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Indy Suggests: "Last Week Tonight"

John Oliver is back for a sixth season of his renowned weekly late-night comedy show, “Last Week Tonight.” Armed with biting, fearless wit, Oliver approaches comedy with the goal of creating political and social change. Sure, the Brit aims plenty of ‘burns’ square at Trump et al.—he even made a montage of all the colorful names he’s called the president, one of which was “Twitter’s id made manifest;” but he made that montage to make a point about the beauty of the First Amendment in his piece on Vladimir Putin. Oliver’s comedy has a clear purpose. Week after week, he and his team present research that reveal corruption rampant in institutions from the Miss America Organization to the Kremlin. Besides, I have never heard John Oliver tell a joke that fell flat. The man is just hysterical. Plenty of today’s late-night comics can write solid jokes, and that’s all well and good. But a joke that just leaves audiences upset with no constructive outlet for their frustration isn’t worth much. Trump-era comedians can actually serve as watchdogs for democracy, just as much as the press. And no mainstream comedian right now is doing a better job of serving America in its time of need than John Oliver, one of the few comedians whose work actually has a tangible impact for the better—and it’s phenomenal comedy to boot.

Alexandra Bowman

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