The HBO host has been broadcasting mostly from a “blank void” since the coronavirus pandemic began
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, John Oliver has been broadcasting his weekly “Last Week Tonight” from home in a white-backgrounded “blank void” that looks very different from his usual New York City studio.
Now in its sixth season, the HBO show picked up four Primetime Emmy Awards last year, including for Outstanding Variety Talk Series for the fifth straight year. And the former “Daily Show” regular has spent much of last year chronicling not only the pandemic but also the presidential election — and getting a sewer plant in Danbury, Connecticut, named after him.
There is NOT a new episode of “Last Week Tonight” this week, April 25. Oliver has been producing new shows in his usual time slot at 11 p.m. EST on HBO for much of this year despite a one-week hiatus at the end of March. But he opted not to do a new episode this week airing opposite the Academy Awards.
In last season’s finale, Oliver also took the opportunity to recap some of his personal highlights from the momentous year of 2020. “We sponsored a marble league, we made stamps to help the Postal Service, we tracked down this magnificent piece of rat erotica,” he began. “I got into a fight with Danbury, Connecticut, which resulted in them naming a sewage plant after me.”
He also recapped his yearlong taunting of Oscar-nominated actor Adam Driver, who gamely called in to inquire about “this strange, strange bit that you’ve somehow pulled me into” and then dragged Oliver into offering a very begrudging apology.
Oliver closed the season finale with a more spectacular bit, getting up from his seat in the “blank void” to reveal a giant stage-set in some remote ravine-like location. As he walked toward the camera and away from the set, we saw that it was in fact shaped like a giant 2020 sign — which he promptly blew up in a fireball.
“Let tomorrow be about solutions,” Oliver said to close the show, and the season, and the year. “Today is about vengeance. F— you, 2020. Get f—ed.”
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