When HBO announced its own fake news show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver I felt great about Oliver, who did exemplary work at The Daily Show. I also felt rather hesitant at the show’s format: a 30-minute show on Sunday night featuring the previous week’s news. It didn’t take much time for Oliver to prove the format a winner. Instead of the rat-a-tat nature of TDS, The Colbert Report, and other late night shows, Oliver was given the freedom of devoting a lengthy segment every week to a single topic. Those segments, usually ending each episode, have providing cutting and often educational rants on a broad range of topics, from FIFA corruption to race relations to an interview with Edward Snowden. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that this week’s topic was near and dear to my heart: stadium development in America.
Oliver starts and ends the segment with references to soaring locker room speeches. I took the liberty of transcribing his own speech at the end. As you watch the end, read the speech.
For the rest of you I want you to look deep down inside your hearts. I want you dig in there and I want you to find something. And it’s gonna seem tiny but it’s the most powerful thing in the world. And it’s the word “No.” No.
So when a billionaire asks you to buy him a hologram machine that doesn’t exist yet, what are you gonna say?
That’s right! And when they ask you to build a stadium with public money without opening their books, what are you gonna say to them?
That’s right! And when they ask you if they can keep all the money for calling their arena “Smoothie King Center” what are you gonna say to them?!?!
FUCK NO that’s right ‘cause that’s a stupid name for anything, even a smoothie store!
‘Cause I want you all to get out there. And the next time a team comes around asking for a new stadium I want you to MAKE THEM PAY. What are you gonna do?!?!
MAKE THEM PAY!!
WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO!!!
MAKE THEM PAY!!!!
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO!!!!!
MAKE THEM PAY!!!!!
CLEAR EYES! FULL HEARTS!
LET’S GO DO THIS!!!!!!
crowd ends in a MAKE THEM PAY! MAKE THEM PAY! chant.
Already my week is made.