Speaking from a stark, audienceless studio that looks like the place where “movie characters go when they’ve just died,” John Oliver once again dedicated a Last Week Tonight episode to educating his viewers about the coronavirus pandemic. Reiterating the importance of social distancing and “flattening the curve” in America (a hot tip: “Pretend you’re a British parent and everyone else in the world is your child”), Oliver then encouraged something that his fellow late-night hosts have eschewed: Go ahead and tactlessly complain about how much COVID-19 is ruining your lives. Seriously, do it. We’re all thinking it. Maybe it’ll be the catharsis we need.
“I know this disruption to your life is annoying, and it’s okay to be disappointed or even irritated. Because you can’t go out, your favorite events were postponed, or a trip you planned fell through,” Oliver explained. “But you’ve got to get that out of your system. Let’s put 30 seconds on the clock right now, during which everyone can be selfishly angry about things that didn’t want canceled or postponed.” Pissed that you won’t be able to enjoy the transfixing universe of Cirque du Soleil? Didn’t get a refund for your Disney World tickets? Is this writer becoming increasingly hostile about the unlikelihood of a spring trip to Japan? You have 30 seconds, then shut up.
“Take care of yourself, take care of each other, and we will be back in some form sometime in the future,” Oliver concluded. “We also have a real responsibility to one another right now, because the choices we make in the coming days and weeks will conjugate directly to how bad this crisis gets.”