“We missed so much [during the last five months] that it would take a whole new version of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire to cover it,” said John Oliver as he returned to the Last Week Tonight desk.
Oliver has been dark since the beginning of May when the Writers Guild of America (WGA). He opened his HBO show by covering the last five months of stories.
He covered Senator John Kennedy’s cringe-worthy reading from All Boys Aren’t Blue during a book-banning Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (see below), Lauren Boebert’s inappropriate over-the-clothes romp during the touring production of Beetlejuice and his own Reddit drama, where users shared weird photos of Oliver, including one of him as John Wick, as a result of changes to the platform’s rules.
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While the main crux of the show featured the problem with health care in prisons, including a gag involving old people having sex and The Golden Bachelor, he spent a big chunk of time talking about the writers strike.
“I’d have loved to have covered all of these stories back when they originally happened. I wished so much that I could have told you these jokes at the time but I couldn’t because our writers, the people who wrote those jokes were forced to strike for a fair contract for the last five months. It was an immensely difficult time, not just for them, but for everyone else working on this show and others who could no longer do their jobs. To be clear, this strike happened for good reason. Our industry has seen its workers severely squeezed in recent years, you might have seen stories about writers and actors, whose work you recognize, routinely not making enough to qualify for health insurance or afford basic needs so the writers guild went on strike and thankfully won,” he said.
He added that it took a lot of “sacrifices” from a lot of people to achieve that.
Oliver took a swipe at the studios – those at the top table included Warner Bros. Discovery, which via HBO airs his show.
“While I’m happy they eventually got a fair deal and immensely proud of what our union accomplished but I’m also furious that it took the studios 148 days to achieve a deal that they could have offered on day, f*cking one,” he added.
But he said that he hopes that the writers deal will encourage other workers to strike for a fair deal.
“Hopefully, this might encourage others from auto workers to Starbucks baristas to healthcare providers, whether they are in unions or would like to be, to find power in each other and within our industry, I hope that SAG-AFTRA and IATSE, which represents crews, will be able to take what the writers achieved and leverage it to win fair contracts too because the truth is it takes many people working really hard to make film and TV, all of whom deserve a piece of the piece. For the actors guild, in particular, they can not come back to work soon enough, especially as we’ve all now seen what happens when non-professionals are trusted with the written word.”
He ended this segment with words from Senator Kennedy during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “I can’t wait to have your c*ck in my mouth. I’m going to give you the bl*wj*b of your life,” Kennedy said as he read from the book.
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