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‘Last Week Tonight’ Host John Oliver Covers July 4th Celebrations: Video

By | Monday July 7, 2014 @ 5:47am PDT

‘Last Week Tonight’ Host John Oliver Covers July 4th Celebrations: VideoWhen his show is on hiatus, HBO”s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver nonetheless files reports on the week’s news, to the Web. “The most important story from the past seven days was, of course, fireworks,” he said late Sunday, explaining, “We in America love fireworks. Why? Because they’re like sparkly guns you can fire in the sky,”  Watch Oliver’s comprehensive coverage of every July 4th fireworks display:

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‘Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver Explains Ugandan Government Homophobia: Video

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 9:52am PDT

‘Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver Explains Ugandan Government Homophobia: VideoOn his weekly HBO show, John Oliver explained how Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa got appointed president of the UN General Assembly despite his country’s recently passed, very oppressive anti-gay legislation — and U.S. involvement with the creation of those anti-gay laws.

Watch Parts 1 here, followed by Part 2:

Part 2:

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John Oliver Tells Charlie Rose He Did Not Crash FCC Website: Video

John Oliver FCC comments graphicHBO’s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver this morning told CBS This Morning that he did not not crash the FCC‘s website when his show did its “deep dive” story about the FCC and net neutrality last Sunday. “We didn’t crash their web site, Charlie — that’s a huge accusation,” Oliver told Charlie Rose after Rose reported that Oliver’s show had just that. “We merely pointed people to their website and told them why they should be angry about it, and they went in droves.” Watch here:

John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality: Video
DeadlineNow Morning Report: John Oliver Vs. FCC (Video)

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UPDATE: FCC Needs To Be Convinced John Oliver’s Call To Action On Net Neutrality Crashed Its Comments System (Video)

By | Tuesday June 3, 2014 @ 6:30pm PDT

UPDATED, 6:30 PM: An FCC rep today has been telling reporters it’s not clear if Monday’s disruption to its email comments system was caused by John Oliver‘s call to action. Only one way to find out — another Oliver call to action.

Related: John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality On HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight’: Video

PREVIOUSLY: John Oliver’s call to action on the subject of net neutrality, on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, appears to have crashed the FCC’s comments system.


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DeadlineNow Morning Report: California Film & Tax Credit Lottery Delay, John Oliver Vs. FCC, Kristen Bell Heads For ‘Hair’ (Video)

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Morning Report, June 3 2014

Bomb scare delays annual California Film & Tax Credit Program lottery; John Oliver's plea to flood FCC website comments section over net neutrality crashes site; Kristen Bell to star in Hollywood Bowl production of rock musical 'Hair'. Dominic Patten reports.

California Production Tax Credit Lottery Suspended After Bomb Scare
John Oliver’s Net Neutrality Call To Action Crashes FCC Comments Section
Kristen Bell To Let The Sunshine In At Hollywood Bowl ‘Hair’

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John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality On HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight’: Video

By | Sunday June 1, 2014 @ 7:30pm PDT

Net neutrality is a complicated issue. Tonight, Oliver makes it simple. Watch here:

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When John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ Breaks With HBO Form To Air First Ad; Reviews Are Positive

By | Tuesday May 20, 2014 @ 8:13am PDT

John Oliver‘s producers listened to TV critics who said his new HBO late-night show threw too many things too fast at its viewers and made them long for ad breaks. Positive feedback for Sunday’s Last Week Tonight began rolling in yesterday and continues today. Watch here:

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John Oliver Weighs In On White House Correspondents’ Dinner, On ‘Last Week Tonight’: Video

Wondering why the White House Correspondents Association did not ask new comedy It Guy, John Oliver to perform at Saturday’s Nerd Prom, instead of Joel McHale? Could it be Oliver objects to the group’s annual Nerd Prom in principle — or is this bit from tonight’s edition of Oliver’s HBO series Last Week Tonight a classic case of comedy envy?

