After last week’s focus on Brexit and Lord Buckethead, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver came back stateside tonight with a feature all about coal. Arguably, the most remarkable thing about this segment was one simple fact he handed down: JCPenney, a company known for its own bankruptcy trouble, employees more people even still than are in the entire coal industry.
While coal may be a valuable source of income for some, Oliver argued that the entire political emphasis on coal was completely overblown given that it doesn’t actually employ that many people. Add to this the fact that it’s not a renewable resource, and you have a recipe for disaster in terms of how new innovations are taking jobs away from actual miners. More things are automated now, and that is a good thing given that coal mining can be extremely bad for someone’s health given all of the dirt and the fumes.
Another fun fact dropped during the segment: The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is actually being run now by solar power. Consider this further proof that non-renewable resources are taking over. Oliver specifically took a stand against a couple of people within the industry, as well, including Don Blankenship and Bobby Murray — he once again shows no restraint in going after people who he personally believes are a major part of the problem. He also wanted to troll New Zealand a little bit more, which is something that he’s grown incredibly fond of doing over time and in rather humorous fashion.
This was one of Oliver’s better segments, especially in how he more or less pointed in Murray’s face and laughed when he was apparently threatened with a cease-and-desist over doing part of this segment. That takes guts, and he’s certainly proving that he has it. Also, there were a series of incredibly funny moments throughout.
Also, the squirrel at the very end. Incredible.
Elsewhere tonight – Oliver got in a few good comments on Bill Cosby, which is something that he was able to do before many late-night hosts could chime in. It’s not available to many of them yet due to the timing of the mistrial verdict.
What did you think about Oliver taking on the coal industry on Last Week Tonight this weekend? Share in the comments below right now!
Meanwhile, be sure to click here to see some highlights from some other past shows this season. (Photo: HBO.)