Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

John Oliver tells cicadas what has happened since 1999

Posted on

HBO

As host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver has explained complicated topics (from the Puerto Rican economic crisis to Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy) in a way that both engages viewers’ intellect and boils their blood. And now he’s explaining the world of 2016 to cicadas, who have been sleeping for 17 years. Although there was no new episode of Last Week Tonight on Sunday, Oliver released a short web-exclusive video in which he caught this generation of cicadas up on what they’ve missed since 1999.

Technology, obviously, has changed a lot in the intervening years. Oliver told the cicadas about YouTube, “a video distribution platform where teenagers become famous for playing video games and opening boxes,” and noted that the Internet “no longer screams in agony as you dial into it from your phone line.” The host kept sports highlights short: basically, he told the cicadas, the Boston Red Sox finally won a World Series, “somehow making their fans even more insufferable,” and Michael Jordan, whom ’90s kids like the cicadas know as the greatest basketball player of all time, “is now someone that we mostly make fun of because he cried one time.”

Luckily for the cicadas, a lot of pop culture mainstays from the end of the ’90s are still around, just in very different places. For example, as Oliver pointed out, Dr. Dre has gone from rapper to technology mogul, Justin Timberlake transformed from a boy band heartthrob into one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and Beyoncé ascended to being, well, “basically our queen now” after starting off as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child. Some pop culture fixtures have gotten less popular, though; Oliver noted that the cicadas won’t be seeing as many reruns of The Cosby Show on TV

As for politics, Oliver noted that “we voted in a second President Bush by a narrow margin, and rejected a third President Bush by an enormous margin. He ended with a warning for the cicadas to carpe diem while they have the chance. “Enjoy the world while you have the chance, because to be honest, depending on how things go in November, this planet might not be around in another 17 years,” Oliver said, as an image of Trump flashed on the screen behind him. “And I do not have time to explain thatto you.”

Watch the full clip above.

Comments