John Oliver urged viewers to stop watching his show, for a good reason

By Joe Berkowitz

What: A clever plea for midterm voters to do more research about state attorneys general.

Who: John Oliver and the team at Last Week Tonight.

Why we care: Most TV shows have a problem with getting viewers to watch in the first place, but the challenge on the latest episode of Last Week Tonight was how to get viewers to stop watching. The reason? So viewers could spend just a little chunk of time getting properly versed in who’s running in the midterm elections next week–specifically for state attorney general races.

Oliver spent the better part of the show last night talking about the importance of this office in the rapidly approaching election. This year, 30 states will be electing their next attorney general, and campaigns have gotten more intense than usual, with a projected (and unheard-of) $100 million behind them. The reason these races are heating up this time around, Oliver explained, is because AGs have become far more partisan recently, even splitting up their national organization into the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) and the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). Furthermore, the role of the office has taken on new meaning in recent years, with state attorneys general capable of performing legal feats like stopping the Trump travel ban.

In order to help get his viewers up to speed on their own local attorney general, Oliver ended his show a tad early, urging viewers to visit and find out more about their local elections. Just in case viewers weren’t sufficiently motivated to turn off his show and do the work, though, Oliver intentionally tried to drive them away by airing a symphony of a bagpipe, accordion, and other cacophonous instruments. It is admirably hard to endure, making the prospect of poring over campaign research materials that much more pleasurable.

Watch the whole section on attorneys general below.


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