On last week’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver did an entire 13+ minute segment on the issue of net neutrality. Not only did he concisely break down the importance of defending net neutrality, John Oliver, as he is quite capable of doing, made it damn funny as well. At the end of the segment, John launched into a call-to-arms, summoning the dark powers of Internet commenters anywhere and everywhere to take the FCC up on their open net neutrality forum.
Apparently, after the segment aired on HBO and was uploaded to YouTube, the FCC comments section hadn’t experienced that volume of traffic before and crashed. The link between Last Week Tonight‘s segment and the crash would be difficult to verify, but it’s hard to imagine why else it would happen. When it comes to taking action on net neutrality, there has been plenty of essays written on the matter, but not many people have encouraged the wild masses of the internet to share their thoughts with the FCC comments section until Oliver brought it up.
On top of crashing the site, Oliver also received a beautifully satirical letter from POM Wonderful, successfully setting himself apart from being just the “fifth day” of The Daily Show. The interactivity and real world change resulting from Last Week Tonight has been a perfect example of how comedy, politics, social justice, and pop culture can intersect. At the end of many of Oliver’s segments, he usually encourages his viewers to do specific acts if they agree with his point of view.
For all the times that jokes have tried to send a message, John Oliver is definitely making sure that his are well-received.