beset with October Surprises (contracting COVID, news finally breaks about his tax avoidance, and we find out he had a previously-unknown bank account in China), although his supporters think Hunter Biden's laptop is a thing, entirely because Fox News keeps telling them it is. Trump gets a pass from the press on the final debate because he acted like less of a loon than usual. And Now: The Movie Taste of People On CNBC Is Exactly What You Think It Is. Main story: Immigration, specifically, how the Trump administration has been extraordinarily cruel to asylum seekers trying to enter the US. On YouTube (21m) And Now: Like We Said, The Movie Taste Of People On CNBC Is Exactly What You Think It is.
Main story: the World Health Organization, Trump's stupid blaming them for the pandemic, and his decision to pull the U.S. out of it, which takes effect in July if nothing else changes (say in two weeks), and which could have huge consequences. It has 194 member states, nearly every country on Earth, but not the US if Trump's plans are not thwarted. On YouTube (19m) And Now: There's An Old Saying In Politics. Finally an update on Danbury, Connecticut, which is naming a sewage plant after John Oliver in exchange for donations to local food banks. At the end is the show's first location piece since the pandemic began (don't worry, John Oliver was wearing protection). [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]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Supreme Court Season 7, Ep 24
This week, again in the white void: A grand jury declined to indict the perpetrators over the death of Breonna Taylor, heaping more fuel onto the Black Lives Matter protests. Main story: the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, giving Republicans a third Supreme Court pick during Trump's term, largely and ultimately due to the machinations of "mule piss" Mitch McConnell and the weird anti-democratic games the US system plays to preserve power to the powerful. And Now: An Unexpected Update Regarding Peeps. Finally, the Census, and the importance for US residents to fill it out. 14 million households haven't yet despite its tremendous importance to our systems to have an accurate count of people. You can complete it, probably in just a couple of minutes, at my2020census.gov. To help encouraage viewers to do that, the show played a couple of minutes of the audiobook version of Sean Penn's novel Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff (hoo boy), to drive people away in order to do this essential thing. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: RNC 2020 & Kenosha Season 7, Ep 23
This week, from the void: The RNC convention is filled with tonedeaf shouting people who think the world is great and only getting better! But also there's the recent horrors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with Jacob Blake being repeatedly shot in the back by police and a teenage vigilante killing two people. On YouTube (20m) And Now: The RNC Gets Off To A Great Start. Finally, the city of Danbury, Connecticut responds to John Oliver's playful dissing of their town, up to their mayor threatening to name their new sewage plant after him. But they didn't actually do it, leading John to make a promise: name their sewage plant after him, and he'll donate $55,000 to various charities in the Danbury area. And in case the major is reluctant to spend public money on the sign, LWT went ahead and made one for them. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Border Wall, Revisited Season 7, Ep 22
This week, again from the void: The Democrats' "unconventional convention," and their decision to give a significant amount of speaking time to Republicans. The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report that Trump's 2016 campaign had repeated contacts with Russian operatives, more news for who's saying it than what was said. And Now: Yes, It's Still August, But Guess Who's Back? (Pumpkin spice, the go-to autumn conversation topic of newscasters nationwide.) Main story: Remember the border wall? In the home stretch of Trump's first (and hopefully only) term, how has that gone? Not well at all. On YouTube (23m) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Juries Season 7, Ep 21
This week, from the void: Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, prompting the usual stupid attacks from right-wing media and President Trump. Marjorie Green may well become the first QAnon-believing member of Congress, making the world even dumber. And Now: Larry King, Master Salesman. Main story: Juries, and how the system is stacked against black jurors despite it being technically illegal to do so. YouTube (21m) And Now: Jim Cramer's Fun-Time Quarantine Activity Makes You Sad. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. History Season 7, Ep 20
This week, from the white void: Coronavirus spreads like crazy due to idiotic mass gatherings by US Americans, enabled by powerful idiots who refuse to take it seriously. And Now: For An Extra $150, Steve Gutenberg Brainstorms Names For Our Co-Worker's New Dog. The main story is on U.S. history, and many US Americans' ignorance of it, especially its history of slavery. On YouTube (28m) LWT is off next week. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: China & Uighurs Season 7, Ep 19
