John Oliver makes me laugh. He informs me on timely issues that I otherwise would not have known about. John Oliver is also a comedian. But how about a journalist?
The concept of late-night entertainment shows acting as journalism and thus becoming people’s news sources is not new—but having only recently caught on to the John Oliver fandom, I can’t help but admire the value in his shows.
I look forward to those moments when I, out of boredom and/or procrastination, visit YouTube and find that the Last Week Tonight channel has uploaded Oliver’s latest rant.
The next 15 minutes or so I spend laughing, learning and just loving how well Oliver combines comedy with content.
And I am not alone. From The Wire to Huffington Post, TIME to BuzzFeed, media outlets everywhere caught on to the viral video. And for 15 minutes, this video is considered about 14 minutes “too long” in the eyes of news organizations. Yet, every week, millions tune in and watch.
It’s news, packaged into a humorous and critical take. If humor is what helps get rather important messages across to audiences, then sure, use humor. Unfortunately, following the same logic, if listicles and clickbait-y headlines help drive traffic to websites, then…use them?
Quality content has been becoming increasingly questionable, even among the most established publications—which makes it even easier to appreciate the way John Oliver, among other late-night entertainers, deliver news.
John Oliver makes me laugh. And me? I’m not complaining.
Monday Morning Critic: Why ‘Last Week Tonight’ is One of the Best Shows on TV (ScreenCrush)
John Oliver, Charming Scold (The New Yorker)