UPDATED with video: In June 2014, John Oliver’s call to action on the subject of net neutrality during a Last Week Tonight telecast crashed the Federal Communications Commission’s comments system. Three years later, on Sunday, Oliver noted the FCC is back at the same old rannygazoo, trying to scrap net neutrality. And, again, Oliver is calling on viewers to mob the comments section of the FCC site.
In 2014, Oliver noted the FCC was headed by Tom Wheeler, the guy who used to head the cable companies’ lobbying efforts, which Oliver likened to hiring a dingo to babysit your infant.
Nowadays, it’s headed by Ajit Pai, an anti-regulation guy who has said he’d like to take a weed-whacker to net neutrality and predicted its days are numbers which, Oliver noted, is “serial-killer talk.”
Pai is dangerous because he likes to play the down-to-earth nerd – loves to quote The Big Lebowski, brags about his “infamous” oversized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup novelty mug, and otherwise play dumb – when, in fact, he’s a former lawyer for Verizon, a company that would benefit bigly by the plowing under of net neutrality.
Three years ago, Oliver explained net neutrality to viewers and how ending it would choke their choices on the web, urging “my lovely trolls to turn on their cap locks and fly my pretties, fly!”
John Oliver Takes On Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner On 'Last Week Tonight'
They did. And the FCC then took steps to safeguard net neutrality.
But now, President Donald Trump wants to roll back net neutrality – though Oliver made a strong case that Trump doesn’t actually know what “net neutrality” even means. Even so, Oliver said, the Trump era seems determined to basically Control-Z everything that happened on Obama’s watch, putting in jeopardy net neutrality and all those turkeys Obama pardoned at Thanksgiving over his eight years in the White House.
“Sadly, it seems once more we the people must take this matter into our own hands,” Oliver said, announcing the FCC will once again invite public comment on their website. But, the FCC has made it much harder to comment this time. Oliver walked viewers thought the six complicated steps now needed to leave a remark.
But, “if it seems too complicated, don’t worry,” Oliver assured. “That’s why we bought the URL ‘gofccyourself.com’,” which he said will take care of Steps 1-5. Use it to tell Pai “you support strong net neutrality backed by Title II oversight of ISP’s,” Oliver said – that last part being really important.
“Do not tell me you don’t have time to do this,” Oliver said, addressing everyone who posted “May the 4th be with you” on Star Wars Day, all those reddit fans of Trump’s who trashed Oliver every time he’s lit into Trump on his show, those 540K who had enough time to comment on Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement, not to mention the 673 people who took the time to review the Grand Canyon on Yelp – seven of whom gave it a one-star review.
“I’m calling on all of you, the Internet time-wasters and troublemakers, to join me in just 5 to 10 minutes of minor effort. I need you to do this. Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” Oliver said, channeling Shakespeare.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.