Sunday, 31 May 2015

Can you come over to India, please?

To those of you who think who have never seen or heard about a “John Oliver”,
give me the opportunity to correct you, because most of us, Indians, have definitely come across this video of “Last Week Tonight” talking about Narendra Modi’s visit to US: (Those who get butt hurt easily, please don’t continue with this article, or this video, or LWT)

And if you had never really come across this video of John Oliver before, then my sincere apologies for stereotyping you! My bad!

If you look up John Oliver in Wikipedia, you will see that he is listed as a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, television host, voice actor, political satirist and a media critic! Phew! That’s a lot!

But what if I tell you that there is still one more description about him that is not listed there in wiki, that I and many of his admirers have come to associate him with?


Let me tell you, I have read a few of his interviews, where he has said that he is anything but a journalist, but as someone who follows his work, I know. You are lying there John! You are a freaking journalist! And a kickass one at that! I am like a fan boy of his show “Last Week Tonight” and if this article sounds like an excited 15 year old girl writing about twilight, well, damn you! I wasn’t going for that.

I am probably his biggest fan from the sub continent and I consume almost any 
video of LWT that I could lay my hands on because of the presence of three most binding elements he has going for himself in Last Week Tonight:
1.       Sarcasm
2.       Sarcasm
3.       Sarcasm

And add to it tons of research on a topic, presented with statistical analysis, quotes from the bureaucrats, politicians, public and also media and then followed by a tear down of those quotes in the most hilarious ways with analogies that would make you roll on the floor.

He essentially carries out his own form of journalism, of course duly supported by many people working for the show behind the scenes, with proper research but it is about the way he presents it! He does it in a way in which he almost doesn’t want you to take him or the show seriously, but packs a punch that will make you really take him seriously! Consider this video in fact that he had posted couple of weeks ago on the problems being faced by poultry farmers in the US:

Or those who are inclined towards football, this:

Or those who want to know about ‘Civil Forfeiture’, this:

Yes, most of his videos deal with American issues, but if you are a global citizen with no boundaries to tie down your mind, you may enjoy his show.

Also it’s not just about his 15-20 minute takes, it is even more so about his 3-4 minute takes, where you know he is only fooling around to crack you up, but yet, somewhere, in the beginning or the end in a ‘blink and you miss’ statement, he delivers the punch in them too.

Like this video on Climate change debate:

Or this video on US intervention in middle-east, wrapped thoroughly around Peru!:

Or this down-right hilarious one on Tony Abott!

Or this on UK Labour Party:

There’s just something about john oliver’s content delivery that you know has the perfect blend of humor and seriousness. Sometimes we want to take things easy, see it in a lighter way, and yet are concerned about it, and John Oliver is a true reflection of ourselves in that way.

I only wish he could do a season in India (he’ll probably have shoes thrown at him after one episode) but there are many of us who want to smear things down with some humor. So, John, can you come to India, please? 

PS: You can't miss this video of Stephen Hawking! 

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