Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus & a different set

Last Week TonightThe March 15 episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver kicked off with a note from the show’s host — this was going to be weird. Very weird. This was a shorter episode than usual, and Oliver wasn’t even in his usual studio. Why? There were confirmed cases of coronavirus that were in that same building, and he operated this week in a separate place, with a separate screen behind him, and with a limited crew.

Also, Oliver admitted that the majority of his staff worked from home throughout the week in order to prepare for this show. The main segment was of course the COVID-19 pandemic, and also the way in which a lot of the administration and the country have been handling it over the years. There was criticism of the President, but eventually, John did his best to focus on passing along some useful information. Of course, there was a reminder for everyone to wash their hands and practice cleanliness, but there was more that went into this segment than just that. He also talked about spreading cases out to ensure everyone who needs care in order to get it. He broke down misinformation, but the most important thing is this: Exercise care. Do it deeply and extensively.

Comedically, this is probably not an episode of Last Week Tonight that you’re going to remember. Think about it like this: Oliver didn’t have an audience and with that, his cadence and style was very different from what you’re used to seeing from him. (Oliver still admitted his own selfishness, joking about how he wished Liverpool to get the league title as they were having a season like no other.)

Yet, these are scary times — very scary times. Think about what’s going on in the world, and also how long various institutions are being shut down. We know that there are a lot of people out there suggest that this isn’t too big of a deal, but it is. It’s a really big deal. It’s understandable to be scared, and we all should be careful and measured in times like these.

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