State legislatures: their campaign ads may be completely ludicrous comedy goldmines, and even some of the incumbents are unhinged lunatics, but with Congress basically deadlocked, they're the only place shit gets done. John Oliver spent nearly 20 minutes mocking these buffoons last night, and explaining why you need to vote anyway.

The short version: Because even the craziest among them can introduce a bill written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the "conservative bill-mill" that creates model legislation for state houses across the country.

ALEC is responsible for laws that have propped up some of Oliver's biggest Last Week Tonight targets: For-profit colleges, private prisons, and the payday loan industry. And the state lawmakers who introduced them often just copy them verbatim from ALEC's website.

"I'm going to list ALEC in our show credits as executive producer of creating horrible things for us to talk about. See you at the season wrap party, you pieces of shit!" Oliver quips.

His point is that ALEC is so effective because nobody is really paying attention to state politics. So, do a little research and vote (in the 75% of races that are actually contested, anyway).

[h/t Last Week Tonight]