Bow down for John Oliver. In this year’s first episode, his show Last Week Tonight, which aired yesterday, examined the several lies being told by US President Donald Trump. The conclusion, according to Oliver’s incredibly well-written monologue, is that Trump gets his information from suspicious and sometimes malicious TV sources. Because Trump doesn’t know any better, however, he shares this dubious knowledge on Twitter and repeats it in interviews.
Now, John Oliver has decided to help the world educate the president, using that same TV. This is why Last Week Tonight, an HBO show, has produced and will be airing a series of educational ads directly targeted at President Trump, via his favourite television channels. The hilarious spots, featuring a wizened cowboy, will run on cable news networks such as CNN, Fox, and MSNBC.
All of this is surreal, isn’t it? Yes, of course. Just look at the ads:
But Last Week Tonight, a tremendously popular news satire series, has continued to grow in popularity because of things like this.
For instance, last season, John founded a fake church, became a pretend televangelist, and raised several thousands in ‘offering’ just to show how ridiculous the concept of televangelism had become. Last Week Tonight currently has nearly 4.5 million YouTube subscribers, despite being on air just one night a week. True, the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has 13 million and the Late Late show with James Corden has 9.75 million subscribers but these shows are on every weeknight. Last Week Tonight is popular because of its depth, honesty, and, of course, blistering humour.
Its fans leave comments such as these on YouTube:
John Oliver so blatantly points out how Trump is a clueless, unfit, corrupt, lying sack of shit and backs it all up. SO GLAD YOU ARE BACK AMERICA NEEDS THIS!
I missed this rat-faced bastard.
This is a hilariously terrifying show.
Our lord and savior reverend John Oliver has returned to us! Praise be!
You have to understand the audience’s devotion to John Oliver and Last Week Tonight. The show is the unlikely comedy show that has defied all the encumbrances that should have held it back: a British presenter in America, a once a week schedule, an intensely cerebral approach, and premium cable.
Now, with his unexpected success, Mr Oliver can keep breaking the wall between third-party reporting/commentary and being the subject of the news, especially because the world now expects more of that from him.