On this weekend's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver welcomed renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall to his ongoing series, "Great Minds: People Who Think Good," where he drags famous scientists down to his level and tries to beat them with experience. Several willfully stupid questions later, they agreed on exactly one thing: Poothrow Hitler would be an amazing name for a chimp.
TV coverage of the Supreme Court is hampered by the longstanding ban on cameras inside the highest court in the land. News shows have been forced to make do with sometimes-shoddy artists' renderings of the Justices, and John Oliver's sick of it. So here's his alternative proposal: Let's just use this footage of dogs in robes instead.
The U.S. military relies on local interpreters in Afghanistan to do important, possibly life-saving things like translating warnings about IEDs. And, in return, the Afghan translators get targets on their backs and the chance to live in fear of the day NATO pulls out and insurgents capture and behead them. John Oliver broke down this not-so-sweet deal on the most recent Last Week Tonight.
Last Week Tonight was on a break Sunday, but John Oliver couldn't stay silent about the artificial flavor that saturates America every autumn. He threw this rant about pumpkin spice (disclaimer: contains no actual pumpkin) up on YouTube over the weekend.
In this segment from the most recent Last Week Tonight, John Oliver is pissed that the police have a legal mechanism by which they can seize your money for essentially no reason, and then use it for whatever they want, with virtually no limitations.
Do you understand how exactly the United States' drone program works? The genuine, terrifying answer is that barely anyone has a complete picture of not only who we are targeting, but also who we're killing. "Perhaps the most incredible thing about our drone program," Oliver says, "which again, a majority of us support, is not how little we know about who the government is killing, but how little they themselves seem to know."
The annual, televised Miss America Pageant is perhaps best known as a bizarre, voyeuristic, occasionally hilarious sideshow to what purports to be a philanthropic cause—Miss America has long claimed to be the "largest provider of scholarships to women." Turns out, that's mostly true and dizzyingly complicated. "And through it all—the dance numbers, the inexplicable ventriloquism—it was very difficult not to think: How the fuck is this still happening?" Indeed.
Perhaps no one on Earth cared more than John Oliver about the crew of Russian geckos that recently perished during a mission to mate in space. He's devoted multiple segments on Last Week Tonight to the brave fuck-lizards and their plight, and the news of their death seems to have hit him pretty hard.
The student loan crisis in the U.S. would be bad enough without for-profit colleges whose entire business model relies on convincing the people most desperate for an education to sign up for lifelong debt. John Oliver picked apart some of their most horrendous practices on Sunday's Last Week Tonight.
In a dry spell without Last Week Tonight, we're still getting plenty of John Oliver. He spoofed Sesame Street in a segment about prisons last month, and now he's teamed up with Cookie Monster to anchor a news show about vocabulary words. It's sort of like Last Week Tonight, but with less cursing and more monsters.
It's well known that woman are still paid less than men in the U.S., but attempts to fix the problem keep getting derailed by arguments over exactly how big the wage gap is, or by attempts to blame the disparity on women.
With Last Week Tonight taking the week off, John Oliver filmed this web-only segment about two things he strongly dislikes: Inaccurate internet headlines and piñatas. Fuck piñatas.
The police response to protesters in Ferguson, Mo., raised a lot more questions than it answered, and John Oliver took aim at one of the biggest on Sunday's Last Week Tonight: Why the hell does a local police force have all this military-grade equipment?
Payday loan companies screw customers with annual interest rates as high as 1900%, and base their entire business model on the fact that desperate debtors will never be able to pay them back. On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained all the ways they're fucking you, in uncomfortable detail.
John Oliver's big topic on the latest Last Week Tonight was the crumbling wall between news and advertising, an invisible ethical forcefield that used to be known as the "separation of church and state."