John OliverLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 8:17AM EDT
Emmys became a bloated SNL episode
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Lorne Michaels decided to turn the entire Emmys telecast "over to Saturday Night Live and Saturday Night Live-adjacent personalities in a way that no single show has ever dominated the Emmy proceedings in my lifetime," says Daniel Fienberg. The SNL bloat could be seen with longtime cast member Kenan Thompson being part of the beginning and the ending of the show. "Heaven knows I'm an appreciator of Thompson and his marvelous SNL legacy and his impressive pre-SNL legacy, but there's a statement you're making when you have Kenan Thompson present for outstanding drama series and it's something along the lines of, 'The history of television is, for tonight, all about just one show," says Fienberg. He adds: "Imagine CBS using its platform a decade ago to only let various cast members from CSI and its respective spinoffs present. Or ABC doing an Emmys telecast in which each award is presented by somebody from the Bachelor franchise. This was a bad look for NBC and for Michaels, and it'd be hard to begrudge any future network in this Emmys rotation thinking that skipping NBC talent for presentations would be fair play."
- UPDATE: 70th Primetime Emmys hit a new ratings low, based on early numbers
- A cringey, tone-deaf embarrassment and an enraging slog: This was the worst-produced awards show since James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted the Oscars
- The Emmys joked about TV's lack of diversity, and then demonstrated it by handing out 22 of 26 awards to white nominees
- Michael Che and Colin Jost had the energy of two students giving a dutiful book report: Their jokes suggested they barely watched TV, and they looked like they'd rather be anywhere else
- It seemed like every presenting pair would've made better hosts than Che and Jost
- Opening "We Solved It" number upstaged hosts Che and Jost, making them uncomfortable, unfunny afterthoughts
- There should've been some award show chaos -- instead, Che and Jost took these crazy times and turned them into something humdrum
- Perhaps what was most admirable about the telecast was how little Trump came up
- It's remarkable that an Emmy ceremony that emphasized diversity awarded statues to shows that barely addressed race at all
- Honorees created moments that felt bigger than the show encasing them, from Henry Winkler to Thandie Newton
- Emmys steering clear of overt political gestures was a welcome change from last year
- Netflix topped all networks with five Emmy wins Monday night, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel led all shows with five wins
- Overall, HBO and Netflix tied with each taking home 23 Emmy awards this year
- Oscars director Glenn Weiss on his surprise Emmy proposal: I expected the Emmys director to cut me off and play me out
- Glenn Weiss considered warning the Emmys director about his proposal -- but the Emmys director was a rival in his category
- NBC's SNL and ABC's Oscar ceremony were the only broadcast winners Monday night
- John Oliver weighs in on Emmys ignoring Trump: “In the drinking game, I think we’re just trying to keep America sober"
- RuPaul wasted his RuPaul’s Drag Race historic Emmy victory by focusing himself instead of the LGBTQ community
- Atlanta was completely shut out as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel dominated the comedy categories
- Emmy winners (The Americans) and losers (Emmy bits)
- More winners (old people) and losers (the loudest crowd in recent memory)
- Darren Criss' lead actor in a limited series victory marked the second year in a row that an actor of Asian descent won in the category
- Hannah Gadsby nearly stole the show with her one minute of Emmys glory
- Emmys bleeped out Thandie Newton saying "I am so f*cking blessed to work with the people I have gotten to work with"
- Six of the most awkward moments: From the silences to Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph's awkward bit
- Donald Glover's Atlanta character Teddy Perkins was spotted in the audience -- played by SNL alum Jay Pharoah
- Henry Winkler and Ron Howard had a Happy Days reunion in the audience
# TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, HBO, NBC, Netflix, Atlanta, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Colin Jost, Darren Criss, Glenn Weiss, Hannah Gadsby, Henry Winkler, John Oliver, Lorne Michaels, Michael Che, RuPaul Charles, Thandie Newton, Award Shows, Diversity, Emmys, Ratings
Posted Sunday 9/09/18 at 8:02PM EDT
Anthony Bourdain wins a posthumous Emmy for Parts Unknown
Bourdain's CNN series took home two Emmys at the Creative Arts Awards, including Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program and Outstanding Picture Editing For A Nonfiction Program. UPDATE: Parts Unknown took home six total Emmys.
