John Oliver Tackles Doomsday Head-On With A "Goodbye, World" Video That's Infinitely Superior To CNN's
It might not be the most pleasant topic to talk about, but it's pretty important. It's Armageddon, and I'm not talking about that lukewarm Ben Affleck performance. Though it might feel like life on Earth will always be a thing, sooner or later... well, it might not be. John Oliver just wants to make sure we all get the proper sendoff when that day comes. In the latest installment of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver made a doomsday video that we should all watch at the world's end, and it's infinitely better than the one that CNN created for the purpose.
Oliver opens the segment with "Let's turn to some lighter news: the end of the world." There are countless factors that could lead us there, from nuclear war to environmental decline. Knowing that it's entirely possible, one news network actually prepared a video to show the world in its final moments before it ends. The "Turner Doomsday Video" was created in the network's early days in the '80s by CNN founder Ted Turner, who famously stated:
We won’t be signing off until the world ends. We’ll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event. ... We’ll play "Nearer, My God, to Thee" before we sign off.
The video's restriction explicitly says, "Hold for release until end of the world confirmed." Says Oliver:
That's great, CNN. So you're going to wait until the end of the world to actually confirm something.
So, what's the last thing CNN wants humanity to see before the world ends? Oliver explains.
That's it? A band playing a slow dirge? Well, to be fair, when the world ends, it would be comforting to look at any marching band and think, "Well at least they'll all die, too."
The song the band is playing is indeed "Nearer, My God, to Thee," the song that a reporter says was being played when the Titanic sank. However, Oliver points out that that's just not true. This is the song that was playing when the Titanic sank. Duh.
Yes, the last thing those drowning people heard was some sort of French-Canadian space mermaid. That's a fact.
Anyway. Going back to the point, if the world does come to an end, the last thing we all see shouldn't be some sad hymn; it should be something celebratory. So, naturally, Oliver and his team has come up with their own video, which they are giving CNN full permission to use.Bonus: it stars Martin Sheen! The acting legend narrates:
Hello, I'm Martin Sheen. And I'm afraid, if you're watching this, the end times are upon us. Whether because of war, disease, or a genetically modified dinosaur, our world is now only moments away from total annihilation. So let's take these last few moments to celebrate the greatest things about humanity's time on earth. We had a good run, didn't we?
We harnessed fire, invented languages, and engineered transparent underwater tunnels simply because we felt like looking at shark tummies.
We were the first species to evolve to walk on two legs, and then invented a way not to.
But perhaps humanity's greatest achievement of all was our total domination of every other species. Nice try, lions.
Unless, of course, we're all dying because lions evolved and conquered the human race, in which case, well played, lions.
Now let's admit: humanity sometimes failed to live up to our potential, as evidenced by our blooper reel.
Tragically, it seems our time together as a species is drawing short, and life on Earth is about to end. So before we embrace whatever awaits us, I have something important to show you: it's a model of an Old West saloon filled with cats bartenders and cat cowboys.
In conclusion, don't be sad over what we're losing. Instead, think fondly of what we had. So let's give thanks to peanut butter, to water slides...
to the night sky, to The Beatles...
and the pyramids, to that YouTube video of Kelsey Grammer falling off the stage.
We did things that few thought possible. We mastered the art of the yo-yo and had a cereal that was nothing but cookies.
We invented the automobile and then invented an automobile that could drive over 20 other automobiles.
We made backpacks that look like animals and then had those same animals wear them.
We set magnificently pointless world records.
We mastered relative time and Hammer Time.
We developed string theory and string cheese and you know what else? We went to the moon!
So now, before we're all vaporized or whatever awaits us, I think it's fitting that the last thing we all see is this sick basketball shot.
You can watch the entire video below.
Images: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver/YouTube