Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Dear America: Can we have Jon Oliver back please?

British comedian Jon Oliver has made quite a name for himself in America. Initially a contributor to Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, he took over presenting the show last summer when Stewart was away on other projects. And he did a pretty good job of it too, by all accounts – so much so that he now has his own show on HBO called Last Week Tonight.

Whilst LWT is available in the UK on the pay-TV channel Sky Atlantic (along with many other HBO shows), HBO have also made much of the show’s segments available on YouTube – for free, and worldwide. So we get to watch some of Jon Oliver’s fantastic set pieces, like his overview of police militarisation and brutality in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s well worth spending 15 minutes of your time to watch, and is a great example of Oliver finding comedy in what is an awful situation. To build on one of Oliver’s examples, there’s no need for a police force in a town of 8500 people to have a tank – imagine the bobbies on the beat in a town like Hebden Bridge driving military vehicles up and down the high street?

I also enjoy the series because some of the issues he raises are largely ignored by other parts of the media – his impassioned pleas about Net Neutrality for example – and the Indian elections, which were probably the biggest elections ever to happen anywhere in the world but with no coverage in America, or even here in Britain for that matter.

Whilst I am pleased that Jon Oliver has managed to so well in America, and in comedy at that, I wish he’d been given more opportunities here in Britain too. Is there any way we could have him back at some point? We could take Piers Morgan off your hands as well if that helps?


  1. No. No you may not have him back. He’s ours now. But please take back Harry Potter any time you like.

  2. I really liked him on The Daily Show but he really stands out on Last Week Tonight. The piece you linked to about his take of the situation in Ferguson was utterly fantastic for such a shockingly bad situation.

    Piers Morgan’s flame has burned out over here. He was the bad guy judge on America’s Got Talent for a bit and then he had his own talk show on CNN. Then he got fired. To be honest I thought he *had* gone back to England already.