Last Week Tonight With John Oliver debuted in 2014 and now is in its fourth season. This year it was nommed for eight Primetime Emmys, including Outsanding Variety Talk Series, and already had won two: Best Picture Editing and Best Interactive Program. Last year it won three Emmys including Best Variety Talk series, best writing, and picture editing for a variety show.
“We are thrilled to have John Oliver as an integral part of the HBO family and to continue to share his comedic brilliance with the world,” HBO Programming president Casey Bloys said in today’s news, calling Oliver’s “extraordinary genius for rich and intelligent commentary…second to none.”
Responded Oliver in his statement: “First: I firmly disagree with everything Casey just said. Second: We’re very grateful to Richard Plepler, Casey and everyone at HBO for letting us continue to do whatever it is we actually do. And finally: We’d also like to thank our staff for all their hard work. We’re incredibly proud of all of you, and rather than tell you that to your face, we’d like to do it in the cold, dispassionate form of a press release.”
The former Daily Show corresponent’s HBO program has been a needle mover from the get go. Three years ago, he crashed the Federal Communications Commission’s website when he urged viewers to weigh in on the site about the commission’s move to mow under net neutrality.
This past May Oliver did so again, as the FCC again made moves in that direction, though the FCC thought it could thwart Oliver by requiring six steps to leave comments. Oliver responded, buying the URL GoFCCYourself.com, which took take care of Steps 1-5 for his viewers, so they could tell FCC chairman Ajit Pai they support strong net neutrality. FCC stoutly insisted Oliver was not the reason its public comments system just happened to get hinky again for hours after that HBO program telecast.
Oliver also famously has bought ad time on President Donald Trump’s fave network, Fox News Channel in the Washington D.C. market, in order to educate our President, who Oliver has described as a “leader operating on a learner’s permit,” “The Donald Trump Jr. of American Presidents,” and “a cocktail of insecurity, horniness, and malice.”
When Trump defended pal Bill O’Reilly after advertisers pulling ads from the latter’s show, in response to a New York Times report on sexual harassment assertions, for instance, Oliver cut a PSA to run on FNC. The spot sought to help Trump better understand the concept of “sexual harassment.” Oliver also booked tutorial-ad time on FNC to explain to Trump what is the nuclear triad, and the finer points of the American Health Care Act.
This past June, the CEO of Murray Energy and various subsidiaries filed an action in West Virginia state court after being mocked as a “geriatric Dr. Evil” and more by Oliver who forecast, accurately, a lawsuit would ensue.