Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
GenreComedy, news satire
Created byHBO
Developed byJohn Oliver
Presented byJohn Oliver
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes1
Executive producersJohn Oliver
Tim Carvell
James Taylor
Jon Thoday
ProducerLiz Stanton
Running time30 minutes
Production companyAvalon Television
Original release
ReleaseApril 27, 2014 (2014-04-27) –
The Daily Show

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is an American late-night talk show airing weekly at 11:00 p.m. on HBO in the United States.[1] The half-hour long[2] show premiered on Sunday, April 27, 2014, and is hosted by comedian John Oliver, an alumnus of The Daily Show, which features commentator Jon Stewart.[1] The show is similar in scope, exploring a satirical look at news, politics and current events on a weekly basis.[1]

Oliver's contract with HBO lasts two years with an option for more. Oliver says he has full creative freedom, including free rein to criticize corporations, given HBO's ad-free subscription model. Oliver and HBO programming president Michael Lombardo have discussed extending the show from half an hour to a full hour and airing more than once a week after Oliver "gets his feet under him."[3]

Notable episodes

Oliver's show debuted on April 27, 2014. His guest was Keith B. Alexander, a former National Security Agency Director.


Hank Stuever of The Washington Post compared Oliver's program with The Daily Show several times in his review of Oliver's debut: "another scathing, stick-it-to-'em critique of American mass media and politics shellacked in satire and delivered by a funny if almost off-puttingly incredulous man with a British accent... Exactly like The Daily Show, the goal is to make elected and appointed officials, as well as just about any corporate enterprise, look foolish and inept while slyly culling together television news clips that make the media look equally inept at covering such evident truths."[4]

James Poniewozik of Time similarly compared Last Week with The Daily Show, but also wrote that the "full half-hour gives Oliver the room to do more," and praised Oliver's "sharper tone and his globalist, English-outsider perspective," as well as his "genuine passion over his subjects." Poniewozik wrote that Oliver's debut was "a funny, confident start."[5]

The Entertainment Weekly review began by ringing the same changes: "The fear with Last Week Tonight is that it's The Daily Show except once a week — a staggered timeline that would rob the basic news-punning format of its intrinsic topical punch... The first episode of his HBO series didn't stray far from the [Jon] Stewart mothership, stylistically..." However, the reviewer, Darren Franich, liked that Oliver has "a half-hour of television that is simultaneously tighter and more ambitious, that the extra production time leads to sharper gags but also the ability to present more context" and thought that the debut had "plenty of funny throwaway lines." Franich appreciated Oliver's coverage of the "the upcoming India Election", which the American press was largely ignoring, and, like Poniewozik, praised Oliver's "passion." Franich concluded that Last Week Tonight "suggested the sharpest possible version of its inspiration" and that it "should feel like an experiment" but "felt almost fully-formed."[6]


  1. ^ a b c Patten, Dominic (February 12, 2014). "HBO Sets Name & Date For John Oliver Debut". PMC. Archived from the original on February 14, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014. ((cite news)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ O'Connell, Michael (February 12, 2014). "John Oliver's HBO Series Gets Name, April Premiere". Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  3. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (16 April 2014). "John Oliver on the Luxurious 'Freedom' of HBO, His Complicated Relationship With NYC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  4. ^ Stuever, Hank (April 28, 2014). "John Oliver's 'Last Week Tonight' on HBO sticks to a familiar formula". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Poniewozik, James (April 28, 2014). "REVIEW: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver". Time. Retrieved May 4, 2014. ((cite web)): Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ Franich, Darren (Apr 28, 2014). "'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' review: The Weekly Show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 4, 2014. ((cite web)): Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)