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“Yes, John Oliver, We Are Stupid F***ing Idiots” Says Creator Of Ad Parodied In ‘Last Week Tonight’ Debut: Video

By | Friday May 2, 2014 @ 3:29pm PDT

johnoliver1The chief creative officer at the ad agency that created the spot for Oregon’s bungled ACA enrollment site mocked by Oliver has struck back.

North agency’s Mark Ray notes that since Oliver’s parody, the ad  has united conservatives and liberals in a sort of kumbaya of mockery. “Images from our campaign have also recently accompanied scathing reports by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, and pretty much every conservative blog in the known universe,” Ray wrote in his blog on the website. Read More »

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John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ Attracts 1.4 Million, ‘Game Of Thrones’ Hits Series High 6.9 Mil

By | Monday April 28, 2014 @ 12:49pm PDT

John Oliver‘s debut as hostjohnoliver1 of Last Week Tonight opened strong with 1.1 million viewers tuned in last night at 11 PM. A second play lifted the show’s total for the night to 1.4 million. The 1.1 mil is an improvement of 51% over the timeslot’s average. For comparison sake: Last week on Comedy Central, which is available in more than three times as many homes as HBO, The Daily Show averaged 1.5 million viewers for its 11 PM premieres and The Colbert Report averaged 1.2 million viewers at 11:30 PM. LWT logged 1.1 million in its initial play off a Veep lead-in of 922,000 viewers at 10:30 PM (which rose to 1.2 million with an additional replay). Earlier, at 10 PM, Silicon Valley tallied 1.6 million viewers in its initial play and 1.8 million with a second play.

HBO’s biggest crowd of the night, however, came at 9 PM when Game Of Thrones climbed to another series high — 6.9 million viewers. That grew to 8.4 million across its three plays. HBO’s other news-skewering series, Real Time With Bill Maher, is averaging 1.2 million viewers for episode premieres and is grossing 4.1 million viewers per show across multiple plays.

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John Oliver ‘Last Week Tonight’ Debut Hunts ‘The Daily Show’ Crowd: Video

By | Sunday April 27, 2014 @ 10:04pm PDT

John Oliver made his bid to be Jon Stewart’s fifth night with the debut of his new HBO show,  Last Week Tonight. The Sunday satirical look at the previous week’s news is closely modeled on Stewart’s weeknight Comedy Central hit The Daily Show — minus the ads.  LWT_ep_101_4-27-14_EL_0431

This week was a tough one for unrepentant racists around audio equipment, Oliver said at the top of his first episode. Clippers owner Donald Sterling impressively one-upped the week’s previous Most Racist Person, Cliven Bundy, who, Oliver noted, giving credit where it’s due,  provoked the single greatest introduction to an interview in the history of the English language: CNN’s Chris Cuomo saying, “Mr. Bundy, I see in your arms that you are holding a dead calf.”

Related: Clippers, Magic Johnson, Obama React To Donald Sterling Controversy

In honor of the state of Oregon having spent a quarter of a billion dollars on its non-functioning website for  Obamacare — the state finally threw in the towel and told its residents to go to the federal site to sign up — Oliver mocked the state’s “violently adorable” ad campaign for its broken site with one created by his staff. You Stupid Oregon Idiots featured Lisa Loeb singing such memorable lines as, “your passion for cuteness might kill your whole state.” (Watch video below.)

Related: John Oliver’s HBO Debut Going With NSA Lucky Charm

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John Oliver’s HBO Debut Going With NSA Lucky Charm

By | Sunday April 27, 2014 @ 12:36pm PDT

John Oliver NSAWhen HBO announced John Oliver would interview Gen. Keith Alexander (Ret.), the former director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command, on tonight’s premiere of his new HBO late-night topical comedy show Last Week Tonight, some people wondered why Alexander picked a comedy show for his first sit-down with TV media since retiring as NSA director. But nobody questioned why Oliver decided to kick off a comedy show with the NSA story.

