"Financial crusader" John Oliver is riding a horse made of money on the latest cover of Money as its champion of the year. While Oliver recently joked that he's "wasting HBO’s resources," per Vanity Fair, Money notes he dedicated whole episodes of his third season of Last Week Tonight to "complicated subjects critical to Americans' financial health," including credit reports and retirement savings, offering "detailed explanations, investigative reporting, exhortations for viewers to take action, and even practical advice." The millions of viewers who tuned in suggest his approach—similar to "the kind of populist TV journalism made famous by 60 Minutes"—"resonates in a way that personal finance never has before," the magazine says.
"The heightened public awareness creates an environment in which it's possible to win reform," says the head of Public Citizen. Indeed, Money credits Oliver with pushing the Big Apple to revamp its bail policy, while noting the FCC issued its net neutrality ruling a few months after Oliver's fans caused its website to crash. "John Oliver shines a light on some really big problems," says Elizabeth Warren. "He makes us laugh and teaches us something, but he also calls on the audience to take action to influence public policy. He helps make change." Money also named 12 other champions of 2016, including the parents who rallied against a spike in EpiPen prices, leading to $500 million in penalties for maker Mylan. (In one episode of his show, Oliver gave away $15 million.)