Let’s Talk About How Important (And Ridiculous) John Oliver’s 'Last Week Tonight' Is

Let’s Talk About How Important (And Ridiculous) John Oliver’s 'Last Week Tonight' Is

At what point does ridiculous become effective advocacy?

John Oliver, the host of "Last Week Tonight" on HBO, wrote a children's book about a gay rabbit and bought Russel Crow movie memorabilia for no rational reason, yet he is one of the most influential personalities on television.

I’ve been told it’s not because he has a British accent, although I am still skeptical of this statement. It’s not because he is armed to the teeth with HBO comedy writers and researchers, although that certainly helps. After all, if good research was the secret to loyal viewership, my YouTube history would consist of CNN videos and not its current collection of bench-clearing baseball brawls and the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contests.

Somehow, John Oliver videos live among the great Oakland A’s vs. the Kansas City Royals fight of 2015 and Adam Scott writing captions for stick figures. Somehow, I know more about Net Neutrality than my friend majoring in computer science does because of John Oliver. In case you haven’t watched his show, here’s a summary.

The man who will voice Zazu in the Live-Action Lion King puts on a checked shirt and tie to talk about an often overlooked topic in the news. Oh yeah, and he tells a lot of jokes while doing it. Sometimes, he will intentionally be overwhelmingly petty to make a point, and we love it.

It can be easy to label John Oliver and his work as ridiculous. When will HBO give him a line not to cross? More importantly, when will he cross the line that HBO told him not to cross? But, let me give you some insight into his secret mastermind plan: it’s supposed to be ridiculous. He is influential because he is ridiculous. Ridiculous is how he can talk for a half hour about the Iran Deal and have more viewers than the last week’s episode.

The best part about this ridiculously genius concept is that it seems to be working. People seem to be learning. It isn’t news, and Oliver himself will be the first one to admit it, as he did in his special about journalists. But, the more people he gets to talk about an issue, the more success his show has. I’m not talking about success in ratings or awards (although he has most definitely achieved that). I’m talking about the success he has had in helping people.

Hey, HBO, don’t give him a line to cross. Let him use your resources freely to buy or make ridiculous things. Or maybe draw a line, and let him break it. The work he’s doing is important. We’ll keep talking about him and that means we’ll be talking about meaningful issues too. Keep up the good work, John.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!


We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness


What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst


It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen


Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad


Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin


Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate


Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny


More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body


Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 


Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.


I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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10 Tweets About La Croix That Will Make You Snort Seltzer Right Out Of Your Nose

Who knew carbonated water could be so funny?


Who knew carbonated water could be so funny?

1. Using La Croix for something other than a drink.

2. It keeping you sane at the workplace.

3. La Croix as white people's drink of choice

4. Just feeling it


6. Not buying into the hype

7. Another hater

8. OK, this is just good content

9. Things are getting dark

10. Classy AF

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