Last Week Tonight with John Oliver snagged its first Emmy win tonight for best variety series writing. The category was wide open because the two late-night series that had a lock on this derby for more than a decade, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, ended their runs. Saturday Night Live, nominated again this year, last won in 2002.
Oliver isn’t exactly a newbie, having won this trophy three times as part of Stewart’s writing team. Last Week writer Tim Carvell also won multiple Emmys on Stewart’s payroll.
“We wrote a speech, but we’re Last Week Tonight so it’s 20 minutes long and has the f-word in it 52 times,” Oliver joked on stage tonight.
Backstage the writers joked, of the show’s often inscrutable subject choices that “sometimes we’re daring people not to watch with [subject] we’re talking about.”