It looks like there is a new style of late-night television making its way onto the scene.
John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has begun to incorporate hard-hitting journalistic stories as a regular part of his show. Along with being the comedic, satirical and entertaining host that we have all come to expect from late night shows, the thing that has separated Oliver as of late has been his evident journalistic skills playing a major part of his show.
Oliver claims his show is just like any other late-night show, but it has become evident that he has surpassed the norm by not just making jokes about current events. He and his staff have gone so far as to investigate and provide real-life stories from real-life journalists.
Some of his topics have included the Assad Regime in Syria, the death penalty, the Indian general election, and American political attack ads among others. His most recent investigative journalistic story focused on President Barack Obama’s administrative drone wars.
Many people discredit Oliver and have said he needs to fall in line as one of the other numerous late night hosts. This may be true, except for the fact that Oliver is providing real results and even change.
In his story that criticized the Miss America pageant, the piece was enough to cause outrage and a response from pageant operators. Oliver called out the Miss America pageant when he and his team found out the pageant promised $45 million in scholarship funds to most of the contestants.
After investigation, Oliver and his team found documents that indicated the pageant only gave around $4 million and it was only to the winner, not any other contestants. After letters to the pageant, the Miss America contest changed its reward process and promised to apply these changes in the next pageant.
S,o for most of you who are on the fence about whether this is needed or not, consider this. Oliver is not a late-night host, he’s a journalist. He has applied the same style of investigating and storytelling that journalist use everyday. The only difference is that he’s funny.
If you would like to see someone who is a Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart mix on steroids, Oliver is your guy. If not, I’m sure Letterman is still on.