By RYAN GRILLE
British comedian John Oliver has become a leading figure in late night television in recent years. His HBO series “Last Week Tonight” has garnered critical acclaim and receives millions of views on YouTube. His most recent video, which was part of the first episode of the sixth season, touched on the Brexit controversy and the serious consequences it could have on the United Kingdom. This video is a perfect illustration of how Oliver entertains and informs his audience.
First of all, John Oliver’s videos are highly researched. The sources used to explain the situation at hand are often presented as a graphic on screen or even brought out as physical items. For example, during the video, he produced a physical copy of Theresa May’s Brexit transition plan. In addition, Oliver uses video footage from other media in order to more fully illustrate his points. For example, he will use footage of a local news station reporting on Brexit to legitimize his points.
Primarily, however, his show is concerned with comedy. Oliver not only uses each topic in order to craft a joke, but he often uses humor in order to get across important information to his audience. In this video, for example, he uses a Dutch boy band in order to further illustrate the EU’s response to Brexit. This approach keeps his audience entertained while supplying them with information.
While John Oliver’s content is informative and entertaining, it is certainly not flawless. One major criticism that can be lobbied against him is that his content is extremely left leaning in its discussion of politics. Also, while his videos are highly researched, he has been known to make a few errors from time to time. This can mainly be attributed to the format of his show being only 30 minutes in length and thus being forced to simplify a lot of information. Despite this, John Oliver’s content has not only impacted real legislation, but has also managed to build up a large fan following.