Stand-up comedian and former “Daily Show” correspondent John Oliver is host of a show on HBO called “Last Week Tonight.” The show just won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series (which is where they seem to lump the comic news shows, like “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” and “Last Week Tonight.”)
Oliver analyzes the scandals that are plaguing Clinton and Trump. He gives a thorough analysis, makes several gross jokes, and in the middle pulls a nice trick that shows how the media is hardly biased in favor of Clinton; in fact, their search for news has raised her scandals to an unbelievable level, which Oliver points out.
Then, of course, there are the raisins. If you’ve seen the clip, you know about the raisins. Anyone who knows about the clip knows about the raisins. If you haven’t seen the clip, you owe it to yourself to watch it.
Trump supporters will no doubt find fault with the clip, and will (in fact have) dismiss it. One fellow Facebook poster even said that comedians have no place in political discourse. (This is a ridiculous comment; political humor has been part of the national conversation since the start of the Republic.) I urge them to watch it with an open mind and judge the facts.
Full disclosure: Oliver does not like Trump at all. He tried not to talk about Trump on his show, fearing it would just encourage him. When he saw that was unavoidable, he had several pieces on him. To counter his comments about immigrants, he pointed out that Trump’s family was immigrants, and in fact changed his name from Drumpf. His campaign to “Make Donald Drumpf Again” even took hold for a little while. He also told the story about Trump pretending to be his own press agent. He offered a standing invitation to his press agent, but not to Trump.
I don’t think John Oliver can be easily dismissed, at least not once you’ve watched him. He has a great writing staff, and I understand a great team of researchers as well. The forum of his own half-hour show on HBO gives him the time to explore issues in a lot more depth – the very reason I prefer blogging to replying to Facebook posts. He takes the time to make his points and make them tough to refute. The fact that he can be thorough, insightful, and LOL funny is tremendous.
Recently I tweeted this:
McCarthy had Murrow. Who will finally put Donald Trump in his place? Maybe John Oliver?
— Jim Tarsi (@jimmyjot) September 20, 2016
Oliver’s been pretty hard on Trump already; if he hasn’t brought him down yet, it might not happen. I hope he takes his show on the road – delivers his message on other talk shows and news shows, and even as a stand-up show. John, I’ll try to keep doing my part. But if anyone can make a difference here, I think it’s you. Not only have you won numerous awards, attesting to your talent, many of your shows have trended on Twitter and have otherwise gained national attention.
Who knows? It may take a former Britisher, from a land with a king, to show that the wannabe emperor has no clothes.
Update: June 25, 2017
It took me a while to post this, but since then, Oliver has been in the news several times. Here is an article about his latest show (June 18, 2017):
I’m glad the lawsuit is happening. Oliver meticulously researches his show, and stands by what he says. After all, an absolute defense against a slander or libel suit is the truth.