This week, again from the void (but with a glass desk now): the protests in Portland over the death of George Floyd escalate sharply as Donald Trump sends in anonymous federal agents in unmarked vans to kidnap protesters off the streets, dear god. And Now: Martha Stewart Loosens Up During The Lockdown. Main Story: the Uighurs, an ethnic minority in China whose culture that nation is trying to destroy. And Now: We Promise You These People Are Not Saying "Masturbate." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Conspiracy Theories Season 7, Ep 18
This week, from the void: many administration and state officials want to reopen the country as quickly as possible despite how stupid that is. And Now: Parents On Television Just Want One Thing (to send kids back to school). Main story concerns conspiracy theories, those things that tons of people believe in, are wantonly spread by Facebook and YouTube, and that are argubly tearing the world apart. On YouTube (22m) To help convince people to stop believing so much bullshit, Last Week Tonight asked several celebrities (Alex Trebek, John Cena, Paul Rudd, Catherine O'Hara and Billy Porter) to make videos asking people to think more critically about what they read on the internet, and put them up at thetruetruetruth.com. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus and Evictions Season 7, Ep 17
This week, again from the White Void: Mike Pence gave a speech that seems to indicate that we had done enough to slow the Coronavirus epidemic, an amazingly stupid take, and the very states that have been most aggressive about reopening have been the ones to suffer from the highest spikes in new cases. Main story: evictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening to turn the health crisis into a homelessness crisis. On YouTube (19m) And Now: The Citizens of Palm Beach County, Florida, Have Some Thoughts On Mandatory Face Masks (Warning: extreme entitlement). Finally, John "Papa John" Schnatter, rich white man and founder of the pizza chain, has become a highly undeserving Instagram star in an attempt to rehabilitate his image, and is as potent an argument against obscene wealth as anything on this Earth. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus in Prisons Season 7, Ep 16
This week (another void episode): After a quick recap of Trump's first rally since the pandemic hit (not a lot of people showed up) and Juneteenth, we go right in to the main story, the Coronavirus, "that thing you regularly have to convince your parents still exists." Specifically, about a surge in cases in prisons, in some cases up to 80% of their residents having contracted it. On YouTube (28m) And Now: A Father's Day Tribute to the World's Greatest Dad. (It's Trump. They're being sarcastic.) And a final piece on fancams, for the old people out there, "short montages of a performer that you like set to music." Which performer? Any performer. The point is, however, K-Pop stars are deploying fancams to fight the white supremacy hashtag [hash]whitelivesmatter, and support tags like #protecttheprotestors. They have also overwhelmed an app police published for people to use to report protestors with irrelevant images. LWT made their own rat-erotica-K-Pop-fancam for use in signal jamming; it's available from (takes a deep breath as I prepare to type this) rateroticafancam.com. Another proud member of the HBO family of websites! [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Facial Recognition Season 7, Ep 15
This week (again from the White Void): protests over the brutal police killing of George Floyd continue, Tucker Carlson gripes about puppets telling kids about racism, and Minneapolis votes to abolish their police department while New York criminalizes the use by police of chokeholds like the one that killed George Floyd. Statues of slave traders the world over have been toppled, wrecked or defaced, but police unions continue to angrily justify the status quo. (There's a lot of infuriating material in this section.) And Now: C-Span Callers Have Some Thoughts On The Coronavirus For The Second Most Patient Man On Television. Main Story is on the use of technology for facial recognition, and, ominously, its increased use by law enforcement, especially as provided by a company called Clearview AI. On YouTube (21m) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Police Season 7, Ep 14
This week: it's a strange episode, even from among those coming from the White Void of Sad Facts, as the entire show is about the protests over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the police reaction to them. In the words of John Oliver, "If police are trying to convince the public that they're not guilty of displaying excessive force, it's probably not a good idea to repeatedly display excessive force on national television[...]" Instead of listening to me summarize it, you can watch the entire episode on YouTube (33 minutes). [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Voting By Mail Season 7, Ep 13
