Last Week Tonight Episode Review: John Oliver Gives Us the Word, From A to Z


That is to say, the show covered everything from A(ngela Merkel) to Z(ebras). It will all make perfect sense if you happened to catch the March 19, 2017 edition of Last Week Tonight. If not, then I suppose I should provide a little background. That said, you will probably want to catch the show at a later point. It was not 0.5 bad.

The “A” part of this idea pertains to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the exemplary diplomacy she got treated to from America’s Greatest Mistake…like…Ever. And by exemplary, I did not mean in the good way, but the exact opposite. It is that portion of the first segment that will provide your weekly treat, such as it is. Not to be a very alert spoiler, but perhaps the most astonishing line from that bit was Oliver’s reminder that Trump had once accused Angela Merkel of ruining Germany. WHAAAAAAAT? Oh, excuse me, I meant VAAAAAAAAS? Can our brilliant leader have forgotten all about Willy Brandt?*

As I mentioned, the bit about Chancellor Merkel was only the first half of the first segment. Focusing on the subsequent press conference, Oliver picked up on a question from a German reporter about the wire-tap flap and took off on his second wind. After listening to Oliver’s most recent shows, including this one, it seems that he has determined to call Trump spokesman Sean Spicer “”…probably because she does a better imitation of the guy than Spicer. If it was possible to make Trump’s allegations sound yet even more absurd, succeeded with the greatest of ease.

The main segment of the show was about Trump’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Let me not put down the excellent comedic stylings of Mr. John Oliver. They were fully on display throughout this segment, but, in the end, I felt only anger, not merriment. Funny, how often that happens.

The third segment was how the Puerto Rican city of La Paz—Okay, just testing to see if you’re still awake—that is to say “Bolivian”, is dealing with what had been a serious and dangerous traffic problem. It was one of those welcome breaks from the strom und drang (Hello again, Ms. Merkel) the host normally has to deal with in the course of a show. I don’t want to spill too many beans, but this is the part of the show where the Z element comes in. What made the segment even more amusing was that Oliver took the problem beyond Bolivian traffic jams and got some excellent mileage out of it.

Good show, as the host’s people like to say.

*For the benefit of those few people who share our President’s sad affliction of being piss-ignorant about history, the guy that Oliver was referring to was Schicklgruber.

Last Week Tonight, HBO, March 19, 2017

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