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John Oliver Takes Aim at Oregon, Racists, and the Buffalo Bills in His Outstanding First Episode of HBO's 'Last Week Tonight'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 28, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 28, 2014 |

John Oliver’s new weekly Sunday night talk show debuted last night, and I know that some of you were probably broken after Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and perhaps Silicon Valley, Veep and The Good Wife, so you may not have been able to catch it. I’ll say this about Oliver’s debut: It was not groundbreaking in any way, and not entirely different from an Oliver hosted episode of The Daily Show, but it was good.

First off, he got to take a crack at racist Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling before Jon Stewart and the rest of the late-night hosts, after news broke on Friday that Sterling had been caught on audio tape telling his girlfriend not to pose in Instragram pictures with black people. Oliver even brought in Cliven Bundy to amp up the racist quotient.

In his Worst Workplace of the Week segment, Oliver took aim at the Buffalo Bills for their deplorable treatment of their cheerleaders, who get paid about $5 per game (as opposed to the mascot who received $25,000 a year).

But my favorite segment may have been Oliver’s lampooning of the hipster spirit of Oregon, bringing in Lisa Loeb to drive home the point with a song that includes the lyrics, “You stupid Oregon idiots.”

It’s good to see Loeb again.

Update: HBO has put the entire first episode online.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.