Last Week Tonight: What you didn’t know about Warren G. Harding

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By Anamika Roy 

Once again, John Oliver successfully did what every comedian wishes they could do: he made me wish his show wouldn’t end at 30 minutes.

After taking last week off for the long weekend, our new late night comedian kicked off this week’s “Last Week Tonight” by talking about the world’s perverted uncle: Japan (his words not mine). Did you know Japan has had a pacifistic military policy for the past 60 years? I sure didn’t – my lesson in international policy for the week.

This week’s episode also gave viewers a startling reminder. That funny British guy on TV knows more about U.S. history than us. Remember Warren G. Harding? Didn’t think so. Don’t feel bad though, he was only president for two years and pretty terrible at it. But, it turns out he was a pioneer in a practice we commonly associate with your average sitcom fodder: naming certain parts of your anatomy. His was named Jerry.

But Oliver had more tricks up his sleeve by half-time (sorry, suffering from post-World Cup depression). He addressed one of the most important issues facing our country that politicians and even the news media prefers not to talk about: income inequality. The president and his Democratic colleagues are scared to talk about income inequality for fear of opponents and pundits turning the conversation into one about class warfare or #classwarfare.

Politics aside, Oliver made a point that was hard to disagree with.

“No one is arguing for complete, perfect equality. We’re not going to live in a world where all Baldwins are equally talented.”

Thank god.

But in TV terms, if the wealth gap continues to grow, we may have a “Downton Abbey” situation on our hands. Lord Grantham managing money just sounds like a terrible idea.

Catch the full segment here:

 

“This Week Tonight with John Oliver” is back next Sunday at 11 p.m. on HBO. Keep reading Binge Central for more recaps and content.

 

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