John Oliver usually uses his series Last Week Tonight as a platform to discuss serious issues: the American prison system, predatory lending, the militarization of police, income inequality. But in a brief bit published to the Web on Sunday, he shifted his focus to a far less insidious threat: piñatas. More specifically, Oliver used what he calls “the Trojan donkeys of diabetes” to illustrate the silliness of the hyperbolic headlines Internet writers often employ to describe his weekly segments.
“The internet does not know how to describe things anymore,” he laments, taking it upon himself to show the Internet what it would look like if he treated his subjects as violently as headline action-verbs tend to imply. It’s a target ripe for ridicule, and Oliver takes every opportunity: “What happens at the two-minute mark of this video,” he promises, “will amaze you.”
For the record, here are all the verbs we have used in headlines here at Slate when sharing Oliver’s videos, of which we are quite fond: explain (three times), hate, sing, speaks, and (the crucial one) watch.