John William Oliver (born 23 April 1977) is a British comedian, political satirist and actor. He is most famous in America for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the satirical comedy podcast The Bugle. Having left The Daily Show at the end of 2013, Oliver will host Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO beginning on Sunday, 27 April 2014.
John Oliver: Terrifying Times (2008)
- Many people would argue that the most dangerous inhabitant of the earth is currently the self styled 43rd president of the United States. Not so much in deed anymore as in word. Because to hear that man speak is to wish upon yourself physical harm.
- I started looking into these groups in America, campaigns groups who want to put stickers on the front of all school science text books saying that Evolution is only one possible theory of life on earth. Now, although this seems like a stupid idea at first, second, and thirty ninth glance, look at it once more. Give it that fortieth view. Because it's brilliant. Let's have stickers on the front of all books! Slap one on the front of the Bible saying "Of course this could all be bullsh*t. Maybe he never died! Perhaps he opened a donkey sanctuary. He had a clear bond with donkeys." Or slap one on the Theory of Gravity! "Look, that's just one man's opinion. Maybe we could all fly! R. Kelly believed it so. Why would he lie to us? What does he possibly stand to gain?"
- But if you think it's going to get any better, let me burst that bubble of optimism now because I was fortunate enough last year to be invited to the First Republican Presidential Candidate Debate in Simi Valley in California, which, interestingly, was exactly as much fun as it sounds. But it was, obviously a privilege to be there and I did get to witness one incredible moment of political theater when all, at that point, ten of the potential leaders of the free world were asked the same question. And that question was "Who here doesn't believe in evolution?" And three of those men raised their hands. And then none of those three men put their hands down and said "Only joking." And their confidence was seductive!
- You might look at the Oreo Pizza and think, "That is a reprehensible foodstuff". I put it to you that that is the single most patriotic item I have ever seen in my life! Hoist that up a flagpole! ... Because that is the biggest imaginable "fuck you" you could possibly issue to terrorists. By hoisting the Oreo Pizza up a flagpole, what you're essentially saying is, "There is nothing you can do to us, we are not already doing to ourselves".
- The world's become so horrifying now. It's too easy to become cynical about things and that's not fair and it doesn't work. And in fact, there is hope for the world. And it is in the form of Wikipedia. Now, Wikipedia will save us all. I found this out when recently a friend of mine emailed me and he said that someone had created a Wikipedia entry about me. I didn't realize this was true, so I looked it up. And like most Wikipedia entries, it came with some flamboyant surprises, not least amongst them my name. Because in it it said my name was John Cornelius Oliver. Now my middle name is not Cornelius because I did not die in 1752. But obviously, I wanted to be. Cornelius is an incredible name. And that's when it hit me — the way the world is now, fiction has become more attractive than fact. That is why Wikipedia is such a vital resource. It's a way of us completely rewriting our history to give our children and our children's children a much better history to grow up with. We seem to have no intention of providing them with a future. Let's at least give them a past. It is in a very real sense the least we can do.
Last Week Tonight (2014–present)
- When your rainy day fund is so big you've got to check it for swimming cartoon ducks, you might not be a non-profit anymore.
- Last Week Tonight (8 June 2014)
- You have just constructed a straw man so large you could burn it in the desert and hold an annoying festival around it.
- Last Week Tonight (15 June 2014)
- John Oliver: You've stated that you believe there could be an infinite number of parallel universes. Does that mean that there is a universe out there where I am smarter than you?
Stephen Hawking: Yes. And also a universe where you're funny.
- … we were in a situation where, in the event of us launching a nuclear strike, the President's command would theoretically have gone through a man gambling with fake poker chips, who would've then tried to call a drunk guy wrestling with a Russian George Harrison, who would've then needed to send someone with a bag full of burritos to wake up an officer and tell him to go grab an LP-sized floppy disk and begin the solemn process of ending the world as we know it.
- Summary of 2013–2014 reports on U.S. nuclear readiness and scandals surrounding senior commanders
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, "Nuclear Weapons" segment (ff. 0:07:50), c. July 27, 2014
- Drug companies are a bit like high school boyfriends: They're much more concerned with getting inside you than being effective once they're in there.
- As far as I can see, this is a system that has enriched multiple companies and that pays and fires teachers with a cattle birthing formula, confuses children with talking pineapples, and has the same kind of rules regarding transparency as Brad Pitt had for Fight Club.
- Last Week Tonight: Standardized Testing Last Week Tonight: Standardized Testing (3 May 2015)
- For the record if someone did that to me I'd hitch a ride to the International Space Station straight away; of course who am I kidding, they would never let me in, I've got spiders for hands! Internet is mean!
- Last Week Tonight: Online Harassment Last Week Tonight: Online Harassment (21 June 2015)
- Lest we forget, when Europe goes far right, they go far right through Belgium.
- Last Week tonight: European Far Right Last Week Tonight: European Far Right (2 June 2015)
- In science, you don't just get to cherry-pick the parts that justify what you were going to do anyway! That's religion! You're thinking of religion.
- "Scientific Studies" (ff. 0:14:44), May 8, 2016; in response to Al Roker's advice to "find the study that sounds best to you"
- It's like catching an ice cream cone out of the air because a child was hit by a car.