Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Good satire helps citizens cope. It announces what’s wrong and assures us that others have noticed, too. It encourages us to come together – first to ridicule politics’ failings, then hopefully to overcome them – and it’s deeply funny while doing so. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is great satire, doing all this and more. Oliver uses his status as someone with one foot outside the U.S., one foot inside, to lodge an outsider’s uncompromising critique with the care of someone who needs to live here. And freed from commercial breaks, he capitalizes on the ability to maintain focus and go for the kill, at times offering the best, most cogent explanations of complex issues, at times becoming an investigative journalist as skilled at interrogating his target as any Progressive Era muckraker. His impact is evident in the astounding effect he had on the net neutrality debate, with the FCC receiving 45,000 new comments in the days following his telecast on the topic. His resolve not simply to explore headline news, but to pull back the proverbial curtain and show us the subtle mechanics at work in our nation’s democracy and culture is to be commended. For bringing satire and journalism even closer together, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver receives a Peabody Award.
Executive Producers: John Oliver, Tim Carvell, Jon Thoday, James Taylor. Co-Executive Producer: Liz Stanton. Director: Joe Perota. Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, William Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner. Anchor: John Oliver.
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