The Best Episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2019

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is an American late-night talk and news satire television program. L.W.T draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations, pop culture and often aspects of the show itself.

Episode 32

#1 - Episode 32

Season 2 - Episode 8

There are very few government checks on what America’s sweeping surveillance programs are capable of doing. John Oliver sits down with Edward Snowden to discuss the NSA, the balance between privacy and security, and dick-pics.

star 8.66
612 votes
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Episode 5

#2 - Episode 5

Season 1 - Episode 5

John talks about the rise of the far-right political parties in Europe, the Ukrainian election, Afghanistan, Net Neutrality, Australia's hard-line right-wing Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

star 8.52
361 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 26

#3 - Episode 26

Season 2 - Episode 2

Thanks to tobacco industry regulations and marketing restrictions in the US, smoking rates have dropped dramatically. John Oliver explains how tobacco companies are keeping their business strong overseas. We've noticed that the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue still exists but can’t quite figure out why.

star 8.48
373 votes
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Episode 18

#4 - Episode 18

Season 1 - Episode 18

The Miss America Pageant… how is this still a thing? They claim to give more scholarships to women than any other organization, and, unfortunately, they’re right. To illustrate these problems, John Oliver stages his own pageant with the help of Kathy Griffin.

star 8.48
387 votes
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Episode 6

#5 - Episode 6

Season 1 - Episode 6

John talks about California Chrome and the Belmont Stakes, FIFA and the 2014 World Cup, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

star 8.44
429 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 24

#6 - Episode 24

Season 1 - Episode 24

The Lottery: State lotteries claim to be good for education and the general wellbeing of citizens. But are they? (Spoiler alert: No.) Salmon Canon: There is a cannon that shoots salmon over dams. It’s awesome. Check it out.

star 8.44
398 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers:
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Episode 20

#7 - Episode 20

Season 1 - Episode 20

Did you know police can just take your stuff if they suspect it's involved in a crime? They can! It’s a shady process called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it would make for a weird episode of Law and Order.

star 8.44
395 votes
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Episode 21

#8 - Episode 21

Season 1 - Episode 21

Translators who have aided the U.S. Military in Afghanistan and Iraq are in great danger in their home countries, but red tape is making it impossible for many of them to leave. John Oliver interviews Mohammad, one translator who made it out. Cameras aren’t allowed in the Supreme Court, so most coverage of our most important cases looks like garbage. We fixed that problem with real animals and fake paws.

star 8.42
410 votes
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Episode 7

#9 - Episode 7

Season 1 - Episode 7

John talks about US Immigration and interviews Professor Stephen Hawking.

star 8.41
412 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 16

#10 - Episode 16

Season 1 - Episode 16

John talks about ISIS and student loan debt. Musical group A Great Big World make a special appearance.

star 8.41
383 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 62

#11 - Episode 62

Season 3 - Episode 3

Our main story was about Donald Trump. We can't believe we're saying that either.

star 8.40
830 votes
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Episode 90

#12 - Episode 90

Season 4 - Episode 1

Donald Trump spreads a lot of false information thanks to his daily consumption of morning cable news. If only we could sneak some facts into the president’s media diet.

star 8.40
1,909 votes
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Episode 17

#13 - Episode 17

Season 1 - Episode 17

John talks about the NFL's decision on Ray Rice's contract, the international response to ISIS, Scotland's separation from the United Kingdom and Twitter hashtags that are being misused by corporations.

star 8.39
399 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 41

#14 - Episode 41

Season 2 - Episode 17

The US Senate Torture Report revealed horrifying details of America's interrogation program. Helen Mirren will fill you in.

star 8.38
504 votes
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Episode 48

#15 - Episode 48

Season 2 - Episode 24

Sex education varies widely between school districts, leaving many teens without comprehensive information. We made a video that covers what some schools are too embarrassed to teach.

star 8.37
587 votes
Directors: Jim Hoskinson
Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Mauer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner
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Episode 49

#16 - Episode 49

Season 2 - Episode 25

U.S. tax law allows television preachers to get away with almost anything. We know this from personal experience.

star 8.36
630 votes
Directors: Jim Hoskinson
Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer), John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner
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Episode 12

#17 - Episode 12

Season 1 - Episode 12

John talks about human rights violations in the Middle East, nuclear disarmament and Russia's science satellite that lost communication.

star 8.35
337 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 15

#18 - Episode 15

Season 1 - Episode 15

John talks about the conflict in Ferguson, MO and the wage gap between the genders.

star 8.35
369 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 8

#19 - Episode 8

Season 1 - Episode 8

John talks about Iraq, Antarctica tourism and Dr. Oz's "Miracle Drug".

star 8.34
409 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 89

#20 - Episode 89

Season 3 - Episode 30

Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. How did we get to this point? And what do we do now?

star 8.28
1,581 votes
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Episode 10

#21 - Episode 10

Season 1 - Episode 10

John talks about modern American income inequality, Warren G. Harding's love letters and President Obama's "Day In The Life" tour.

star 8.26
381 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 3

#22 - Episode 3

Season 1 - Episode 3

John talks about Eurovision, Ukraine and Russia's relations and interviews Bill Nye about Climate Change.

star 8.26
476 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 11

#23 - Episode 11

Season 1 - Episode 11

John talks about the Gaza crisis, the decay of American prisons and the gambling addiction problem in Singapore.

star 8.25
389 votes
Directors: Joe Perota
Writers: John Oliver, Juli Weiner, Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeffrey Scott, Scott Sherman, Will Tracey, Jill Twiss
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Episode 39

#24 - Episode 39

Season 2 - Episode 15

After the arrests of numerous top officials, John Oliver decided to give an update on the state of FIFA.

star 8.24
480 votes
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Episode 73

#25 - Episode 73

Season 3 - Episode 14

John Oliver Takes On Debt Buyers: Companies that purchase debt on the cheap will aggressively collect on it. 'Last Week Tonight’ took a hands-on approach to addressing this issue.

star 8.24
1,020 votes
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