After five years, John Oliver's Last Week Tonight has eclipsed The Daily Show as chief comedy news influencer
Oliver's HBO show has influenced everything from Seth Meyers' Late Night "A Closer Look" segments to Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act. "The same goes for the longer explanatory segments on Daily Show alum Samantha Bee’s weekly half-hour TBS series Full Frontal," says Alissa Wilkinson. "And for the pieces that sometimes appeared on Larry Wilmore’s terrific (but now canceled) The Nightly Show. While Last Week Tonight frequently takes a longer, more international angle and pays more attention to stories from around the globe than its primarily America-focused cohort, its structure — jokes, a deep-dive into a story supported with facts and evidence and reporting, and an argument to be made, sometimes with a personal plea — is the same. The key component in all these approaches is that the viewers aren’t just watching the host riff on the news; they’re being presented with additional information, often in far more depth and detail than they’d get from a news article, that helps draw connections between the story or phenomenon and the culture around it. They’re not just watching people deliver monologues or weak parodies or easy potshots at the headlines, à la the current incarnation of Saturday Night Live."
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