This week: another installment from the white void. Protests over the death of George Floyd, and the terrible take on it from Tucker Carlson. This week's main story is about mail-in voting which Trump incorrectly says is "corrupt," and its dire importance during the pandemic. To help encourage people to vote by mail and be safe, Last Week Tonight reminds us that their stamps are still available at stamps.com/laststamptonight, and they have also made available some "I voted!" stickers with a mail-in ballot theme, which you can get from ivotedbymail.com. And Now: TV Hosts Want to Know: What's That Behind You? On YouTube (19m) Finally, on the UFC, who had been planning on holding fights on what they had called "Fight Island." Two weeks ago John Oliver had suggested a much better name would be UF-SEA. It looks like UFC agreed; they filed a trademark on that name two days after it aired, and in a Sportscenter interview the head of UFC admitted he got the idea from John. You can also buy a baby onsie with the expired UFC trademark phrase "You Will Submit," at tugslabmeatsbabypalace.com. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus: Sports Season 7, Ep 12
This week: Another episde from the Void. Rick Bright became a whistleblower into Trump's Coronavirus response, while Trump dissipated his energies unveiling the "Space Force" flag. There is a scandal around North Carolina Senator Richard Burr for profiting off of non-public Coronavirus briefings back in February. And Now: Rachael Ray Is Doing Her Best With Her New, One-Man Production Crew. Main story: Sports, why shutting them down for a while was the right thing to do, and what they've been doing in the meantime, some of which is actually fairly positive! Although some are fairly sucky, with the drive to earn profits overruling some team owners and even schools' desire to keep their players healthy. Which brings us... to Last Week's Tonight's newly-announced sponsorship of Marble League 2020, Jelle's Marble Runs (the producers of Marbula One) Olympics-like marble sports competition! On YouTube (22m) LWT is off next week. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The U.S. Postal Service Season 7, Ep 11
This week, from the Blank White Void: Someone flushed a toiled during oral arguments in a remote Supreme Court conference. Justice Department head and apologist for power William Barr seeks to throw out case against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI, not even trying to cover up that it's nakedly an abuse of his position. [internal screaming] Trump flubs a photo-op by touring a mask factory without wearing one, and seems to be trying to convince the US to open up despite the additional deaths it would cause, while also shutting down CDC guidelines as to how businesses could best do that safely. And Now: FOX 4 Dallas's Steve Eagar Reads Viewer's Complaints Out Loud. Main story: the U.S. Postal Service and the issues, in terms of safety and budgetary, it faces during the Coronavirus crisis. YouTube The episode mentions that, while it will not go anywhere near meeting the USPS's $90B shortfall, you can at least help out a little by buying stamps, such as the ones they themselves have produced through stamps.com, at stamps.com/laststamptonight, available through June 15. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Cononavirus Testing Season 7, Ep 10
This week: the show once again comes to us from the Blank White Void of Sad Facts. Alex Jones solemnly states on air "I'll admit it... I will eat my neighbors." The Coronavirus has, in three months, killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War yet with no end in site, yet Jared Kushner essentially declared victory over it on Fox News. Ubiquitious testing is our only real way out of this problem, with current testing levels falling far short of what is needed despite having had months to improve the situation, so the main story tonight is: what happened? On YouTube (23m) And Now: Even During a Pandemic, Florida Just Can't Help But Be Florida. Finally, for some reason cats seem to love Last Week Tonight, so they decided to pander to them with a short spin-off show, "Cat Week Tonight." Contains Martin Sheen. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Narendra Modi Season 7, Ep 2
A tiny Trump intro, Mike Bloomberg's attempts to buy a candidacy, Larry King weirdness, and the religious fundamentalism and nationalism of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his circle. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Medicare For All Season 7, Ep 1
The first episode of Season Seven. Republicans claiming Trump's impeachment "changed him" (hint: it absolutely didn't), US Prosecutors steping down in protest over Trump's terrifying interference with the Roger Stone case, And Now: Another Installment of "Coming Up On 'The Doctors'," and the main story: Medicare for All, not the politics of whether it can pass, but what it is. Psst! You want a link to a metric TON of LWT clips? CLICK THROUGH FOR OVERKILL-- [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: LASERBLAST Rewatch Season 7, Ep 6
Rewatch! A teen with a sad life finds a laser gun in the desert, which turns out to be a particularly bad influence on him. Fortunately the claymation lizard patrol is on the case. This was the last episode in the Comedy Central run of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously.