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I loved the bit in last night's episode. But I'm not sure I'd say what John Oliver did that led up to this would be considered a "prank" on Russell Crowe. Crowe was selling memorabilia in an auction, LWT bought it and donated it to one of the last operating Blockbuster stores. Doesn't seem like a prank to me. Just something silly like giving the massive train set to Scranton, PA.
It's probably just me but stunts/pranks like this are my least favorite part of the show.

(All those bits about TV anchors aren't that great either. :))
 

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The season premiere was a bit lackluster. At least for me since there was very little new information. I actually watch these type of shows to try and get exposure to topics that I don't know too much about. There's been so much written about Brexit that I feel there's very little material left for an episode.
 

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I'm glad he does different topics. The current US/Trump topics have been talked to death on any number of talk shows (TDS, Sam Bee, Real Time, Colbert, etc). And really the jokes are all starting to sound the same. As an American, I really didn't understand all the implications of Brexit and J.O did a great job of explaining how damaging this could be to the world economy.
Maybe it's because I read a ton of magazines and listen to a bunch of podcasts but I feel that both Trump and Brexit have been covered to death. I know about the problems with the "backstop". I've heard the dire predictions about the miles-long traffic jams and medicine shortages. Personally I'm skeptical that the worst-case scenario will come to pass. People and companies will figure out a way to muddle through if a hard Brexit does occur.
 

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Interesting that Oliver is in the "it's no big deal" camp when it comes to automation. Given the advances in AI, automation is moving up the value chain so I'm not so sure the ATM example is that applicable.
 

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Although his overall point (which he didn't make very well) is pretty good...people have been complaining about technology killing jobs for centuries, but there have always still been jobs... the problem is, the old jobs are replaced by new ones, and the people who lose the old jobs don't tend to be well suited for the new ones.

So it's not a jobs apocalypse; it's jobs evolution. It just feels like an apocalypse to the people who are suddenly unemployed (which, of course, is understandable). And that's the dynamic that some people, especially politicians who feel obliged to make simple, easy-to-understand promises to win votes, don't seem able to grasp. Which Oliver kept dancing around but never really hit on the head...
While it's true that past fears about technology replacing humans haven't panned out, it'll be interesting to see if this time will be different. Will advances in AI finally get to the point where it'll be able to do many of the white collar jobs that exist today? Or will more advanced AI simply augment an employee so they can be more productive?
 

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I don't buy that this is a comedy show. It's a news show disguised as a comedy show. It goes deeper into its stories than just about any other show on American television.
Yeah, if it was a just a comedy show, I would have stopped watching awhile ago.

Though TBH, I've been liking Patriot Act more recently. The dives are just as deep and I find Minhaj's (or at least his writing staff) comedy funnier.
 

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I've heard the same about the UFC. All of the riches go to a few fighters and everyone else fights for scraps.

But I'm still kinda meh about this week's topic and the season so far in general. I guess when you have that many episodes in the can, the well can start to run dry.
 

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Doesn't UFC consider it's fights legit? I think that's the difference in some respects. WWE fighters are essentially actors who are treated badly. A UFC fighter (assuming it IS on the up and up) has to understand that getting in the ring has risks. Boxing is the same way. Only champs and crowd pleasers make any money.
I assume UFC is legit in terms of the actual fights (the match-ups are another matter).

I also assume the risks are higher in the UFC since those are actual hits. So I'm thinking the risk/reward ratio is even worse. Though I suppose those outrageous stunts can also be very risky since there are few precautions.
 

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I used to think of LWT as borderline investigative journalism and not merely late nite schtick commentary. (Frontline meets The Daily Show)

Now I don't know what to think. It's not been rubbing me the right way this season either.
Another meh episode. There wasn't anything that hasn't been covered to death in other shows or news reports.

I'm really beginning to think that with so many comedy/news shows out there, the well is running dry.

(Either that or I've just been keeping too up to date on the news.)
 

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Yeah, it's been a weak season so far. Though I must admit the ending bit from last night was pretty funny.

For long-form comedy news shows, I think Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act has been much stronger this year. I look forward to new episodes of that more than LWT these days.
 

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I think there's a lot of learning going on with these talk shows. The hosts have never had to do this themselves and many didn't have decent equipment. The first night Seth Meyers did a YT show, he was in a hallway and was very echo-ey. A couple nights later, he mentioned he'd gotten a new microphone and had moved to a different room and it sounded much better. At least he didn't have kids laughing all through the whole thing like Fallon.
I'm just surprised they didn't do more testing before going live. I mean, these are multi-million dollar shows after all. I've only seen a few shows though, TBH. I guess I didn't realize how annoying bad AV issues could be. Maybe I'll give them another week to shake out the bugs.
 

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Watched Colbert last night and the AV was quite good. In fact, if you did tell me, I wouldn't have known the Pelosi interview was done during the SaH period.

(Though the Alicia Keys interview wasn't nearly as good. I guess Keys didn't have the necessary equipment.)
 
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