Whenever The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart had to report on a tragedy like Friday’s terrorist attacks on Paris, he would temporarily drop the jokes and speak candidly. Serious Jon was a little jarring to watch, at least the first couple of times, and that successfully conveyed the gravity of situation.
Happy election day, Canada! Congratulations on learning that today is Canadian election day, America! Here’s John Oliver explaining Canada’s three main political parties and making a last-minute plea to our friends to the north to dump “dickhead” conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.
In the wake of yet another mass shooting at a U.S. school, it’s time for America to have one of its all-too-infrequent conversations about mental health. On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver looked into what we’re actually doing to help people with mental illness, and learned it’s pretty much nothing except prison. Great. Good start.
With hundreds of thousands of migrants headed to Europe from Syria and Iraq, reactions have ranged from reluctant acceptance (Germany) to outright, vicious racism (Slovakia, Poland, Fox News). As ever, John Oliver used Last Week Tonight to put a human face on the latest shitty, depressing thing people are doing to one another, and the face of the refugee crisis is a cool Syrian teen named Noujain Mustaffa.
We’re in between Daily Show hosts, Stephen Colbert’s Late Night hasn’t started yet, and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is on a break until mid-September. So what are we supposed to do with our—oh, hey, John Oliver made a pointless web video about his upcoming book.
Televangelists didn’t disappear in the ‘80s—there are actually more of them than ever. They ask for private planes and piles of money from people who can’t actually afford it in exchange for vague and ephemeral promises of future prosperity and health. Fuck ‘em, says John Oliver.
For the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tried to find out what American kids are learning in sex ed, and discovered that the answer is that no one really knows, because many states have no official standards—in some cases, the information kids get isn’t even required to be medically accurate. Many other states have just one standard: abstinence only. Basically, whether you learned what consent is or how to use a condom depends on which high school you happened to go to.
In America, we throw out more than a third of our food, an insane 730 football stadiums worth every year. That’s up by about 50 percent since the ‘70s. Meanwhile, 50 million Americans are hungry. John Oliver spent last night’s Last Week Tonight looking into the causes of this ugly state of affairs.
John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight was off this weekend for the Fourth of July, so in lieu of his usual 15-minute “deep dive” into a complex topic, he posted this rapid-fire series of shallow dives into: bagels, seagulls, and shit.
Marriage is now attainable for all, regardless of who they love, but an estimated 700,000 transgender Americans still face daily, legal discrimination. Yesterday on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver went in on the idiots who promote that discrimination—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not not—saying it’s pretty simple to figure out what to call a transgender person: you call them whatever they want to be called.
Twenty years after it entered the mainstream, the internet has delivered on its promise to make basically everything faster and more convenient: doing research, buying stuff, arranging to meet up with your “kayaking friends,” and harassing women until they consider suicide. On Last Week Tonight Sunday, John Oliver considered the heavily gendered crisis of online harassment, and the glaring lack of any legal framework for stopping it.
Chicken: We love it! Chicken production in the U.S. has doubled over the past 25 years, to 160 million chickens every week. That makes it sound like it’s a great time to be a chicken grower, but John Oliver explained Sunday night that it is most assuredly not.
John Oliver used his Mother’s Day episode of Last Week Tonight to point out that, although American companies and lawmakers love to be seen celebrating moms, their appreciation doesn’t extend to giving women paid time off after giving birth. The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only countries without any guarantee of paid family leave.
Look, nobody likes the IRS, but they're not the ones deciding how much of your money to take, or making nearly 600 changes a year to the U.S. tax code. As John Oliver explains on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, that would be our wise and efficient Republican-controlled Congress, which has slashed the IRS budget by 20% over the past 5 years.
Last Week Tonight is on break this week, but John Oliver still made a video to address the crisis that will strike all of us just two short days from now: April Fools' Day, that holiday beloved of monsters and sociopaths only, is on its way.
The Justice Department's investigation into the Ferguson, Mo. police department determined that, among other things, the department and local courts treated policing as a way to make money for the city, with a disproportionate share of that burden falling on black residents. But Ferguson isn't an isolated case: municipal fines are out of control in the U.S., and people who can't afford to pay are going to jail for them.
It's time again for March Madness, the NCAA's annual college basketball tournament/billion-dollar reminder that student-athletes still don't get paid a damn thing, despite the daily risk of injury and the fact that their labor generates ludicrous piles of cash for their not-technically-employers.
America's roads, bridges and dams are slowly crumbling on top of us, and there's no longer enough funding for routine inspection, let alone maintenance, of all this unsexy infrastructure. Enter John Oliver, who tried Sunday night to do for infrastructure repairs what he did last year for net neutrality.
With Jon Stewart's departure from the Daily Show sadly impending, some speculated that Comedy Central would make a sweet offer to the show's longest-serving guest host, John Oliver, to return to the chair full time. HBO has gone ahead and silenced that speculation, for better or worse, by signing Oliver to continue Last Week Tonight through 2017, Deadline reports.