Two-in-a-row for great episodes of Last Week Tonight! The opening news rundown was pretty straightforward, but Oliver & Co. looking at how Trump's latest tweetstorm overshadowed the bigger issues with his travel ban was a nice (and amusingly-delivered) bit of perspective. And the interstitial segment with the CBS2 weatherman's self-deprecation was a nice slice of local weirdness the show presents nicely in those segments.
But the real gold was in the main story, where Oliver & Co. offered a segment on local news, and how much of it is being consolidate and its content directed by a media conglomerate that leans hard right. It's the kind of segment I love from LWT -- one that examines a little-considered or lesser-known issue and explores how it could have a big impact. The thesis of the piece -- that local news outlets are better trusted and considered less biased than their national counterparts, and that makes such heavy-handed messaging from a parent company all the more corrosive -- proved a nice spine for the segment. Details like the "must run" segments and thinly-credentialed political commentators showed the dangers of what many LWT viewers probably consider a trifling part of the news media. On top of that, throwing in silly digs at Art Garfunkle and a great little sum-up segment with The Sopranos's Bobby Bacala kept a serious segment light.
The icing on the cake, though, was the final segment featuring the show's recently purchased wax replica of Warren G. Harding. The pitch-perfect recreation of an Oscar bait historical biopic was brilliant, and the stars they were able to get for it were all pretty impressive. They perfectly mixed the rhythms of those films with the absurdity of a central figure who could not emote, move, or do anything but stare blankly. A great example of absurd comedy.
All-in-all, a tremendous episode.