HBO Lets You Watch ‘Last Week Tonight’ Debut For Free On YouTubeBy: Chris Crum - April 28, 2014
HBO debuted Last Week Tonight, the new show featuring comedian John Oliver (formerly of The Daily Show).
They’ve disabled embedding, so you’ll have to go to the actual video page to watch, but here it is.
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) April 28, 2014
The show doesn’t appear to stray too far from the Daily Show format, except that it’s weekly rather than daily, and John Oliver takes on the Jon Stewart role as opposed to the correspondent role he had on the Comedy Central show (though the interview he does is pretty reminiscent of those he did on that show). It should fit well with HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, in HBO’s news commentary line-up, though it appears on Sundays, while Real Time is on Fridays.
So what to people think about it? Here are a few samples from the YouTube (or Google+) comments.
Ralf Haring says, “It’s obviously heavily influenced by the Daily Show, though it didn’t really feel like he was picking through Stewart’s and Colbert’s leftovers with some segments focusing on the Indian election. I expect in the future he’ll be less nervous – the bits proceeded at a breakneck pace – and that it’ll evolve further in its own direction.”
“I liked it,” added Alok Tiwari. “And I like the breakneck pace as well. Some Americans seem to be put off by the unbleeped cursing, though. (They really mustn’t watch any TV shows from UK.)”
“If The Daily Show and The Bugle podcast had a baby, this would be it,” said Eric N. Wilson. “And afterwards there would be several “oh, this is awkward” moments when they were in the same room, since mommy and daddy can’t even agree on whether cricket is a sport or a cellphone.”
Here’s the Twitter conversation:
Obviously you still have to be an HBO subscriber to watch the show regularly, and they still don’t offer a standalone HBO Go experience. You still have to have cable or satellite.
HBO does appear to be loosening its grip on its content just a little bit though. Last week, Amazon announced that it gets to stream some of its older content.
It’s unclear how long HBO will leave the show available on YouTube, or whether there’s even a limit, but if you want to check it out, you’ll probably be better off doing so sooner rather than later.
In addition to the entire episode, the show’s YouTube channel has a few shorter clips, including Oliver’s interview with General Keith Alexander, former head of the NSA.
Image via YouTube