You might not be familiar with Last Week Tonight, the political satire show on HBO, but fans of the show and its adorably British host know that John Oliver has the best quotes ever. If you've never watched the show, I highly recommend it — it's essentially watching the U.S. get roasted on a weekly basis by a master comedian.
Oliver was born and raised in Birmingham, England (and still retains his awesome accent), and he first rose to prominence in the U.S. as the senior British correspondent on The Daily Show back in the Jon Stewart days. Evidently, HBO saw something in him and thank goodness they did. Since Last Week Tonight premiered in April 2014, the show has gained a huge following, influenced government public policy, and helped raise over $25,000 in donations for a women in engineering scholarship fund.
Oliver's background as a foreign-born American is part of what makes the satire so good —hearing someone from a different country say how screwed up the U.S. is can be surprisingly effective. The long-form segments that cover social issues with unusual thoroughness and context are also helpful in presenting the facts and convincing an audience. Clearly, the show is doing something right because not only was Last Week Tonight renewed for another two years, Oliver was named to the Time 100 List of Most Influential People in 2015. His stories are honest and critical, and the great writing is icing on the cake. His signature style and hilarious insight are powerful in getting his point across — here is six times he dropped mad truth bombs on Last Week Tonight.
[Tobacco] is an aging product that's decreasing in popularity, and yet, somehow, it just can't stop making money. It's basically the agricultural equivalent of U2.
Essentially, student debt is like HPV — if you go to college, you're almost certainly going to get it. And if you do, it will follow you for the rest of your life.
When we throw food into a landfill, we're essentially throwing a trash blanket over a flatulent food man and dutch-ovening the entire planet.
Inequality is a bit like cinnamon — you definitely want to have a little of it to spice life up a bit, but too much of it can be very dangerous. And make no mistake, we are at cinnamon dangerous levels right now.
Sex is like boxing. If both people didn't fully agree to participate, one of them is committing a crime.
Pearson [Education] are the educational equivalent of Time Warner Cable. Either you have never had an interaction with them and don't care, or they have ruined your f**king life.