John Oliver and the staff at Last Week Tonight were off this week, but still made sure to leave their viewers entertained in their absence. Instead, they posted a web exclusive; this one about the plethora of cicadas expected to hit North America this summer.
Cicadas have an unusually long reproductive cycle, and go underground for 17 years at a time. The cicadas that will be annoying us all this year were conceived in 1999, and have been hidden from sight (and earshot) since that time. These pesky insects have a relatively short lifespan, living for anywhere between two to six weeks before mating and eventually dying.
Since Last Week Tonight prides itself on informing as well as entertaining, Oliver took this opportunity to welcome the new creatures to "the new millennium" by filling them in on what they had missed in the past few years.
Opening with a fantastic Will Smith joke anyone who was in high school in the late 1990s will appreciate, Oliver walked (or flew?) the cicadas through the years, highlighting key points in politics, technology, sports, and pop culture.
The entire segment is only about four minutes, but filled to the brim with Bush jokes, insufferable baseball fans, and unexpected moments in the music industry.
Oliver poked fun at the volume of unboxing and video game streaming videos found on YouTube, and reminded us all to be grateful that dial-up internet has been surpassed by far better, and quieter, technologies.
The segment ended with Oliver encouraging the swarm of insects to enjoy things while they can during their brief lifespans, because "depending on how things go in November, this planet might not be around in another 17 years".
You can watch the entire clip below.
Thankfully, Last Week Tonight returns with an all-new episode next Sunday at 11:00 pm on HBO.