Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Nuclear waste, ‘both sides’ remarks front & center

nuclear wasteIf there is one thing that is terrible about Last Week Tonight with John Oliver this week, it’s this: It’s the last new episode for the next three weeks.

Well, on tonight’s episode he started out going in HARD on President Donald Trump, the departure of Steve Bannon, and some of the comments from the past week. Take, for example, “both sides.” These two words changed almost the entire narrative for this past week. In addition to going after Trump, he also went after some of the politicians who danced around condemning the President by name. By his estimation, only around 20% of Republicans in Congress were okay with actually calling him out by name. (His joke about Paul Ryan’s spine leaving him ten years ago to live in a spine commune in Vermont was all sorts of wonderful.)

At the end of his first segment, Oliver scoffed at the notion of the latest Trump antics being a “turning point,” saying that we are probably going to go through a lot more chaos before the Republicans in Congress decide that they want to do something.

So, after a blistering attack on Trump’s remarks and all of Congress in general, where did we see Oliver go from here?

The main story: Nuclear waste

We’re sure that people out there probably wanted something more overtly political here, but we were rather happy to have a break … even though this was a pretty serious subject to talk about. Nuclear waste, after all, is both all around us and also equally dangerous. What’s even more surprising is the way in which much of the country handles the subject. There is no “nuclear toilet” in order to handle the waste, and no real clear plan as to what to do with it.

This segment included such subjects as radioactive alligators, cancer spreading quickly among communities contaminated by waste, and also Hanford, Washington, a place that he referred to as one of the most contaminated places on earth.

Tonally, this was a fairly frightening segment, largely because it reminds us that in the midst of so much danger coming from overseas and in the administration, there are plenty of other dangers all around us. It’s something to be aware of, and also something that people in office do need to look at in the future.

How was this episode?

Funny, but also depressing at times given that there’s no funny way to talk about nuclear waste. The best comedy bit that we got over the course of the episode was him bringing up the American Girl doll Felicity and how terrifying she was. Kudos to the show for at least focusing on a subject that we knew almost nothing about going into it airing.

What do you think about this episode of Last Week Tonight and some of what we ended up seeing throughout? Share in the comments!

Meanwhile, head over to the link here in the event you want to get some additional news when it comes to the show. (Photo: HBO.)

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