The latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver got a little bit fortunate — after all, it managed to air immediately following the conclusion of the Oscars! You could’ve finished up the awards show and, in the end, not missed anything at all.
Now, let’s get to discussing what is (hopefully) going to be a really fantastic episode of Oliver’s late-night HBO series.
Main Segment – This was themed around something that, shockingly, has not received a whole lot of attention: A Congressional race in North Carolina. Mark Harris won, but there were all sorts of inconsistencies that came out — they date all the way back to his primary vote, where he received a rather unusual amount of absentee votes in comparison to the incumbent.
This remains a strange story and we’ve heard a considerable amount about it over time. Yet, we never quite realized that it was this extreme. Oliver pointed out some headlines from the past few months in the race, whether it be Harris darting in order to avoid reporters or a recent hearing that included all sorts of shocking results and commentary from people close to him.
The end result here is a new election — but one that didn’t come about after a lengthy outcry and months’ worth of speculation.
And now, this…
We got a weird segment in here, one featuring news reporters having absolutely the wrong tone for what they were talking about. This was funny … and also cringe-worthy.
The main segment: Psychics
Out of everything that we’ve seen Oliver do on Last Week Tonight over the years, this is not something that we anticipated being thrown front and center. When was the last time that psychics were in the headlines unless you watch daytime TV or TLC?
Well, the first thing that we learned tonight that was fairly shocking was the fact that the psychic industry is so enormous. Did you realize that there were billions of dollars at play here? This is why this segment matters and Oliver shared with us some of the techniques that they often use, whether it be cold hearing, drawing obvious assumptions, or then also finding a way to double down or your claims, even if they are false.
Oh, and then there is also what psychics won’t tell you — i.e. factual stuff that could give them trouble in the legal world. Take, for example, murder victims — psychics/mediums won’t say who killed them. There was also a segment about psychic detectives, including some who have gotten facts so wrong that they have dramatically changed lives.
At the conclusion of this segment, we saw the return of a longtime Last Week Tonight favorite — comedy icon Rachel Dratch, who delivered a fantastic spoof of Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo within the setting of Oliver’s fake morning show. This was fantastic — it was a satirical, strange loon at how often psychics are wrong, what they do to get information from clients, and how effectively, television shows are as responsible as the psychics themselves for bringing these people on board.
Was this effective?
A thousand percent, most notably through showing you how psychics work through television clips. (Oliver specifically had a field day dragging Matt Lauer, who was “read” by the famed Hollywood Medium.)
Let’s be clear: In the after of this, the only psychic detective we’d bring into our lives is either Shawn Spencer or Patrick Jane.
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What did you think about the latest edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver? Did any particular situation work for you? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: HBO.)