John Oliver Takes Umbrage with AIR BUD’s Rules in Goofy Rant

Imagine for a second you host an Emmy-winning talk show on HBO. Your series is renowned both for its comedy and for its ability to highlight important societal issues. You are also personally well-respected and well-liked by viewers, a reputation you first established on another critically-acclaimed show. What would you do with that kind of cache? How would you utilize a talented writing and research staff? What topics would be most important to you? Whatever answer you would give, we promise it’s not the same as John Oliver. Because we’re pretty sure no one else would do a nearly 15-minute long  Last Week Tonight web exclusive about the questionable rules of the 1997 family film Air Bud.

Specifically this: “Ain’t no rule says a dog can’t play basketball.”

True, but as John Oliver explores in this absolutely absurd video, that signature Air Bud quote is one of the many issues with the film’s nebulous enforcement of rules. From the absence of rules to the ignoring of others, the movie takes place in a world where nothing matters.

What does a young boy getting away with dog theft have to do with the world today? Why discuss this topic at this exact moment? Don’t ask Oliver to make any connections for you. This video is really just an excuse for him to complain about a film that launched a ridiculous franchise. (All on the back of just four measly field goals. Which fittingly, considering the timing of this clip, is roughly what Kevin Durant is currently giving the Brooklyn Nets in their playoff series.)

John Oliver hosts Last Week Tonight with an insert of Air Bud during a web exclusive
Last Week Tonight

Clearly Last Week Tonight web exclusives are now the home of Oliver’s long-simmering pop culture complaints. He previously went on a long rant about The Da Vinci Code. And you know what? We don’t blame him. His show does great work discussing problems that actually matter. So while it might not have been our first thought, we can appreciate using the cache that comes with doing so to get some things off your chest.

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