FRESH AIR: Today we’re starting a series featuring interviews with Emmy nominees. They’ll find out if they’re winners on Monday, September 17. We’re starting with John Oliver, whose satirical news show Last Week Tonight is nominated in nine categories, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Interactive Program. Oliver moved to the U.S. from England in 2006 to become a correspondent on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. Oliver started his HBO show in 2014. He typically starts the show with a comic, trenchant review of the week’s news, and then he takes a deep dive into one news story, a story that you may not have been following, a story you may not have thought was interesting. But through a combination of comedy and journalism, he makes it funny and really informative.
John Oliver jokes that Last Week Tonight does a 22-minute deep dive on news that “no one in their right mind wants to hear about.” The show has covered, among other things, the Italian parliamentary elections and NRA TV, an Internet channel with NRA programming.”We like the idea of not just regurgitating stuff people have already seen,” Oliver says. “The truth is, if you dig deep enough on anything, everything is interesting. So you just have to get to the point of a story where it becomes fascinating.” He describes the style of his long-form, heavily researched segments as “the slowest improv you’ve ever seen.MORE