John Oliver has a fiendish plan to get around Britain's censorship of his satirical use of Parliament footage
Last week's Last Week Tonight had a segment about the speaker of Britain's House of Commons delivering put-downs, but nobody in Britain saw it, John Oliver said on Sunday's show. "And not for the normal reasons of disinterest, ignorance about this show's existence, or longstanding aversion to my name and face." At the designated spot in the U.K., he said, the show "just cut to black — like I'd just been murdered on The Sopranos. And the reason for that is, in the U.K., it is, unbelievably, against the law to use footage from the House of Commons for the purpose of comedy. It's true!"
"This law is patently offensive," Oliver said. "Britain is supposed to be one of the world's great free societies. We came up with the Magna Carta, and we allow a product called 'Daddies Brown Sauce' to be sold, regardless of how disturbing that sounds. That's freedom right there! And this anti-satire law isn't just hypocritical, it is a legitimate burden because it's genuinely hard to use parliamentary footage for purposes that are not comedy. Parliament is inherently ridiculous." He showed some examples.
"The fact that we are using parliamentary footage in making fun of this means that this part of the show is now going to be blacked out in the U.K. tomorrow as well, which is genuinely insane and frankly antidemocratic," Oliver said. So to punish Britain — or Oliver's fans in Britain? — Last Week Tonight will replace this part of the show in the U.K. with five minutes of footage of Gilbert Gottfried reading three-star Yelp reviews of restaurants in Boise, Idaho. You can get a mercifully short taste of that below. Peter Weber