John Oliver Rants and Raves About How Cool Octopuses Are

Typically, John Oliver opts to rant and rave about something in the news. Policing in the United States; the ongoing housing crisis; meatpacking plants; recycling. He’s always fired up about one evil or another looming large over civilian life. But this week, amid Last Week Tonight’s so-called hiatus, the host turned his attention to an unusual focus: sea creatures. Specifically, octopuses. (No, not octopi, nor octopodes, as Oliver makes clear.)

Now, a good deal of John Oliver’s gags and punchlines center on a member of the animal kingdom. So it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that he’s got an affinity for wildlife. But if you hadn’t picked up on that pattern, you might be stymied by his latest nine-minute segment. Oliver rants and raves once more, but this time about the unabashed coolness of octopuses.

That’s right. There’s no socioeconomic malady ensnaring the eight-armed mollusks. The segment is just a simple expression of octopus fandom for its own sake. And Oliver makes many good points. Octopuses are really unlike anything else on this planet…at least, anything else that we know of. They can change shape, size, color, and texture at will. They’re incredibly intelligent, and imaginative to boot. And they’re wonderfully charming little creatures with a zest for curious living.

John Oliver next to a still of an octopus.

Last Week Tonight

The above video is a “web exclusive” segment from Last Week Tonight. As mentioned, the show is currently enjoying a month-long hiatus. New episodes will resume on July 25, broadcasting on HBO and streamable via HBO Max. That Oliver interrupted his own vacation to produce the octopus-themed segment should tell us all we need to know about his love for the sea’s most enchanting monster. And although Oliver’s usual episodes are formidably educational, it is nice to see him fired up about something positive for a change. Here’s hoping for more octopus news.

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