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S01.E03: Bill Nye

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John talks about Eurovision, Ukraine and Russia's relations, and interviews Bill Nye about climate change.

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"She'll rip off Kentucky's head and shit down it's neck".

 

"I'm gonna use my Glock.... to blow your balls off!"


Yep. That dick pic is gonna stick with me forever I think.  Damn you John Oliver! 

Snort.

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OMG, I can't believe I saw national coverage of Eurovision.

 

Loved the "Don't dress as other cultures" segment. That made a great argument while being hillarious.

 

In my nitpicky disagreeing with John of the week, I was a little annoyed at the segment about the McConnell/Grimes campaign ads. Yeah, the Buzzfeed-style listicle is inane, but a lot of campaigns are working hard to imitate Buzzfeed in different ways. I guess I just think its a better joke to go after the idea of copying these viral pieces or do a segment on how bad Republicans are at this kind of thing instead of making it about how silly this campaign season is.

 

And it felt like a bad equivalency to compare "War on Coal" with "McConnell is burning down the house" even just in terms of overdramatic imagery.

 

I think LWT just beat Game of Thrones in the full-frontal male nudity department.

Edited by Wax Lion

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I can't unsee that, can I?   The fake McConnell ad, I mean.  That was very disturbing.

 

Seriously.  If I'd seen that as a virgin, all those many years ago, I'd likely still be ....okay, well maybe not...but I'd have been a virgin for longer, that's for damned sure.  God, we were screaming like passengers on the world's worst roller coaster over here, but also laughing until we cried, "Oh god NooooOOOOoOoooo! Make it SttooOOOPPP! Oh god, there it is aaaaagain!"  and holding up a hand to try and block out the TV screen.  

 

Really regretting that choice to just go for the 55inch screen, by the way.  Like...a LOT.  Bigger than life size, in HD  I'm scarred, I tell you.  Scarred.  

 

Funnier than hell, but in a scarring way.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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. Really regretting that choice to just go for the 55inch screen, by the way.  Like...a LOT.  Bigger than life size, in HD  I'm scarred, I tell you. 

And yet still too small! (That was kind of the point, wasn't it? That the politician was a dickless wonder, I mean...)

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No, I can't unsee the dick pick, but I did love the global warming "debate" illustration.  Of course, the news shows aren't going to change how they do the story, but it's good to know that John understands.

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The dick pick didn't bother me one way or the other.  Hey, we're all born naked.  What I liked was that HBO and John Oliver went there.  At least we didn't have to see an old vagina, too.  I'm gratified they opted to just go with blood spatter and gore.

 

What I'm really enjoying about the "spin" on LWT is the European/International emphasis.  First of all, Oliver is European so it makes sense from a host POV.  It's also something TDS and TCR both lack for proportion of airtime.

 

Now, we need him to take his interviews more seriously than his sister shows and he will have found two solid niches that they are lacking.

 

However, there is still something missing for me.  Oliver is still trying to hard.  His timing is off.  Of course, YMMV.

Edited by Captanne

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I can't unsee that, can I?   The fake McConnell ad, I mean.  That was very disturbing.

 

To me, the most disturbing thing about the segment's reliance on dick jokes for humor is that it is beneath the show to do that. John Oliver is clever. The first two shows demonstrated that he can put together an original comedy-news half-hour that holds its own, and even does some things better than others are doing. Just because HBO allows gigantic pictures of old saggy dicks that doesn't mean that Last Week Tonight has to resort to them to get a laugh. It's as if John Oliver fears that unless he exploits the full limits of HBO he won't be able to differentiate his show. A basic lack of faith in his own talents is the reason for that fear. Color me disappointed.

 

Perhaps I'm more sensitized to this because of the unfortunate experience of recently seeing Neighbors, which also relies on dick jokes far too much. It's cheap, it debases the audience and the culture, and it's so patently the last resort of those who are desperate to be funny and can't think of a cleverer way to do it.

Edited by Milburn Stone

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However, there is still something missing for me.  Oliver is still trying to hard.  His timing is off.  Of course, YMMV.

YMMV indeed, because I've been pleasantly surprised by his timing (assumed it would be a little more awkward--and it was in Ep 1--but have thought it was right after seeing the last 2 episodes).

