Last night, John Oliver sat down with famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking on Last Week Tonight. Who better to kick-off Oliver’s “Great Brains: People Who Think Good” series?
Check out the extended version of the interview below:
Interviewing such an incredible scientific mind continues Oliver’s admirable streak of featuring science and scientists on his HBO program. You’d be hard-pressed to find a discussion of imaginary time (the one concept of Hawking’s science fiction writers haven’t used “because they don’t understand it”), potentially destructive artificial intelligence, and life on other planets anywhere else on TV.
Considering the significant difficulty that Dr. Hawking has communicating, the interview was quite good. Many of the more in-depth responses were likely given to Dr. Hawking and his team beforehand so that a script could be inserted into his voice synthesizer, but the physicist can still “type” and respond in real-time with the aid of eye-tracking software. Hawking was of course interesting scientifically, but it’s always a joy to see that he has a sense of humor too, which Oliver gladly took advantage of.
Redditors already picked out one of the gems from the interview: