It was probably easy to figure out how Last Week with John Oliver was going to begin this week — with a discussion on Charlottesville. He is the first late-night host who really had an opportunity to tackle the terrible events of this weekend, and he chose to deliver a blistering attack on not only the White Nationalists who took part in the event, but also President Donald Trump and his refusal to properly acknowledge it.
We’ve said time and time again that what Last Week Tonight does best is figure out a way to educate in the midst of the humor — the show did that by featuring specific moments during Trump’s press conference where he could have condemned the nationalists, but chose not to. Instead, he just gave non-answers and refused to say the words “White Nationalists” at all.
This opening segment was very funny, including a completely random The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time reference. Yet, it was also very pointed, poignant, and also emotional as Oliver detailed how we can’t look to our President for comfort or support.
Oh, and we followed that emotional up with a ridiculous segment about robots playing soccer, as narrated by a Telemundo broadcaster.
The main story: North Korea
Well, you saw this one coming, didn’t you? North Korea is in the headlines for all sorts of reasons at the moment, with one of the biggest ones being the nuclear threat that they pose. The point of this story was to show more of the truth about the country, including some of their propaganda, the urban legends, and some of the rare television interviews that have been done. Also, accordions. Apparently, there are a lot of people in the country who love accordions! (There was a segment in here featuring “Take On Me,” oddly the second time this year than an HBO show has referenced it.)
Comedy aside, there was some information about this segment that was truly horrific, including learning about some of the prisons are like there and how far people will go in order to escape. He also explained that much of the country’s operations are based out of dictatorships.
Our overall take on the episode
This was a great half-hour of television in terms of information. Given how little Americans actually know about North Korea, this is probably the most important half-hour of the season. It tells you about the country and their anti-American sentiment, while finding amazingly some ways to keep things light along the way. We don’t think that there are any clear answers as to what can be done with the country, but education is often power — even through a comedic lens.
If you want to get some other news when it comes to Last Week Tonight, be sure to head over to the link here.
Meanwhile, be sure to share your thoughts on this week’s show, and some of Oliver’s commentary as a whole. (Photo: HBO.)