Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is an American news comedy television series hosted by comedian John Oliver. There are various elements in the series of interest to furries.


The show's theme song starts off every episode containing images relating the world at large (with one or more related to that episode) with satirical captions written in dog Latin.

Opening sequence of season 5:

  • f.6 "Bolivian Zebra" / "Equus Stripedus" (La Paz traffic zebras)
  • f.(33?) "Jeff" / "Logos Marlborum" (Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat)(anthropomorphic lung)
  • f.(34?) "Ginsburg" / "Justice Es Adorabelium" (from the series' dog-version of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

A reoccurring element of the show is Oliver's use of mascots. The mascots used in the show include Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat, Hoots the NSA Owl, Taryn the Tinder Chicken, and the Last Week Tonight puppets.[1] Oliver told Vulture in February of 2019,

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
I mean, the truth of the mascots is that we have a gigantic room filled with spectacular mascot costumes now. [Executive producer] Tim Carvell and I — I think we’ve always seen the show as our attempt to make The Muppet Show and failing to do so. But occasionally, just occasionally, you get the kind of Muppet Show adoration in the ludicrous mascots
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


  • season 5, episode 1: While talking about YouTube (starting at 27minutes into episode) John briefly talks about inflatable Tyrannosaurus (T-Rex) costumes, while some video clips play of T-Rex costumes on dirtbikes, ballet dancing, exercising and "car repair". And for the closing segment, a bunch of people went on stage including some T-Rex costumers.
  • season 5, episode 2: segments at start: followup to season4 segment about Coal and the series (Last Week Tonight) being sued by Bob Murray for defamation. The judge said he was planning to dismiss the lawsuit, and then giant squirrel Mr. Nutterbutter showed up and displayed a sign that said "Eat Shit, Bob!" Mr. Nutterbutter also did gestures and costume emoting.
  • season 5, episode 4: during segment about cryptocurrencies
    • (14minutes into episode) John says he would like to make fun of a Bitcoin bro in a "stupid costume" , but "it is literally the entire business model of this fucking television show" with eight thumbnails from previous episodes
      • row 1: John and Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat; and John and space gecko suiter (season 1, episode 12?)
      • row 2: John and two suiters (pig and hedgehog?); John and Mr. Nutterbutter.
      • row 3: John and unicorn; John and poledancing(?) headless de-feathered (oven-ready?) bird.
      • row 4: John and 1 or 2 costumers (moose and owl?); John and polar bear.
    • (21 minutes into episode) John mentions startup companies sometimes sell cryptocoins to raise money as an alternative to stock, but sometimes as tokens to be used for services that the startup may eventually offer and comparing it to tokens at Chuck E. Cheese. (with image of Chuck E. Cheese character)
    • (23 minutes into episode) discussion of Dogecoin where Shiba Inu paw presses key on computer keyboard and then a Shiba Inu rides a rocket in an animation. John compares Dogecoin (started as a joke) to theoretical situation of someone starting a joke band named The Woofles (named similar to The Beatles) that was all St. Bernard dogs, (The Woofles image seems to be dog-heads on clothed humanoid bodies) but the band becomes incredibly successful.
  • season 5, episode 6:
    • episode opener (in addition to usual elements of zebra, Jeff and dog-version of Ginsburg) included "f.37 Marlon Bundo / In Bookstoresum".
    • in 2018 Egyptian presidential election segment: (4 minutes into episode) graphic of FarmVille with a sheep driving a tractor.
    • in Executive Office for Immigration Review segment:
      • (at start of segment): 11 minutes into episode: brief mention and image of Mr. Nutterbutter shit-talking coal CEO Bob Murray.
      • (13 minutes into episode): bad ideas include "doing coke in a Build-A-Bear Workshop including image (relevant due to plush toy)
      • (17 minutes into episode) (includes two images): saying 2-year-olds can't represent themselves in court because you can't even explain to them that muppet Elmo isn't their best friend.
      • (26 minutes into episode or 15 minutes into segment on YouTube): Tot Bench (courtroom staffed by children) spectator area is populated with plush toys (about 13 toys including 2 primates (monkies?), a frog, a tiger(?), 2 elephants, pink dragon(?), yellow dog, rabbit, and husky) that seem to get moved around in between some video-shots.
  • season 5, episode 7:
    • segment 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election: (10-12 minutes into episode) joke parties includes Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party who have a spokesperson dressed in a chicken costume.
    • segment Crisis pregnancy centers:
      • (14 minutes into episode): John says name of Barbara Beavers (a founder of a CPC) sounds like name of a sassy mother in a TV show of a family of beavers and the TV series would be named Hot Dam! (including logo with image of 4 anthro-ish beavers)
      • (18 minutes into episode): John compares CPCs luring women in under false pretenses to Catfishing, with image of catfish in clothing (hat and necklace) using a laptop.
      • (19-20 minutes into episode): images include one from the The Wizard of Oz (1939 film) with the Cowardly Lion. One abortion clinic painted their ramp bright yellow in an attempt to avoid their clients getting hijacked by a CPC, John likens the ramp to the Yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz and that is appropriate because that Oz movie "involves a young women getting stopped several times by idiots bothering her with their own fucking issues as she just tries to get where she needs to fucking go."
  • season 5, episode 8:
    • Corporate tax avoidance in the United States (YouTube):
      • (15 minutes into episode or 9:44-9:53 into segment on YouTube): Image of dog in clothing (dress shirt, suit jacket, necktie and monocle) accompanied by John saying "the reaction to the sentence 'I pay all my taxes' should never be incredulous laughter unless you are very wealthy dog who's just spoken for the first time."
    • Blockbuster Video in Alaska: (23 minutes into episode) art depicting a Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch) with John saying (about Blockbuster locations closing) "we seem to be rapidly losing something I didn't even know we had, which is a weird feeling. It's like if Bigfoot walked out of the woods with a gun to his head saying he exists, there were four of him, but he just brutally murdered his wife and two kids and he's not feeling great about it."
  • season 5, episode 9:
    • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iranian nuclear deal)(YouTube):
      • (23-24 minutes into episode or 15:13-15:35 into segment on YouTube): (image of a cat parachuting) "You can't just be against something without having any plan for what comes next. Trump is like a cat on a airplane trying to escape from its carrier. Ok, but if you get out, then what? Do you have a cat-sized parachute in there with you? What's your fucking plan here? And obviously I'm not going to say cat-sized parachute without showing you a cat in a parachute."

