Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Robocalls, Bolsonaro, & Tim Apple

John OliverThe latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver came your way on HBO tonight and delivered from the get-go surprising political commentary on Brazil.

This is not the first time that Jair Bolsonaro has been in Oliver’s crosshairs; after all, he talked about the far-right leader around the time of the election. This time around, it had to do more with Bolsonaro’s sentiment and attitude at the moment towards Carnivale, the annual celebration in the country that apparently he hates.

After talking about Bolsonaro and a certain kind of shower (let’s just say it has to do with a certain video the leader posted online), we then transferred over to Donald Trump and his tour of a tornado-ravaged part of Alabama. To be specific, his pattern of signing Bibles when he wasn’t able to actually point out a single verse that he liked. (Oliver also joked about Trump referred to Tim Cook as “Tim Apple.” and also him referring to Nancy Pelosi as “Nancy.”)

The biggest point Oliver tried to make within his opening segment was how, somehow, Trump had the ability to make us laugh despite saying and doing a number of terrible things. Sure, people were laughing at him rather than with him, but it speaks to something in all of us — almost a desperation for ridiculous humor just as an escape for some of the pain.

And now, this…

Somehow, the writers managed to conjure up a montage of Rachael Ray discussing cheese to loud applause from her audience.

The main segment: All about robocalls

Odds are, there are a lot of readers out there (and show viewers) who have been forced to deal with this. It’s incredibly annoying. Beyond that, it feels invasive and at times fear-driven. These machines can find a way to manipulate and trick you, whether it be via spoofing, pretending to be someone you know, and other dirty tricks. The no-call list can work, but only in certain situations.

Sometimes, Oliver’s show does main segments where the vast majority of the information is the sort of stuff you already know. This was actually informative, just in the sort of tricks that robocall operators often utilize … and also how many Americans fall for it. Corporations also often find a way to trick people, including storing things in user agreements. The FCC claims that they care about the issue, but they haven’t really done much in order to actually curtain the issue. As a matter of fact, the organization’s head seems to be spending most of his time making light of the issue.

We knew that on the other side of this segment, we were going to hear about some sort of stunt from Oliver. That came about in the closing minutes, where Oliver pressed a button (that unleashed a giant finger pushing a giant button) that sent a ton of continuous robocalls to the FCC telling them to do something about this issue. We don’t know if it’ll work, but there are few things we enjoy more than Oliver and his war on the FCC. This was arguably the best segment of the year for Last Week Tonight, both in terms of humor and in terms of actually presenting a real issue not enough people are discussing.

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