When Singapore legalized casinos back in 2005, it also established a National Council on Problem Gambling to produce educational messages about the devastation gambling addiction can cause to lives and families. Leading up to the World Cup, the Council released a heartbreaking PSA to discourage football fans from betting on the event.
The U.S. prison system: Where 1 in 25 inmates is sexually assaulted, private corporations are brought in to cut food and medical costs to the bone, and one prison tried to disinfect a woman's C-section with table sugar. It's all good, though, because recidivism rates (and therefore, profits) are high.
Americans are fiercely protective of the imaginary wealth they don't have yet, and John Oliver believes that the idea that we're a nation of "haves and soon-to-haves," as Marco Rubio actually put it, explains why we perpetuate policies that have led us to near-Great-Depression levels of inequality.
If all you know about President Warren G. Harding is how quickly he died after taking office, prepare for some presidential trivia you'll never be able to unhear. Harding's love letters—or, as John Oliver puts it, "smutty fuck notes"—to his neighbor's wife are a treasure trove of pillowing breasts, fevered fondling, and penis nicknames.
Last Week Tonight was on hiatus due to the Fourth of July, but that didn't stop John Oliver from reporting the biggest U.S. news story of the weekend: Fireworks. Although it would, of course, be physically impossible for Oliver to have attended every fireworks show in the U.S. this weekend, he covered them all anyway.
Outrage in the U.S. over Uganda's virulently anti-gay policy has died down since it flared up earlier this year, but that doesn't mean the situation has improved for Uganda's LGBT population. On last night's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver cited a May report by the activist group Sexual Minorities Uganda (or SMUG), which states that in the time since Uganda's anti-gay bill was passed by Parliament, there has been a huge increase in the persecution of gays. During the four-month period of this study, there were 162 cases of gay persecution reported, versus 19 in 2012 and eight in 2013 during the same four-month period.
Physicist Stephen Hawking, frequently cited as one of the smartest people alive, is also pretty funny. As the first person John Oliver interviewed for Last Week Tonight's new "People Who Think Good" series, Hawking delivered a stark lesson about the nature of reality: There is no timeline in which Oliver will date Charlize Theron.
The only thing that can match John Oliver's excitement about the World Cup, which begins this week in Brazil, is his disgust at FIFA, the corrupt organization that controls it.
Net neutrality sounds boring, but it's the only thing standing between us and an internet where cable companies dictate which content goes in the "fast lane" (their own) and which will be delivered very, very slowly (Netflix). On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver broke down all the ways major cable companies intend to fuck you, the consumer.
General Motors recalled another 2.7 million vehicles due to faulty ignition switches last week, bringing its total for the year to 11 million. Worse, the company apparently knew about the defects as far back as 2001, and a leaked memo revealed a list of words—including "Kevorkianesque" and "sarcophagus-like"—that GM employees aren't allowed to use to describe the recalled cars.
Jon Stewart sat out part of tonight's Daily Show so correspondent John Oliver could report on Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park. As Oliver wandered around, he encountered some of the protest's stranger characters and customs—"How amongst the 99% did I still feel like I didn't fit in?"—before consulting with "the 98% of Americans who might agree with the protester's message if it weren't for the protesters themselves."
The Daily Show's coverage of the protests in Madison, Wisconsin hasn't used any of its rumored "camel footage" yet, and this YouTube clip may show you why. The show thought it would be funny to bring a camel to the protests on Monday, presumably as some sort of joke about how the issues there are so puny compared to what's going down in the Middle East. But Madison blogger Jack Craver got footage of the camel slipping in the ice and slush, moaning, and falling down along with the barricade surrounding it. Daily Show correspondent John Oliver briefly walks in front of Craver, too, suggesting he turn the camera off. Oh, that John Oliver! (Yikes.)