A gaping void was left in the television landscape with Jon Stewart's retirement last week. It's well documented how Stewart transcended comedy and turned into a trusted primary news source for millions of Americans.
The question now becomes who will take over Stewart's mantle. While Jon Stewart's official replacement, Trevor Noah, is slated to begin episodes in September, the real "Daily Show" heir has already ascended the throne.
"Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver is the best show on television, and that may be an understatement.
Oliver left the "Daily Show" to host "Last Week Tonight," which airs Sundays at 11 p.m. Here's one of his shorter segments to give you a taste.
Oliver has developed an incredible formula that takes societal problems receiving little-to-no attention but affecting millions of people and communicates them in a way that is informative and entertaining.
From food waste, prescription drugs, crumbling infrastructure, FIFA, standardized testing and horny space geckos, Oliver has become a master of making the mundane not just entertaining, but brilliant.
There is no better example of this than his piece on government surveillance. Oliver tackled NSA Data collection (aka the most boring thing you can think of) and boiled it down to its simplest terms: Can the government see my dick pics?
That's right. Oliver traveled to Russia to interview Edward Snowden and asked him if his sexts could be intercepted (intersexted?) by the government. They can, and they are.
That's what makes "Last Week Tonight" so impressive. Nobody understands the geopolitical implications of spy agencies intercepting terabytes of bulk data through prisms and cross referencing it for potential red flags. But everyone knows creepy government employees shouldn't be able to see your genitals. Oliver makes important, complicated things simple and funny.
He also makes it engaging. I know 30 minutes sounds long, but it will seem short. "Last Week Tonight" holds your attention on a second-to-second basis. You won't get the same urge to glance down at your phone that comes with literally every other TV show.
Journalistically, Oliver is on point. Not only did he interview Edward Snowden, one of the most desirable interviews on the planet, but he did a better job interviewing him than the top journalists in America did. At one point in the interview, Oliver says point blank that Snowden fucked up a national security issue and needs to take responsibility. This is just moments after Oliver questioned Snowden's opinion on truck nuts.
Oliver's ability to weave comedy and journalism flawlessly has created the most watchable news content in America. And it doesn't stop there. Where Oliver surpasses "The Daily Show" is his calls to action.
A good example is Net Neutrality. In a nutshell, politicians were debating letting TimeWarner, Verizon and Comcast effectively control the Internet.
Oliver pleaded with the world's Internet trolls to tweet and email the FCC to let them know how stupid the idea was. So many people commented that the FCC website crashed. It was a critical moment in defeating the bill.
"Last Week Tonight" is a show that makes you more cognizant of the world around you, but still likes penis jokes. Steal your friend's HBOGO and give it a try.