John Oliver's new weekly topical comedy show 'Last Week Tonight' debuted on US television on Sunday night. In it, the former 'Daily Show' correspondent and British-boy-done-good covered everything from "unrepentant racists" (see clip above) to the Indian elections. But what did the American critics make of the Brit's very own late-night comedy show?
Entertainment Weekly gave 'Last Week Tonight' an A-, calling it "fully formed" and admiring the historical context it gave to its stories; and praising Oliver for being both "genuinely passionate" about the issues he was covering "and passionate about the idea that people should care". "The format might be familiar, but there’s more detail, a greater sense of context," wrote Darren Franich.
Variety was less impressed. “'Last Week Tonight' was perfectly fine but did nothing to deflect being construed as a 'Daily Show' knockoff," opined Brian Lowry, saying that "everything about 'Last Week Tonight' felt like another spin of the latenight-satire wheel, with nary a new groove in it."
This wasn't a problem for Louis Virtel at HitFix, however - who, in a piece rounding up "the nine biggest triumphs" of the show, praised "the instant rapport [Oliver] built with viewers without having to sell us on a wild new format" and described it as "a show that veers in and out of goofiness with surprising agility."
This agility was all a bit too necessary for Tim Goodman from The Hollywood Reporter, though - who admired the show but wished it was longer and not so "rushed and jam-packed". "I wanted more air built into 'Last Week Tonight' – not just so Oliver could breathe and not turn blue, but because I wanted to laugh longer at some bits or even ponder a couple of others for even three seconds more than I was allowed," he wrote. "I could watch this show five nights a week (as a 30-minute show). But if we only get Oliver every Sunday, give the man more time."
Check out some clips from Oliver's debut show below...