Related: John Oliver Touts Sarah Palin’s New Sportsman Channel Show

Last November, when HBO announced it had signed Comedy Central’s The Daily Show correspondent to host the weekly news riff, Michael Lombardo said the network wasn’t looking for another weekly talk show, “but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on The Daily Show, we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO.” Oliver started with a bang because, the day before, The Guardian of London had posted an video interview with 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden in which he revealed he was the source of media reports about top-secret NSA surveillance programs that had started breaking earlier in the week. Oliver had a field day. Here are some of the clips from Oliver’s opening night as The Daily Show‘s fill-in host: Read More »

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John Oliver Explains To Jon Stewart The Difference Between Working At Comedy Central And HBO: Video

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 7:19am PDT

Former The Daily Show correspondent John Oliver came back –  to plug his HBO show Last Week Tonightdebuting Sunday. Watch here:

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John Oliver Interviews Former NSA Director In Sunday’s HBO Debut

By | Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 11:21am PDT

John Oliver Keith Alexander NSA InterviewJohn Oliver will interview Gen. Keith Alexander (Ret.) — former director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command –  when he debuts his new HBO late-night topical comedy show Last Week Tonight. HBO says it’s Alexander’s first since retiring as NSA director. The news comes the week Oliver took the NBC package deal to promote the launch of his new HBO late-night show, stopping by The Tonight Show show to poke fun at Jimmy Fallon‘s interview style and talk about friends’ reaction to his final The Daily Show appearance, in which he wept. Read More »

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John Oliver Visits Jimmy Fallon, Matt Lauer To Promote HBO ‘Last Week Tonight’ Debut: Video

John Oliver took the NBC package deal to promote the launch of his new HBO late night show, Last Week Tonight this coming Sunday. Oliver stopped by Tonight show last night, where he made fun of Jimmy Fallon‘s interview style and talked about friends’ reaction to his final The Daily Show appearance:

Earlier this week, Oliver so deftly explained to Today show’s Matt Lauer why his satirical show would not bother to cover a report that had just been featured on Today, that Lauer barely noticed he’d been dinged: Read More »

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Comedy Central’s Late-Night: From Minor Leagues To Major Player & Innovator With Deep Bench Of Talent Competitors Vie For

Nellie Andreeva

For years in the 1990s, Comedy Central was considered nothing jonstewart-stephencolbert_indecision2008more than an incubator for late-night talent. Its first notable weeknight late-night show, Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher, originated there and ran for three years — from 1993-96 — before ABC snatched it to get into the late-night talk-show game. Maher’s successor at ABC, Jimmy Kimmel, also is a Comedy Central discovery, having gotten his start as host on the network’s Win Ben Stein Money and then The Man Show. Before Politically Incorrect left Comedy Central, it helped launch The Daily Show, which premiered behind PI at 11:30 PM before moving to the tentpole 11 PM slot. Back then, the Daily Show had Craig Kilborn as a host. In 1998, he was poached by CBS as a host of the Late Late Show. Sixteen years later, CBS once again is reaching out to Comedy Central’s Daily Show franchise to replenish its late-night ranks, this time drafting the former Daily Show regular and current host of spinoff The Colbert Report to succeed David Letterman on the Late Show.

Related: Stephen Colbert Named New ‘Late Show’ Host

comedycentral1A lot has changed over those 16 years. Since Jon Stewart replaced Kilborn at the helm of The Daily Show in January 1999, the show has risen to become a late-night leader. It became a top late-night choice for younger viewers and, with the addition of spinoff The Colbert Report in 2005 to form a 11 PM-midnight block, Comedy Central evolved from a late-night poaching ground to a force to be reckoned with. The two shows became pop culture phenomenons and strengthened their hold on the younger crowds by embracing the Internet and social media before most of their late-night competitors. They have enjoyed buzz as well as critical acclaim, with their Emmy dominance nothing short of staggering. The Daily Show won the best variety series category for a record 10 consecutive times before its streak was ended last year by The Colbert Report to give Comedy Central 11 consecutive victories. (It’s worth mentioning that it was the man Colbert is replacing, David Letterman, who ruled the top variety category before Comedy Central’s dynamic duo kicked off their dominant run with five consecutive trophies.) In the variety series writing category, The Daily Show and Colbert Report have won 10 of the past 11 years.

Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Despite Practically Perfect Stephen Colbert Hire

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HBO Unveils Promo For John Oliver’s New Topical Late-Night Weekly ‘Last Week Tonight’: Video

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 1:48pm PST

01_john oliver_2012-2HBO has unveiled its promo for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which unveils on April 27 (see below).  The new weekly satire current events show from the former The Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent (and stand-in host) will air at 11 PM on Sundays. Last November, HBO announced it had snagged Oliver to do a weekly show. Oliver took his final Daily Show bow in December, and  Stewart had him in tears as he surprised the Brit comic with his own retrospective, on his last day. During the ambush,  Oliver, who’d been with the Comedy Central late-night program for more than seven years, was mostly speechless and fighting tears.

Oliver got rave reviews covering for Stewart over the summer on Comedy Central while Stewart took time off to direct his first film, Rosewater. And though Oliver told PBS’ Charlie Rose in an interview, “I don’t think it’s going to change my life”, and that his goal had been only “not to destroy that machine” during his brief tenure, it proved to be a game changer for Oliver — and for  Viacom Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog, whose empire includes Comedy Central, and who learned from the experience that there can be life after Stewart — unless HBO comes to the same realization and is looking for another topical late-night show. Watch Oliver’s HBO promo here:

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HBO Sets Name & Date For John Oliver Debut

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 10:10am PST

John OliverLast Week Tonight With John Oliver will premiere on April 27, HBO announced today. The new weekly satire show from the former Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent and stand-in host will air at 11 PM.  Last Week Tonight will be produced for HBO by Avalon Television, with Oliver, Tim Carvell, James Taylor and Jon Thoday serving as EPs, and Liz Stanton producing. HBO first announced Oliver’s move over from Comedy Central on November 14 last year. The British comedian took over the desk on The Daily Show last summer as Stewart was away directing his first feature film. Oliver took his final Daily Show bow on December 19 to start work on his own show. Not that Oliver will be straying far from the tested and true  – Last Week Tonight will, like The Daily Show, be taking a satirical look at news, politics and current events.

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TCA: John Oliver Touts Sarah Palin’s New Sportsman Channel Show

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 6:28pm PST

John Oliver“Are you staying at the hotel tonight?” a TV critic asked John Oliver at the start of a Q&A for his new HBO comedy show.

“This is already a very creepy way to start the question,” Oliver interrupted during the session of the TCA Winter Press Tour 2014, being held at the Langham hotel in Pasadena.

Related: HBO’s ‘Looking’ Not “Just A Show For Gay People,” Says EP

“Sarah Palin is hosting breakfast,” the critic explained.

“WHAT?! Are you kidding? Well, now — I’m checking in!” Oliver enthused. “What breakfast?”

Sportsman Channel, he was informed. Palin’s come to promote her new reality series for the network.

TCADeadline__140109155905__140109183154“Good for her!” Oliver beamed. “She’s going to do to sports what she did to politics. … Believe me, there is a significant voice in my head now saying, ‘Check in, go to breakfast’!” he said giddily. “I think I’m on a flight tomorrow morning, but again, half of me has already canceled that flight,” he continued as one TV critic offered him his credentials so he could attend the Palin breakfast. “I’m also glad the TCA security is so high that passes are utterly transferable — especially since we are different races,” he said of the critic.

TCA: HBO Sets Season 4 Premiere Date For ‘Game Of Thrones’
TCA: HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ To End Run After Season 5

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