How John Oliver revolutionized modern news media

The popular political commentary show Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11PM on HBO. In the first season of the show, John Oliver’s comedic review of global and national issues garnered four million viewers. By the next season, an additional six hundred thousand more people turned on their televisions every Sunday night. Oliver’s rant on Donald Trump was watched live by six million people and 85.3 million people on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Clearly, Oliver has managed to tap into the new way the average person consumes television news media. But how?

One integral part of his show is his special reports and coverage on topics not covered by mainstream media that have some impact on economy or culture. Whether it’s the succession of the Dalai Lama or the monetization of dialysis treatments, Oliver’s investigative style shares knowledge to a truly emotive effect. The audience of Last Week Tonight yearns to be a part of a group of people genuinely curious about what is happening in the world today. By differentiating himself from news shows on MSNBC, FOX, and CNN, he creates his own modern take on the presentation of the news that attracts a larger viewership and greater positive reviews.

Apart from his intellectual base, Oliver adds in a twist of humor to his own journalistic presentations. His metaphors can devolve into a repetition of the word “moist” on account of how awful Oliver finds that word. He can always manage to explain a country or state with a simple yet hilarious description like “Canada: It’s basically five hockey rinks surrounded by bears.” His jokes can range from misrepresenting the location of North Dakota on a map to massive audience participation in a plead with the FCC for net neutrality in a maelstrom of comments on the website gofccyourself.com. The comedy of Last Week Tonight is more entertaining to the average media consumer, but does not detract from the actual facts and stories of his show.

John Oliver has changed the way that the next generations want to hear the news for good. He has brought together off-the-beaten-path stories that he can make people extremely interested in with his unique brand of comedy and his ability to command an audience. While other hosts across other networks are involved in comedy news, Oliver’s recipe has changed the game like no other.

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