By Sam Haysom
In the video above from Last Week Tonight, John Oliver takes a dive into their murky depths — moving from the discredited science behind the viral conspiracy doc Plandemic, to the way the president constantly uses unfounded claims to distract and stir tension.
“Conspiracies are sort of like ugly buildings and deeply tragic adult children,” says Oliver, “in that Donald Trump loves to unleash them into the world, and then refuse to take responsibility for them ever again.”
Ultimately, in order to get to the bottom of conspiracy theories, Oliver suggests asking three questions: 1) Is there a rational, non-conspiracy explanation?, 2) Has this been held up to scrutiny by experts?, and 3) How plausible is this conspiracy, as a practical matter?
And as for how to convince people who still believe in these theories?
Oliver has drafted in a whole host of celebrities — including Paul Rudd, John Cena, Billy Porter, Catherine O’Hara, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek — to film 90 seconds PSAs, encouraging their fans to ask questions and be wary of information being shared on the internet.
Oh, and in case you were thinking that Oliver’s video is clearly part of a larger conspiracy in itself, think again. He has the perfect explanation for why that’s silly (and one which allows him to take another shot at his old nemesis, and HBO’s parent company, AT&T).
“If I am in on this conspiracy theory it means my puppet master is AT&T, and what makes you think that they could pull off a global conspiracy when they can barely pull off a complete phone call?” says Oliver, with barely suppressed glee. “How would they even be sending me orders? Sprint?”
Some jokes never get old.