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 this 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, Ct. named after him.
There is no new episode of “Last Week Tonight” this week, March 28. At the end of the March 21 episode, Oliver announced that the show would be taking a one-week hiatus but return in his usual time slot on April 4 at 11 p.m. EST on HBO.
That announcement prompted a rebuke from a talking blobfish voiced by Richard Kind: “A hiatus? Are you f—ing kidding me? Already?”
Rolling his eyes at the interruption, Oliver explained: “It’s a very intensive production — our staff is entitled to a break.”
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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