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[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ohn Oliver took a well-deserved night off last night, so do not curse those working for HBO GO under the presumption that they failed to upload the episode.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver may only air once a week, but it still garners comparisons to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. These comparisons are misguided, not because John Oliver’s show is better or worse than the other two, but rather that it is completely different.
The obvious difference has to do with Oliver’s show only being once a week. The other major difference is the fact that it is on HBO. There are no commercials, which means no advertisers. No advertisers means Oliver can talk about whatever he wants without HBO having to worry about there being issues with those who support them. The supporters of the channel are those who pay a fee to subscribe, and possibly those who borrow HBO GO passwords and support in the form of ratings.
This relationship with HBO has set up Oliver to provide one of the more honest voices on late-night television. He still mixes in humor with the stories, but he has covered some serious topics that are talked about at an in-depth level.
This is another advantage of having no advertisers: zero commercials. Oliver’s program runs for the entire thirty minutes. Many times his interviews with guests continue on Youtube after the show goes off the air. The long show also allows him to focus on his main topics for about fifteen minutes, which would not be possible if there were nearly eight minutes of commercials as with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
The in-depth topics Oliver covers have ranged from Dr. Oz lying about his “magical” products to the outrageous laws against the LGBT population in Uganda. I would not want to try and explain them in this post when Oliver did so in such a beautiful manner.
The possibility of Oliver having more than one episode a week is one that may excite viewers, but it is very possible that the type of stories featured above would not be able to be told if the news were being covered on a daily basis as opposed to a weekly basis. That is why the only expansion that would really fit this style of show would be if there were two episodes a week, perhaps on Wednesday and Sunday.
This would work if there was indeed expansion, although having one episode per week does have its benefits. Viewers are anxious to see the show as it has been a week since the last episode. It is tough not to love Stephen Colbert’s antics on a week(day)ly basis but there is more mystique, so to say, with having to wait an entire week to learn about the relevant news stories from the past week, as told in a humorous manner. A mystique that is only enhanced by having the news delivered in a British accent.
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