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Trivia / Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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  • Accidentally Correct Writing: Insanely enough, John's joke about Joe Exotic (back in 2016, when John was talking about him as part of an episode about third-party candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential election) being the kind of guy with whom you could get drunk enough to try meth for the first time ended up being entirely accurate as Joe got several lovers of his addicted on meth to keep them "happy", to prevent them from leaving, and to stop them from realizing they weren't actually gay.
  • Banned In China:
    • An especially extreme case, as the episode about Chinese President Xi Jinping, especially his legendary hatred of his supposed resemblance to Winnie-the-Pooh, pissed him off so much that he temporarily blocked all of HBO in the country. One has to wonder what his reaction will be to the fact that a Winnie-the-Pooh-looking caricature of him actually made it to the opening credits of the show as of the Season 6 opening.
    • Much to John's chagrin, any footage lampooning the proceedings of the British Parliament gets blacked out in the United Kingdom due to a law preventing the media from using footage of the House of Commons/Lords to poke fun of Parliament or its members (said footage is unedited in every other locale). John, in a characteristic act of petty vengeance, tapped Gilbert Gottfried to film himself reading out three-star Yelp reviews from restaurants in Boise, Idaho (or Brexit clauses, or Big Foot erotica) in the place of any segment that would be blacked out in the United Kingdom, and vowed to continue this trend until his home country changed the laws to match the times. Later, in lieu of a short clip of parliamentary footage, in which the result of the meaningful vote gets announced, footage from a very 1983 Chippendales exercise video got edited into a newscast with no context or explanation whatsoever.
      John Oliver: Yeah. That's what they'll get. They'll be confused by it! And it will be all their fault!
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    • The episode about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wasn't carried in India by streaming service Hotstar. John would later state that it's most likely that this was a decision made by Hotstar itself rather than the government, as Hotstar already had a history of censoring previous episodes of the show, in particular removing jokes about Disney, due to Hotstar actually being owned by said company. Similar to the British Parliament footage issue mentioned above, John would state that more Disney jokes would follow (labeling them as "Disney Facts").
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • Early on the show's run, some online communities mocked John for using "It's [current year]" to denote something deemed backwards and old-fashioned is still happening now, except for the fact that John never actually used the phrase that way (except as a joke), which is probably why it died down pretty quickly.
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    • John later calls attention to this phenomenon, specifically misquoted historical figures. He then mentions that he himself has fallen victim to it in a meme in which he compares gun control to air security, admitting it's an interesting thought but that he never said it, but had "seen it so many times I'm genuinely starting to wonder if I did".
  • Big Name Fan: Jerry Seinfeld, as mentioned by the man himself in an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
  • Colbert Bump:
    • After pointing out how women's scholarship programs are pretty lackluster if the Miss America Pageant can truthfully state it gives out the most number of women's scholarships and name-dropping the Society of Women Engineers as an alternative, said organization received $25,000 in two days, which the society dubbed "The John Oliver Bounce" in recognition.
    • He aims to do this with the Supreme Court by giving people on the Internet the ability to combine their audio recordings with dressed up dogs.
    • Time magazine has already dubbed "The John Oliver Effect", for John Oliver's uncanny ability to raise awareness of issues such as net neutrality and civil forfeiture.
    • Regarding the show itself, in the episode following one which garnered much media attention.
      John Oliver: That's right, we are talking tonight about special taxation districts. So, hello, people watching for the first time because of the Trump piece. And also, I presume, goodbye!
    • He caused a huge flood of interest in the juvenile political satire The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman, pointing out the eerie parallels to Donald Trump's campaign.
  • Dear Negative Reader: The subjects of the show at times will react like this, with the first episode alone leading POM to send a fridge full of their juice and a Portland ad agency to write a defensive response regarding Oregon's failed health website. Some will be acknowledged by John in the show, such as the Ecuadorian Non-Ironic Clown Tiko-Tiko complaining about being called a Monster Clown, and the long saga of coal mogul Bob Murray downright suing HBO for supposed libel.
  • Descended Creator:
  • Follow the Leader: The show's success has led to an array of programs with a similar presentation and "deep dive" treatment of issues internationally, such as Mexico's Chumel con Chumel Torres, hosted by Chumel Torres, host of the Mexican political web series El pulso de la República, and Brazil's Greg News, hosted by Gregorio Duvivier, a member of the Brazilian comedy troupe Porta dos Fundos. Given that both shows also air on HBO in their respective countries, it almost looks like HBO was going for a bit of Self-Plagiarism.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The opening theme is the opening of "Go" by Valley Lodge. In the season 2 finale, the band appeared to play it.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: John Oliver claims he shut down his satirical church Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption because fans sent semen in through the mail (likely a pun on the "seed faith" ideology). "And when someone sends you jizz through the mail, it's time to stop whatever you're doing".


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