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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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On Jon Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ Spoonful Of George R.R. Martin Helps FDA Report Go Down: Video

How do you push HBO’s Late Week Tonight segment in which Jon Oliver goes after the FDA? Don’t mention the FDA — boast  the segment “features surprise cameos by Game of Thrones novelist George R. R. Martin and actor Steve Buscemi.”


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EMMYS: Late-Night Host Shifts Spur Bevy Of Fresh, But Not Unfamiliar, Faces


Awardsline logo_use this oneWith every aspect of television rapidly evolving, there probably isn’t an area that has undergone more sweeping changes in the past couple of years than late night. A slew of new shows cropped up across the dial, and the networks with the longest traditions in the day part, NBC and CBS, both changed the hosts of their late-night franchises. That big changeover could shake up the Outstanding Variety Series Emmy category, which has long been dominated by late-night shows. The field finally got a jolt last year, with The Colbert Report taking the Emmy after a 10-year winning streak for The Daily Show that followed five consecutive wins by Late Show with David Letterman.

colbert selfieThere were a handful of major late-night changes and new additions in the 1990s and the 2000s. The first botched Tonight Show transition in 1992, which installed Jay Leno as successor to Johnny Carson, led to CBS breaking NBC’s late-night monopoly with Letterman and the introduction of Conan O’Brien. They were followed by the launch of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.  The following decade saw the arrival of Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately on E! and another messy Tonight Show transition at NBC, resulting in the launch of O’Brien’s Conan on TBS and the emergence of Jimmy Fallon.

Related: Lorne Michaels On ‘SNL’ Rebuilding, NBC’s Latenight Reboot Read More »

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The ABCs Of Net Neutrality: Debate Goes Mainstream As Advocates Clash Over Web Reclassification

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 12:31pm PDT

John Oliver Net Neutrality FCCWhen’s the last time a television comic galvanized a mass audience with material based on an FCC vote about a complicated collection of tech regulations? Never, I’d guess. But it happened this week when John Oliver served up a routine about net neutrality on his topical HBO show Last Week Tonight. Viewers responded to his call to flood the agency with comments on the subject, which likely contributed — if it didn’t cause — a temporary crash of the FCC’s servers. fcc1__130401234319-200x182In any case, it highlighted the broad concern about net neutrality: The FCC has recently received more than 64,400 comments and 301,000 emails on the subject, Chairman Tom Wheeler tweeeted after Oliver’s show, good naturedly urging advocates to “Keep ‘em coming.”

He won’t have to worry. Net roots activists and opponents of government regulation are becoming energized by a recent FCC vote to prevent unfair Internet practices after a court early this year remanded net neutrality rules regulators passed in 2010. Open Internet supporters say Wheeler and his colleagues’ effort didn’t go far enough. Others warn the FCC not to mess with the Web’s still-developing economic ecosystem.

Related: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Proposal

Here’s an overview of the issues, and the stakes:

netneutralityQ: What does net neutrality mean?
A: Generally speaking, net neutrality means that an Internet service provider (ISP) — such as cable or phone company — treats all content equally. For example, it doesn’t offer faster transmissions for Netflix videos than it does for those from Amazon Prime.

Q: Is this a widespread problem?
A: Not yet, but open Internet advocates say it could become one. They note that cable companies have a long history of using their gatekeeper power to favor channels that they own, and require others to make financial concessions in order to be carried or find a home at a low number on the dial (desirable) as opposed to a high one (undesirable).

Q: Why shouldn’t the Internet operate the same way? Isn’t that how markets work?
A: Net neutrality advocates say that the Internet is too important to the economy and democracy to let companies such as Comcast and Verizon effectively pick winners and losers. ISPs might favor big, established businesses over entrepreneurs, and mainstream opinions over dissenting ones. And there are too few alternatives: Cable companies dominate sales of the fastest speed wired service; the market share for telco DSL services is declining. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint offer wireless broadband, but they don’t have enough airwave spectrum to affordably match cable’s speed. Read More »

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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.


Read More »

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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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