- Apple takes home its very first Emmy, for Carpool Karaoke
- Netflix's Queer Eye reboot wins its first Emmy for structured reality series
- Wild Wild Country wins for documentary/non-fiction series
- The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling wins for documentary/non-fiction special
- John Oliver's Last Week Tonight wins best writing for a variety series for the third year in a row
- W. Kamau Bell's United Shades of America wins best unstructured reality program
# TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Apple, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Last Week Tonight, Queer Eye, United Shades of America, Wild Wild Country, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, John Oliver, W. Kamau Bell, Emmys
Posted Tuesday 8/07/18 at 10:55PM EDT
Investigation finds that John Oliver caused FCC's comment system to crash -- not a cyberattack, as was alleged
The FCC kept sticking to its story that a cyberattack caused its electronic commenting system to crash last year. But the FCC's inspector general concluded that the system crashed due to an influx of comments thanks to Oliver's Last Week Tonight segment on net neutrality.
Posted Monday 8/06/18 at 3:26AM EDT
John Oliver slams HBO's new owner AT&T over its "dogsh*t" customer service hotline
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Last Week Tonight host used a segment on the "inadequate" criminal justice system to take a shot at AT&T, saying: "It's built on the exact same model as AT&T's customer service hotline. That's right. AT&T: new owners of HBO, longtime owners of an unforgivably dogsh*t customer service hotline."
Posted Monday 7/30/18 at 1:49PM EDT
John Oliver devoted nearly 30 minutes last night to workplace sexual harassment, including an extended interview with Anita Hill
Last Week Tonight spent 29 minutes of its expanded 39-minute runtime last night on the timely topic of workplace sexual harassment, which resurfaced in the news Friday due to Les Moonves' CBS sexual misconduct scandal. The segment concluded with a lengthy interview with Hill, who famously accused then–Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. “We’ve seen a lot of men say that they are absolutely terrified to be alone with a woman now. Should they be scared?” asked Oliver. “Not if they’re not harassers,” said Hill. "(False claims) are so rare, and it seems to me that we don’t need to make rules around the things that rarely happen until we’ve finished up making rules around the things that are happening regularly.”
Posted Wednesday 7/25/18 at 1:49PM EDT
John Oliver: “It still feels like we’re evolving and learning" in Season 5 of Last Week Tonight
Oliver told critics at the TCA press tour that he’s come to understand the importance of “realizing what our staff is capable of” in challenging them a maximizing their potential. “We want to push them," he said. "We haven’t fully hit stable cruising altitude. We spend part of our week in various stages of controlled panic.” ALSO: Oliver says he tries to prevent President Trump from "cannibalizing the show."
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 3:05PM EDT
John Oliver releases a new compilation of Last Week Tonight's unused graphics
Watch makeup be applied to a fish in the third volume of the HBO show's "Lost Graphics."
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 9:49AM EDT
John Oliver's gift of Russell Crowe's jockstrap couldn't stop an Alaska Blockbuster store from closing
Two of the last American Blockbuster video stores, both located in Alaska, will shut their doors soon, leaving the last remaining store in the video rental chain in Oregon. In May, one of the Alaska Blockbuster stores put Crowe's jockstrap on display from the movie Cinderella Man that Last Week Tonight paid $7,000 for at the actor's "Divorce Auction" to help the store stave off streaming services. It's likely that the jockstrap will end up back in the possession of Last Week Tonight.
Posted Tuesday 6/26/18 at 1:55PM EDT
HBO shows are still available in China, but HBO.com and Last Week Tonight are blocked
Following John Oliver's mockery of President Xi Jinping and his Chinese censorship, HBO's website and Oliver's show were banned, as well as Oliver's name on the social media platform Weibo. But HBO shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld are still accessible via Tenecent's streaming platform. HBOAsia is also still accessible.