YouTube channel[edit]

The show's production has also created content specifically for fan use. For the March 19, 2017, episode, which reported on Bolivia's growing coalition of workers clad in zebra suits to educate civilians about traffic laws, the show's production recorded 23 minutes of a person in a zebra costume dancing and gesticulating before a green screen so that viewers could edit it into other videos for humorous effect.[3]

A similar video called "Real Animals, Fake Paws" for use in reenacting U.S. Supreme Court cases was released after the October 19, 2014, episode where dogs were used instead of justices to make listening to oral court cases more amusing to the general public and to increase interest in the subject.[4]

Reaction and influence[edit]

Coal mining and Bob Murray[edit]

On June 18, 2017, Last Week Tonight' s main segment was about coal mining and Bob Murray. In his segment, Oliver talked about how the safety condition inside the coal mines specifically the 2007 Crandall Canyon Mine collapse, which killed six miners, in which Oliver criticized Murray for claiming the collapse was caused by an earthquake, despite all evidence demonstrating otherwise.[5] The show ended with a costumed squirrel named "Mr. Nutterbutter" presenting Murray with a voided check for "3 acorns and 18 cents" in response to Murray's company presenting its employees with low sums of money as bonuses, and how the employees retaliate by voiding the checks, and in reference to a claim that stated that Murray supposedly got the idea to start his company from a talking squirrel.[6] On June 22, Bob Murray presented a lawsuit against Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation. HBO believes Last Week Tonight has done nothing wrong, with a First Amendment lawyer describing the lawsuit as "frivolous."[5] In February 2018, a West Virginia judge stated that he plans to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Murray as unfounded.[7]

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo[edit]

On March 18, 2018, Oliver announced the publication of a children's book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, which parodies a book that Mike Pence's family wrote about their family rabbit, Marlon Bundo. Oliver used his book as a platform to criticize Pence's positions on LGBT issues, as it featured a rabbit in a same-sex relationship.[8] The book became the number-one book and e-book on Amazon the next day, and the top-selling audiobook on Audible.[9][10]


  3. John Oliver Slams Trump's Budget, Lightens Mood with Dancing Zebras (March 20, 2017). Retrieved on June 19, 2018.
  4. LastWeekTonight October 19, 2014. Real Animals, Fake Paws Footage: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Suneson, Grant June 22, 2017. "John Oliver Is In Legal Trouble For His Rant About A Coal CEO", Newsy 
  6. Oliver, John (host) June 18, 2017. Coal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved on June 23, 2017.
  7. "Coal tycoon's defamation lawsuit against John Oliver dismissed by judge", The Independent (February 24, 2018). Retrieved on February 26, 2018. 
  8. Stern, Marlow March 19, 2018. "John Oliver Trolls Vice President Mike Pence With Gay Children's Book of His Pet Bunny", Daily Beast 
  9. Nelson, Louis March 19, 2018. "Comey's memoir tops Amazon's best-sellers list", Politico 
  10. Busis, Hillary March 20, 2018. John Oliver's Gay-Bunny Book Is Outselling the Mike Pence Book It's Trolling. Retrieved on June 19, 2018.