Creativity 50

Creativity 50 2014: John Oliver

Host, HBO's 'Last Week Tonight'

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Credit: Eric Liebowitz/HBO
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Comedian John Oliver woke up the late-night space this year with his weekly show "Last Week Tonight" on HBO. There are no guests and rarely a musical performance or stunt. Instead, Mr. Oliver's show is focused on deep dives into everything from native advertising to state lotteries and FIFA. Mr. Oliver's report on net neutrality was even blamed for crashing the Federal Communication Commission's website.

Many of these monologues, which can span up to 20 minutes, ultimately have gone viral, a rarity in a world where brevity and animal videos reign. The YouTube page for "Last Week Tonight" boasts 1.2 million subscribers, while his FIFA monologue has garnered more than 8 million views. Mr. Oliver's creative approach to comedic journalism has proven viewers will engage with long-form content both on TV and online if the storytelling is unique, engaging and, in Mr. Oliver's case, very, very funny.

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