Posted Monday 6/25/18 at 6:21AM EDT
HBO is now blocked in China following John Oliver's segment on Chinese censorship
Source: New York Daily News
All mentions of Oliver's name were removed in the wake of Last Week Tonight's segment that mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping. Now HBO.com is 100% inaccessible to Chinese users.
Posted Thursday 6/21/18 at 1:11PM EDT
John Oliver is now censored in China after mocking Chinese censorship
Source: The New York Times
On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, Oliver spent 20 minutes delving into Chinese censorship, even bringing up the censorship of Winnie the Pooh because President Xi Jinping's critics have likened him to the cartoon character. Oliver even had kids sing about the resemblance, which Slate predicted "will surely be banned in China." According to the The New York Times, Oliver's name has been censored on the major social media platform Weibo. "Attempts to create posts containing the words 'John Oliver' on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging platform, resulted in an error message on Thursday saying the post may violate 'rules and regulations,'" reports The Times' Tiffany May from Hong Kong "Quite a few posts mentioning Mr. Oliver were visible on the platform, but none referred to the China episode, and the most recent had been posted a few days before it aired."
Posted Wednesday 6/06/18 at 6:44PM EDT
Emails show FCC "spread lies" about a fake cyberattack after John Oliver directed his fans to flood its commenting system
Source: The Daily Dot
The FCC's commenting system crashed after Oliver's Last Week Tonight stunt in support of neutrality last May, but the FCC blamed a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks for the impairment. According to Gizmodo, which obtained FCC documents through the Freedom of Information Act, "as it wrestled with accusations about a fake cyberattack last spring, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) purposely misled several news organizations, choosing to feed journalists false information, while at the same time discouraging them from challenging the agency’s official story."
Posted Monday 6/04/18 at 7:42AM EDT
Jon Stewart defends Samantha Bee, warns that "we mistake cultural power for power"
Source: The Daily Beast
"They don't give a sh*t about the word 'c*nt,'" the former Daily Show host said of the White House's reaction to Bee, his longest-serving correspondent, calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless c*nt" on her Full Frontal show. Stewart made his comments Sunday night in a Q&A at Comedy Central's Clusterfest in San Francisco, where he seemed to imply that Bee shouldn't have apologized for using the C-word, according to The Daily Beast's Matt Wilstein. Stewart said there is nothing anyone can do to “make them give up this ‘We’re the real victims’ game,” because, “it’s a game, it’s a strategy, and it’s working.” Before that, according to Wilstein, Stewart spoke about feeling "oddly culpable" for perpetuating the notion that his nightly Daily Show monologues eviscerating the right had more power than they actually did. “We mistake cultural power for power," he said. According to Wilstein, Stewart said while he took “great cathartic satisfaction” in the segments he did on that show, he also recognized that “there is a corrosive thing that happens to you when your life is based on impotent rage.”
- Samantha Bee plans to address the "feckless c*nt" backlash on her show Wednesday
- Bee's Full Frontal executive producer Miles Kahn was proud that "feckless c*nt" was trending
- John Oliver alluded to Bee's controversy on Last Week Tonight, saying of Neil DeGrasse Tyson: "What is wrong with you, you feckless – oh, never mind, it’s not worth it. Bad idea"
Posted Monday 6/04/18 at 7:42AM EDT
John Oliver enlists William Shatner, Rita Moreno, Lily Tomlin and other beloved senior citizens to warn about the guardianship scam
Source: The A.V. Club
Cloris Leachman and Fred Willard also appeared in the Last Week Tonight public service announcement warning elderly people about scammers who prey on the elderly by becoming their guardians against their will.
Posted Monday 5/21/18 at 5:31AM EDT
Royal wedding was watched by 29 million Americans and 18 million British viewers
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding topped Prince William and Kate Middleton. But Harry and Meghan's wedding had the advantage of airing early on a Saturday morning, when viewers didn't have to prepare for work or school. William and Kate married early on a Friday morning in April 2011. About 29.2 million watched the ceremony across 15 networks. Around 18 million watched the wedding in Britain, becoming the most-watched broadcast of the year. ALSO: John Oliver mocks the royal wedding on Last Week Tonight.