Last Week Tonight is on a well-earned 2 week hiatus beginning tonight. To help ease the pain of the brief break, they released a Web Exclusive on their YouTube channel Sunday night (August 30). The topic of the 3 minute clip was history lies, and in the segment host John Oliver discussed his love for lying to someone, gaining their trust, and then lying again. This explains the show’s popular geographical gag of highlighting a country on a map, only for Oliver to point out that it isn’t the subject country at all and highlighting a different country altogether. It also set the stage for the great twist at the end of the segment. Check out the video below:
After talking about his love of lies, Oliver announced that the fake book entitled Stranger Than Truth: John Oliver’s 101 Favourite History Lies mentioned in a prior segment was actually going to be released in April 2016. He chose Simon and Schuster as his publisher, because of their experience in “printing the factual sounding bullshit of Mr. Dr. Oz”. He continued to list some examples of the types of history lies that can be found in the book, before revealing that the entire segment was a lie, and a “waste of everyone’s time”. Oliver then encourages viewers to tune in to HBO on September 13 when the show returns, “if you want to waste some more time”.
Fans who were excited about the possibility of more fake history facts delivered by John Oliver should check out his 2008 special, Terrifying Times. Near the end of the special he makes some less-than-historically-accurate suggestions on how to spruce up the Wikipedia pages of a few political figures.