I love John Oliver, and it’s not just because he was so damn funny whenever he popped up on Community. Even on a series packed with that many funny people, Oliver’s performance as a smarmy and obnoxious (but highly intelligent) community college professor never failed to make me laugh. So when I heard that the man was getting his own HBO series in which he could wittily pontificate not unlike a Jon Stewart or a Stephen Colbert (as he did as a correspondent on The Daily Show for many years), I made sure to watch. And the man’s a natural. Need some proof, despite not having HBO right in front of you at this precise second? Fine. Check out the YouTube channel for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, watch a few clips, and tell me this guy isn’t a natural. (Fair warning: he is British.)
Better yet, watch this new LWTwJO clip in which the host laments the issue of America’s crumbling… infrastructure. And already half of you are asleep. Why? Because “America’s infrastructure” seems like a monumentally boring topic, right? Therein lies the beauty of John Oliver’s program: he addresses “basic” issues that are undeniably important, but he makes them interesting through sheer force of insight, energy, and some really sharp writing. In previous episodes he’s shed some vital light on issues like net neutrality, nuclear weapons, income inequality, and several other starchy topics — yet he always finds a way to make some great points and deliver a few laughs.
Oh, and he also gets movie stars like Edward Norton, Hope Davis, and Steve Buscemi to pop up in very clever trailer parodies like the one that closes this 20-minute segment. It’s like getting your dessert after eating all your infrastructure. Enjoy!