Last Week Tonight Review
John Oliver has joined the growing list of Daily Show correspondents to go on to host their own show. His show, Last Week Tonight, is midway through its second season and is continuing to refuse to pull any punches.
Tackling issues ranging from the death penalty to lost space geckos, this new comedy is covering topics in an unorthodox way. The similar Daily Show and Colbert report operate on a 24 hour news cycle, however Oliver’s weekly program schedule gives him the freedom to explore other topics and what they do cover is dealt with in great depth.
Oliver uses his unique perspective as a British national to look at issues from a fresh perspective, which often leads to thought provoking and hilarious outcomes. The fact that this show is produced by HBO gives Oliver the ability to ruthlessly deconstruct issues that it would not be possible to do on other networks. This can be seen with his 20-minute (of a half hour show) tirade on the NCAA.
Oliver has taken his opportunity and created a show that is completely his own. Unlike Daily Show host Jon Stewart who (as he claims) is a comedian, Oliver tackles issues in the same way a journalist would – with sources to back up everything he says. Perhaps most refreshing of all is his refusal to talk down to his audience, trusting both their attention span and their intelligence.
Not content with airing exclusively on HBO, Oliver has also released huge chunks of the show on Youtube. Admittedly it is nowhere near the full show, but it does show almost all of his take-downs and it is a continuation of late night shows embracing the online community. The ability to watch the show in your own time and the thought provoking topics the show covers make for a refreshing take on the packed out late night programming schedule.