Speed Reads

Mmmmm..... Salmon

John Oliver pelts his A-list TV rivals with a salmon cannon

John Oliver often tries to use his Last Week Tonight platform to highlight serious and underreported stories with a healthy dose of comedy leavening — 60 Minutes for the Daily Show set. But in this clip from Sunday night, Oliver just went for the fun.

The anchor story was funny in its own right — in the Pacific Northwest, they have started using salmon cannons to replace fish ladders as a way for migrating salmon to get up hydroelectric dams to spawn. Oliver has obviously never had fresh Pacific salmon. But he was so jazzed by the story that he had Last Week Tonight build its own salmon cannon. This one is magic: In goes the fish, out comes Jon Stewart's face. And Jimmy Fallon's. And Letterman's. And that's just the beginning. John Oliver obviously has friends in high places — or HBO does — but either way it's an impressive and delightfully slapstick way to end his first season. --Peter Weber