Jimmy Fallon has musical numbers. Jimmy Kimmel has pranks. And now, HBO’s John Oliver has found his own niche: Perfecting the art of the viral rant.
The former “Daily Show” correspondent took a gamble when he launched his own late-night show this spring, but his rants about various topics — climate change, General Motors, net neutrality — every Sunday have kept him relevant in a crowded field. The 10 to 13 minute videos have taken off across the Internet every Monday morning, the day after “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” airs.
It’s actually a great strategy — if you can be really funny talking about a divisive topic and release the videos on Monday morning when people are procrastinating at work, people will no doubt click to see what the fuss is about. The clips have worked out so far, racking up millions of views and spreading the word about Oliver’s Sunday night show.
Now, the pressure’s on to see what he can come up with next week — here are his most popular videos so far (most NSFW, language-wise):
FIFA/World Cup. Oliver called the athletic organization “comically grotesque,” and explained that FIFA’s the kind of thing where you only explain how it works just to see the horrified expression on people’s faces.
Net neutrality: “The only two words that promise more boredom in English language is ‘featuring Sting.'” (Oliver’s rant may have actually broken the FCC Web site.)
Climate change: Oliver poked fun at the very idea of debating climate change, and noted on news channel debates, “It’s Bill Nye the Science Guy versus Some Dude.”
General Motors. Oliver went after the company, which waited way too long to share information that their cars had deadly and terrifying flaws. The comedian noted it’s a bad day if your defense is, “Our product only killed 13 people.”