John Oliver Wants to Know: How Is Miss America Still a Thing?

Aleksander Chan · 09/22/14 09:17AM

The annual, televised Miss America Pageant is perhaps best known as a bizarre, voyeuristic, occasionally hilarious sideshow to what purports to be a philanthropic cause—Miss America has long claimed to be the "largest provider of scholarships to women." Turns out, that's mostly true and dizzyingly complicated. "And through it all—the dance numbers, the inexplicable ventriloquism—it was very difficult not to think: How the fuck is this still happening?" Indeed.

John Oliver Explains How Payday Loans Will Keep Screwing You Forever

Jay Hathaway · 08/11/14 10:40AM

Payday loan companies screw customers with annual interest rates as high as 1900%, and base their entire business model on the fact that desperate debtors will never be able to pay them back. On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained all the ways they're fucking you, in uncomfortable detail.

John Oliver Has Had Enough of Ads Disguised as News Stories

Jay Hathaway · 08/04/14 09:06AM

John Oliver's big topic on the latest Last Week Tonight was the crumbling wall between news and advertising, an invisible ethical forcefield that used to be known as the "separation of church and state."

John Oliver Explains America's Broken Prison System With Puppets

Jay Hathaway · 07/21/14 09:17AM

The U.S. prison system: Where 1 in 25 inmates is sexually assaulted, private corporations are brought in to cut food and medical costs to the bone, and one prison tried to disinfect a woman's C-section with table sugar. It's all good, though, because recidivism rates (and therefore, profits) are high.

John Oliver Explains America's Growing Wealth Gap

Jay Hathaway · 07/14/14 04:24PM

Americans are fiercely protective of the imaginary wealth they don't have yet, and John Oliver believes that the idea that we're a nation of "haves and soon-to-haves," as Marco Rubio actually put it, explains why we perpetuate policies that have led us to near-Great-Depression levels of inequality.

Here's Stephen Hawking Making Fun of John Oliver for About 7 Minutes

Jay Hathaway · 06/16/14 10:30AM

Physicist Stephen Hawking, frequently cited as one of the smartest people alive, is also pretty funny. As the first person John Oliver interviewed for Last Week Tonight's new "People Who Think Good" series, Hawking delivered a stark lesson about the nature of reality: There is no timeline in which Oliver will date Charlize Theron.

John Oliver Does One Hell of a Morrissey Impression

Jay Hathaway · 05/19/14 10:06AM

On the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver discussed the new EU ruling that will allow citizens to have Google remove search results that damage their reputations. And, more importantly, John Oliver did a fantastic impression of Morrissey.