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Milburn Stone, your lament is well taken.  And, I am usually dismayed by obvious, easy, childish humour.

 

However, I think I was amused by the dick joke because it was integral of the point the show was making -- which was that HBO affords them the opportunity to show things ordinary, network television doesn't.  Iow, "Your ads are so meaningless and hyperbolic that you would go down this road if you could but you can't; we'll do it for you."

 

So, one ad had full frontal nudity and the other had splatter gore.  I think it could have gone either way in making their point and that they chose the better of two ways of doing it -- to wit:  It's more clever to use the ffn for the male and the gore for the female than ffn for the female because that doesn't really have the same shock effect.  Full frontal female nudity isn't all that shocking.  Full frontal male nudity will make headlines.

 

(Because why?  I have no idea.  I just know that men get their knickers all in a twist if someone sees a penis.  God knows we see titties all over the place.)

 

ETA:  Kromm, yeah, sorry but his timing is way off for me.  He was so, so good on TDS while Stewart was off filming.  Oliver is almost reminding me of Maher during his HBO standup routine on his show.  Wow, maybe it's an HBO-thing?

Edited by Captanne
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To me, the most disturbing thing about the segment's reliance on dick jokes for humor is that it is beneath the show to do that. John Oliver is clever. The first two shows demonstrated that he can put together an original comedy-news half-hour that holds its own, and even does some things better than others are doing. Just because HBO allows gigantic pictures of old saggy dicks that doesn't mean that Last Week Tonight has to resort to them to get a laugh. It's as if John Oliver fears that unless he exploits the full limits of HBO he won't be able to differentiate his show. A basic lack of faith in his own talents is the reason for that fear. Color me disappointed.

 

Perhaps I'm more sensitized to this because of the unfortunate experience of recently seeing Neighbors, which also relies on dick jokes far too much. It's cheap, it debases the audience and the culture, and it's so patently the last resort of those who are desperate to be funny and can't think of a cleverer way to do it.

I totally don't see it this way.  Why?  Because while we laughingly are referring to "Dick Pics" and giggling about dick jokes, that's just human nature.  The point of the joke though wasn't the same as a classic dick joke, because it was MOCKING those--in fact going a bit further than they usually do by making it extra ugly, and showing it as many times as possible, to drive that home.

 

I know the phrase "dick joke with a point" may not be one most of us ever expected to see in a serious discussion, but I think that's what we got here.  A classic dick joke is it's own point, it's own punchline.  That's not really the case here, IMO.  Firstly, it was mocking people's double standards.  Would we be having even near the same discussion if there'd been a Tit shot?  Possibly there'd be some "spare the children" hue and cry, but it would be minor in comparison.  And remember (Oliver certainly did) that the US is even still in many ways a very Puritanical country (and again with a double standard).  I can recall far more public outrage when shows have a sex scene where you see a naked male ass pointed in the air than when you see breasts or female asses pointed in the air--which if you think about it is kinda... bullshit.

 

Secondly, why is the characterization of a politician being a small dicked weasel WORSE, more crass I mean, than the other half of the segment where one was shown as a chainsaw wielding maniac?   If the objection is to Oliver using low humor to make a serious point about American campaign attack ads (have you seen them first-hand?  It's not clear to me if you are US based or not...), then the two should be equally objectionable.  They both did pretty much the same thing, only one used a penis instead of a chainsaw.

Edited by Kromm
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Kromm, we are definitely watching the same clever writers.  I took the same opinion away from the attack ad bit that you did.  I think the only difference is that I'm off kilter by the timing he's using for his punchlines in the monologues.

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Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin not only doesn’t believe in climate change — she doesn’t believe Bill Nye the Science Guy is a real scientist.

 

“Bill Nye is as much as scientist as I am,” Palin said at an event in Washington, D.C., according to The Hill. “He’s a kids’ show actor; he’s not a scientist.”

 

She specifically targeted Nye for his claims that climate change was man-made, stating that scientists who believe that climate change is caused by mankind are trying to shut down human progress and fueling “alarmism.”

 

 

http://www.thewrap.com/sarah-palin-doesnt-think-bill-nye-the-science-guy-is-a-real-scientist/

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