John Oliver Chides Warner Bros. Discovery Again as ‘New Dad,’ Says Emmys Glory ‘Buys Us Existence’

“There’s a whole sense of, ‘You’re not my kid,’ with every new day that comes in,” the “Last Week Tonight” host tells Marc Maron

John Oliver David Zaslav
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver and WBD CEO David Zaslav (Getty Images)

John Oliver said that if there was one thing he took away from winning an Emmy last month — despite the TV Academy’s switching “Last Week Tonight” to a new category — it was that the glory “buys us existence” with HBO and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Oliver, in a running bit of antagonism against his studio home and its parent company, said in an appearance on the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast that over the 10-year history of his Sunday night show, HBO has had three different owners. But he doesn’t think the turnover ends there.

“It’s like new dads moving into the home,” Oliver said, continuing a similar take from his show in which he called WBD his new “business daddy” and poked fun at the studio’s scrapping of the completed film “Batgirl” (in 2021, he called out previous “business daddy” AT&T over its funding of the right-wing news channel OANN). “Do I need to learn your name? Because I reckon there’s another coming six months behind you.”

If Oliver is right, the new owner will have to deal with “Last Week Tonight” through at least 2026, given that the show signed a three-season deal in December.

In his “WTF” appearance, Oliver said he had “no idea” why the Emmys had switched the show into another category.

“It has nothing to do with me,” Oliver insisted.

The British HBO host is no stranger to winning an Emmy, of course. This year was the show’s eighth straight win. But January’s awards were its first year in the scripted variety series category after the Emmys moved “Last Week Tonight” out of the variety talk slot. It won anyway, beating “Saturday Night Live” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show” on its way to taking home two Emmys on the night, as Oliver and Co. also won for Variety Series Writing.

But Oliver and Maron were more interested in riffing on the media conglomerate trend, putting Emmy talk on the shelf — if only temporarily.

“You just hope they’re not abusive,” Maron cracked about the merged media conglomerates.

“That’s right,” Oliver replied. “And they all are.”

He added, “There’s a whole sense of, ‘You’re not my kid,’ with every new day that comes in.”

“So many of them have so little ability to make new kids,” Maron chimed in, extending and perhaps even mixing the metaphor. “So they sort of have to suck it up, don’t they?” 

“That’s right,” Oliver said.

“They’re just given a bunch of f–king orphans and they’re like, ‘Good luck,” Maron continued. 

“That’s right,” Oliver repeated. “If these gigantic mergers are anything, they’re just mass adoptions. And then you’re mad that these children would be bought.” 

Maron piled on: “I would call it a foster situation. I don’t know if they’re actual adoptions. ‘We’ll watch the kid until somebody else wants it.’”

Listen to more of Oliver’s podcast appearance here. Listen to other episodes of “WTF With Marc Maron” at this link.


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