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The Entire First Season of 'Last Week Tonight' Is Now Streaming For Free On YouTube

By Andrew Sanford | TV | April 29, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | April 29, 2024 |


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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has been on the air since 2014. For ten years, the comedy news show has made its mark. It has won 28 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and a host of other awards. They have spent copious amounts of money purchasing rat erotica, blowing up large set pieces, and buying a motor home in an attempt to convince a corrupt Supreme Court Justice to step down. Last Week Tonight’s legacy is wide and extends beyond the network on which it appears.

After airing on Sunday nights, the show’s main segment is posted to YouTube. This has been happening for the entire run of the show. It allows the series to gain a reach beyond people who are shelling out seventeen dollars a month for HBO, HBO GO, MAX, and whatever dumb thing David Zaslav decides to call it next. This year, that changed. Oliver revealed that MAX would be putting clips of the show on YouTube on Thursdays instead of early Monday.

The move reeks of “we need more people subscribing to watch the show.” It is a short-sighted move that will keep Last Week Tonight out of the conversation instead of drawing in more eyes. News shows need immediacy. Last Week Tonight is lucky it tackles topics with some longevity, but sometimes it focuses on current stories. Releasing segments later in the week throttles its chances to dominate newsfeeds upon release.

Now, Last Week Tonight is taking a new route on YouTube. Instead of releasing a new episode last night, the Last Week Tonight crew released all of their first season on the home of ASMR and hot takes. Oliver took to Twitter to promise that every time there isn’t a new episode, they will release a season of the show instead. This will include seasons 2-8, as the others are available on MAX.

This move only helps the show. While some of the stories from the first reason aren’t super relevant, plenty are. Season one included a segment about net neutrality, something that the FCC just restored. This also feels very anti-Zaslav. Oliver’s business daddy has made a business model out of not releasing content, and removing others. Taking Last Week Tonight and uploading it for free will likely make Zaslav remove one of his several pairs of sunglasses in disbelief.