NEW YORK — HBO replaced its popular late night talk-show “Last Week Tonight” with “A Week Tonight” following a deterioration of host John Oliver’s ability to grasp the concept of time while in quarantine, sources reported Thursday, or possibly Friday, nobody can confirm.
“Early in quarantine, John would be late to online meetings or ask what day of the week it was. But around June, the whole writers room could tell he was really slipping,” said executive producer Tim Carvell. “He started asking when Jon Stewart was going to return from filming ‘Rosewater,’ like he was still subbing on ‘The Daily Show.’ But that was seven years ago.”
While the content of the temporally stranded British comedian’s show has seen a shift towards the incomprehensible, its format has remained largely unchanged.
“Welcome, welcome, welcome to ‘Last Week Tonight.’ I’m your host, John Oliver. Thank you so much for joining us in this blank white void, which I have been trapped in for approximately… three years, eight months, and 21 days,” said Oliver, scratching his 995th tally mark into the canvas backdrop behind him with the sharpened end of a wooden spoon. “Let’s jump straight into our main story this week: the ongoing religious violence sweeping across Europe in the wake of Prague’s 3rd defenestration since 1419, barely 200 years ago. To commemorate that, this episode’s big fun ending thing is, I will jump out a window. Who said that? What year is it?”
However, an HBO spokesperson noted Oliver’s ratings have remained steady since the mental breakdown/format retooling.
“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: HBO does not give two fucks what John Oliver does, as long as his show keeps raking in truckloads of Emmys. He could spend 28 minutes defending the photorealistic ‘Lion King’ remake, and Democratic Twitter would elevate that sack of shit to cult classic status. So what if he wants to rage against Maximilien Robespierre or recap the 1875 Whiskey Ring Scandal as if it just happened yesterday or whatever?”
Tentative plans for a new show in which Oliver recounts future events, titled “Next Week Tonight,” have stalled after Oliver was found nearly drowned in a DIY precognition bath of cow’s milk and cornstarch.