Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

10 Best Episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Season 2

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is a popular half-hour satirical show broadcasted on HBO since 2014. It takes a humorous look at the week's news, politics and current events. After 11 seasons, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has amassed countless episodes, leaving viewers wondering which ones are the best. We've compiled a list of the top-ranked episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, according to viewers. From the Emmy-winning monologue on the greed of pharmaceutical companies to the hilarious segment on the FCC's net neutrality repeal, these are the best episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver rated by viewers.

Written by Sophie and last updated on jun 24, 2024.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E7

#15 - Municipal Violations (Season 2 - Episode 7)

If you have money, committing a municipal violation may pose you a minor inconvenience. If you don’t, it can ruin your life. Also, the New Hampshire legislature refused to make the red-tailed hawk the official raptor of their state... so Last Week Tonight made it the official raptor of the show.

The episode was rated 8.06 from 465 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E10

#14 - Patents (Season 2 - Episode 10)

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For inventors, patents are an essential protection against theft. But when patent trolls abuse the system by stockpiling patents and threatening lawsuits, businesses are forced to shell out tons of money. Also, CNN produced an actual doomsday video to broadcast when the world is ending and it’s incredibly dull. We've enlisted Martin Sheen to help make humanity’s final moments happier!

The episode was rated 8.06 from 507 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E14

#13 - Chickens (Season 2 - Episode 14)

John Oliver explains how chicken farming can be unfair, punishing, and inhumane. And not just for the chickens!

The episode was rated 8.08 from 404 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E35

#12 - Refugees & Pennies (Season 2 - Episode 35)

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John reflects on the aftermath of Paris attacks and how it affects refugees worldwide. Plus, he questions the usefulness of the U.S. penny, since minting the coins costs more than they're actually worth.

The episode was rated 8.09 from 602 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E1

#11 - Marketing to Doctors (Season 2 - Episode 1)

John Oliver discusses the growing issues of pharmaceutical companies marketing directly to and through doctors. Also, since RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy, John has created a farewell message for them. Plus, the online sessions by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa to address the public aren't going too well.

The episode was rated 8.10 from 364 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E4

#10 - Infrastructure (Season 2 - Episode 4)

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America's crumbling infrastructure: It's not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one.

The episode was rated 8.11 from 391 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E21

#9 - Food Waste (Season 2 - Episode 21)

Producers, sellers, and consumers waste tons of food. John Oliver discusses the shocking amount of food we don’t eat.

The episode was rated 8.13 from 546 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E5

#8 - U.S. Territories (Season 2 - Episode 5)

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A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right? Plus, daylight saving time doesn’t actually benefit anyone. Strangely, it’s still a thing!

The episode was rated 8.16 from 452 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E16

#7 - Bail (Season 2 - Episode 16)

John Oliver explains why America’s bail system is better for the reality TV industry than it is for the justice system.

The episode was rated 8.18 from 468 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E15

#6 - FIFA II (Season 2 - Episode 15)

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After the arrests of numerous top officials, John Oliver decided to give an update on the state of FIFA. Also, Thailand's ignorance about the world's history involving Hitler might require some re-education.

The episode was rated 8.25 from 456 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E24

#5 - Sex Education (Season 2 - Episode 24)

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight episode on sex education was an eye-opening and hilarious exploration of the state of sex education in the country today. In this episode, Oliver showcased clips from actual sex education videos, which were funnier than anything one could make up. He also pointed out the glaring inequalities in the way sex education is taught in the various school districts. To top it off, the celebrity sex-ed montage at the end, featuring some old favorites from Parks and Rec and 30 Rock, was a delight for fans of those shows. This episode was enjoyable, informative, and the best Last Week Tonight has ever produced.

The episode was rated 8.37 from 569 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E25

#4 - Church (Season 2 - Episode 25)

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In this episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the focus is on predatory churches and televangelists, and how the U.S. tax law allows them to get away with almost anything. Oliver discusses how these institutions are taking advantage of people's faith for abhorrent monetary gain, and he even goes as far as founding a "church" as an exercise in exposing how ridiculous this whole scheme is.

However, as one of the comments notes, this episode lacked the usual laughs, learning, and path to improvement that Oliver is known for. Though it is difficult to come up with a concrete step to be taken to try to improve the situation due to the First Amendment, this episode could have had a more constructive approach. Nonetheless, it is still a good reminder of how important it is to be aware of the underhanded tactics of some institutions.

The episode was rated 8.39 from 594 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E17

#3 - Torture (Season 2 - Episode 17)

On the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the show examined the US Senate Torture Report that revealed details of America's interrogation program. To help explain the report, the show featured a segment with Helen Mirren. In addition to that, the episode also covered the 2015 European Games and the Canadian Senate expenses scandal.

As usual, John Oliver delivered with his signature wit and humor. Each week, viewers are delighted by the show's ability to tackle serious topics in an entertaining way. With the ongoing coverage of current events, it seems that Last Week Tonight has found a formula for success.

The episode was rated 8.40 from 477 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E2

#2 - Tobacco (Season 2 - Episode 2)

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On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, John Oliver discussed the tobacco industry and how it is still thriving despite regulations and marketing restrictions in the U.S. He explained how tobacco companies are still earning profits through doing business overseas, specifically citing Phillip Morris International's use of unethical legal practices while suing some of the world's poorest countries. Moreover, Oliver wondered why the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue still exists when it is no longer a popular form of marketing.

The segment highlighted the damaging effects of the tobacco industry, and how it continues to harm people in some of the world's most disadvantaged countries. Through his comedic approach, John Oliver was able to draw attention to this issue and the need to increase awareness of the unethical practices employed by the tobacco industry. He was also able to emphasize the importance of regulations and marketing restrictions in the U.S. to reduce the prevalence of smoking.

The episode was rated 8.51 from 357 votes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - S2E8

#1 - Government Surveillance (Season 2 - Episode 8)

On the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the show focused on the issue of government surveillance. John Oliver sat down with Edward Snowden to discuss the National Security Agency (NSA) and the balance between privacy and security. While the show often provides a humorous take on current events, this episode was no exception. The show discussed the importance of government checks on surveillance programs and how the lack of these checks can be concerning.

Unfortunately, the show took a misstep when they asked Edward Snowden about his views on dick pics. Snowden seemed taken aback by the question and it fell flat, as it was neither educational nor entertaining. It was clear that he was not prepared for this type of humor and the segment should have gone in a different direction. Despite this misstep, Last Week Tonight provided an insightful and humorous look into the issues surrounding government surveillance.

The episode was rated 8.69 from 573 votes.

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