clever and current comedy news
On Sundays we watch HBO. The award winning lineups boasting a-list actors and blockbuster budgets has added to the allure of curling up on the couch, and made staying in for the night more glamorous at the work water cooler weekend recap. Honestly, HBO has become one of the only reasons many of us still have cable subscriptions; and evolving online subscription options will provide premium content to an even larger audience at a fraction of the cost in the not too distant future. Furthermore, in this spirit of honesty and transparency, curling up on the couch is the kind of party I plan and pencil everything around…
While HBO often offers star studded casts, they are also known for catapulting careers by producing projects of the relatively unknown. In the wake of predecessors Dennis Miller and Bill Maher, HBO introduces that British fellow from The Daily Show into the fold with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Topics aren’t treated as a pretentious privilege of the already informed, and the punchline isn’t about ostracizing the audience if they don’t know where they stand on the issue. Oliver’s goofy charm make difficult dialogues more digestible and down to earth. He is willing to joke ‘with you’ that bureaucracy is indeed boring, and is well aware that when the joke isn’t exclusively ‘on you’ you’re much more likely to entertain what he has to say. Instead of fighting an uphill battle with our limited attention spans, deciding what’s news worthy solely based on ratings it will reap, and/or basing the entire premise of the show on mocking Fox News; Last Week Tonight tackles the task of getting the viewers not only interested but involved. Comedy news is a formula still in formation, and this time HBO has gotten the recipe right.
- “To make a statement, a TV news satirist must introduce relevant topics, satirize them with the goal of improving conditions, and both analyze and serve as a check on the mass media. Stewart, Colbert, and Oliver all do this — but Oliver does it better.” – Daniel J. Kenny How John Oliver Usurped a Genre Harvard Political Review
- “His wickedly sharp humor seems to derive from genuine concern rather than condescension.” – Meredith Blake John Oliver Goes for In-Depth Comedy with ‘Last Week Tonight’ on HBO Los Angeles Time
favorite feature : Just when things get heavy and you need a pallet cleanser after swallowing the bitter pill, a segment featuring a hamster eating a tiny burrito will follow to lighten the load.
chief complaint : Thirty minutes once a week leaves me wanting more. In all fairness, I do realize that this format emphasizes quality versus quantity, and it is after all commercial free with less sponsor censorship… Let’s meet in the middle, one hour once a week hmmmmmm?
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