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Tag: John Oliver (1-10 of 18)

The year late-night got it right... and dodged another meltdown

Was it really as simple as getting rid of Jay Leno?

For the longest time, late-night television was a battlefield. Beginning with Johnny Carson’s retirement in 1992—which set up the Leno/Letterman divide that would define the landscape for two decades—and best epitomized by the disastrous 2009 Tonight Show handover and subsequent takeback from Conan O’Brien, late-night has always been a bloody zero-sum conflict that inflated every minor change to the equation into a major tectonic shift.

NBC so bungled the Leno/O’Brien transition that when rumors began to emerge in early 2013 that the last-place network was planning to push top-rated Leno out for good and hand the keys to the Tonight Show to the younger, cooler Jimmy Fallon, another fiasco seemed inevitable. While the whispers grew, Leno fanned the flames on his show, making jokes about being knifed in the back by NBC execs. No one thought he would go quietly, and his critics, late-night rivals, and the other networks waited gleefully for another wave of schadenfreude. READ FULL STORY

John Oliver thinks the president's pardoned turkey has no case

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is on hiatus until February, but the host couldn’t help himself from signing back on for a web exclusive to vent about something that drives him crazy: turkey pardoning.

Turkey pardoning is the annual autumnal tradition where the president saves the life of one lucky turkey—never mind the delicious 46 million of his or her brethren that will be on America’s menu on Thursday.  READ FULL STORY

John Oliver shoots salmon at Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, everyone else in TV

Last Week Tonight called in a few friends for its final episode of the year, uniting all of television, and a few film stars, under one idea all audiences can enjoy—celebrities being hit in the face by salmon.

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John Oliver wants to give Supreme Court coverage some bark

As watchdog citizens of this great nation well know, the Supreme Court is camera-shy. Since 1946, the Court has maintained that televising—or even photographing—the Justices at work might, as Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated in 2006, “have an adverse impact” on the proceedings. So, to C-SPAN’s undying frustration, the hallowed institution refuses to have television cameras inside the nation’s highest court, forcing Americans to rely on audio recordings, transcripts, and the media’s sketch artists to understand how some of our country’s most important issues are being decided.

Sunday night on HBO, John Oliver conceded that hypothetical television coverage of the Court would likely veer towards 15-second snippets that wouldn’t necessarily reflect the complex issues at stake, a concern expressed by Justice Antonin Scalia. But Oliver has an idea that would spice up the Supreme Court; make it even go viral, perhaps.

No more Ken Burns Effected courtroom artists’ sketchings. Instead, Oliver and his team provided raw footage of the nine Supreme Court justices—with an adorable dog playing each justice, that is. Suddenly Holt v. Hobbs—whatever that is—got a lot more interesting. READ FULL STORY

Bruce Springsteen headlines Stand Up For Heroes event

Bruce Springsteen and a collection of all-star comedians will headline the eighth annual Stand Up for Heroes event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5. Louis C.K., John Mulaney, John Oliver, and NBC’s Brian Williams are already confirmed, and several surprise guests are expected. The event, presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and New York Comedy Festival, has raised millions for injured military veterans and their families. READ FULL STORY

John Oliver compares FIFA to Walter White, talks US World Cup chances on 'Late Night' -- VIDEO

JOHN-OLIVER-WORLD-CUP.jpg

Comedian John Oliver is pretty psyched about the start of the 2014 World Cup today — not that he needs an excuse to talk about soccer.

The British host of Last Week Tonight stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers Wednesday to chat about their late-night gigs and controversial segments, which led to Oliver’s impassioned rhapsody on football. The backstory: On Sunday, the former Daily Show correspondent delivered a poignant rant about the corruption of FIFA — the organization behind the World Cup — via his HBO show. When Meyers brought it up, Oliver compared the group to the antihero of Breaking Bad: “FIFA is awful, but the product they push is amazing. They’re Walter White,” he says. “If you get hooked on their magnificent blue meth of a sport, then you want nothing else.”

Oliver went on to admit that most education in Britain comes from reading headlines about the nation’s various soccer players. When David Beckham broke his foot, for example, all of England subsequently learned what a second metatarsal is.

As for the chances of the English and American squads at the World Cup, Oliver offered bleak predictions. “I would prepare yourselves for winning zero out of three games,” he advised U.S. fans. His wry observation on the German coach of the American team cutting the nation’s most well-known player, Landon Donovan, won’t soften the blow. Take a look at the full clip below: READ FULL STORY

Right Said Fred is too sexy for Bashar al-Assad on 'Last Week Tonight'

Among Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad’s many sins is his poor taste in music. CNN recently learned that the Middle Eastern president has been buying music off iTunes — and that his purchases include “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO and “Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown. Chris Brown? Really, Assad?

Assad also purchased a song by Right Said Fred, the band behind the early ’90s hit “I’m Too Sexy.” So naturally, John Oliver brought the group onto Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, where they returned the favor (sort of). Brothers Richard and Fred Fairbrass performed a custom version of their most popular song, replacing lyrics like “I’m a model, you know what I mean” with “You’re a monster, we hate your regime.” They even generously offered to refund Assad on his purchase, singing, “Stop downloading our tracks, here’s your money back!”

Check out the full clip below: READ FULL STORY

'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' review: The Weekly Show

The fear with Last Week Tonight is that it’s The Daily Show except once a week — a staggered timeline that would rob the basic news-punning format of its intrinsic topical punch. John Oliver’s new show has the familiar rhythms of the show that bore him: Description of news item, comical montage of actual news networks covering said news in an increasingly hysterical fashion, follow-up punchline. Oliver has been with The Daily Show since 2006; he’s one of the longest-serving correspondents, behind Stephen Colbert and the eternal Bee/Jones double act. The first episode of his HBO series didn’t stray far from the Stewart mothership, stylistically. He might be on a premium cable network, but he actually swore less than Stewart, who has made a running joke out of Comedy Central’s basic-cable bleeps. READ FULL STORY

John Oliver previews new HBO show for Jon Stewart: Think nudity and f-bombs

Sadly, Jo(h)ns Oliver and Stewart did not bring back the Carlos Danger dance when the former Daily Show correspondent stopped by his old stomping grounds last night.

The pair did, however, discuss Oliver’s new series, Last Week Tonight, which debuts on HBO Sunday. And you know what that means: “HBO will let me say whatever the f— I want!” Oliver bragged to his old boss. Additionally, we can expect a whole lotta nudity: “I’m pantless for the first three episodes.”

But seriously, folks: It’s a treat to watch Oliver and Stewart reunited, and both comedians were clearly thrilled to be in each others’ company again. Watch the magic happen below — after a brief decoy segment about the royal family’s recent tour of Australia and New Zealand. (The bit involves TDS‘s new senior British correspondent, “Jessica Smythe-Williams,” as well as Oliver’s reaction to meeting his American replacement Jordan Klepper. Pip pip!)

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John Oliver on being magazine cover-worthy: 'It makes me feel nauseous and uncomfortable'

John Oliver isn’t ready to be face-on-a-billboard famous.

The comedian may be about to launch his own weekly show — but as Oliver explained to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Tuesday night, he still feels weird about things like posing for magazine covers.

After gracing the front of The Hollywood Reporter, Oliver “had to go to the launch party, and they asked what is it like [to be on the cover]. And I said, ‘It makes me feel nauseous and uncomfortable,'” explained the host of HBO’s upcoming series Last Week Tonight. “I looked up at the man interviewing me and realized that wasn’t the right answer.”

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