Last Week Tonight with John Oliver keeps getting better and better. This week was mostly devoted to billion dollar tobacco companies.
But first… Oliver opened the show this week by talking about Yemen, whose government has recently collapsed. It’s now facing a power struggle with a rebel group known as the Houthis.
He then moved on to talk about box office hit Fifty Shades of Grey. While countries like Malaysia have completely banned the movie, France rated it so low that even 12-year-olds are allowed to watch the erotic romance film. “That is maybe the Frenchest thing imaginable other than a croissant sitting in a cafe eating a baguette.”
He also gave an update on his segment about Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa from last week. I guess this means they’re officially in a feud because Correa has slammed John Oliver on Twitter and his TV show. While Correa claims to be a fan of humor and comedy, Oliver pointed out how the president’s history shows otherwise — he sued a newspaper for saying that he was acting like a dictator, and humiliated a female reporter by calling her a “horrible fatty.” Tiko Tiko, a clown who regularly appears on an Ecuadorian children’s show (as well as Correa’s show), also had a few choice words for Oliver.
The “How Is This Still A Thing?” segment, which was fantastic, was about Sports Illustrated magazine and their history of misogyny.
But the meat of the episode was dedicated to tobacco companies. Here in the U.S., thanks to various restrictions and warning labels on cigarette packaging, the smoking rate is just 18% (compared to 43% in 1965). But tobacco companies are still making a lot of profit internationally. There are few smoking restrictions in Indonesia, for example, as illustrated by the “smoking baby” video. Oliver then went on to explain how tobacco companies attack laws intended to protect public health.
As usual, Last Week Tonight had a call-to-action and this one was aimed at tobacco companies — specifically Marlboro and Philip Morris International (PMI). The show created a brand new logo for Marlboro called Jeff, whose depicted as a diseased lung in a cowboy hat. Best logo ever!
Oliver encouraged viewers to tweet #JeffWeCan and post Jeff’s image on Google+ with the tag #marlboro. For its part, the show posted Jeff’s image in Uruguay around bus stops and shipped a bunch of Jeff t-shirts to Togo, a small country in Africa.
Watch Oliver talk about tobacco companies in the video below. And get involved!