John Oliver Curses Out Oprah, Gives Away $15M

Take that, debt-buying companies
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2016 7:27 AM CDT

What better way to drive home the topic of debt than to give away $15 million? That's exactly what John Oliver did on Sunday's edition of Last Week Tonight after covering the issue, which, as Oliver put it, is "the reason that Nicolas Cage has made so many great choices in recent years." After discussing the trillions of dollars of debt in which Americans find themselves mired, Oliver talked about what Time dubs the "unscrupulous practices" spurred by the enormous debt-buying industry—and then explained how he had set up his own such group, Central Asset Recovery Professionals (or CARP, "after the bottom-feeding fish," Oliver explained).

And his first move as CARP chief? To prove how "shockingly easy" it is to "purchase debt cheaply then collect it aggressively," as per the caption of Last Week's YouTube video, Oliver's new firm scooped up $14,922,261.76 in medical debt (for a half-cent on the dollar, or about $60,000, he noted), then forgave that debt instead of harassing the 9,000 affected people in attempts to collect it, "turning their lives upside down." Instead, Oliver said, the show would implement "the largest one-time giveaway in television show history"—even beating Oprah (her largest giveaway was $8 million, Time notes). With a triumphant "F--- you, Oprah!" Oliver pressed a giant red button, money rained from the heavens, and, per a Last Week Tonight tweet, "made TV history!" (Oliver once slammed Donald Trump for 22 minutes straight.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.