×

Watch: John Oliver Interviews Edward Snowden in Russia on ‘Last Week Tonight’

Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver recently traveled to Moscow to interview Edward Snowden, “the most famous hero and/or traitor in recent American history” who leaked classified NSA documents to the press and was subsequently charged with violating the Espionage Act in 2013, prompting him to seek asylum in Russia.

Oliver opened his main segment on government surveillance by acknowledging that “most people would rather have a conversation about literally any other topic,” but noted the importance of the discussion given the impending reauthorization or curtailment of the Patriot Act, scheduled to take place on June 1. The host then noted just how many Americans seem unconcerned by the issue of government surveillance — illustrating that point by interviewing random tourists in Times Square to see if they knew who Snowden is and what he did. (Spoiler alert: Most didn’t.)

Then Oliver revealed his coup to a delighted audience — a secretive one-on-one interview with Snowden in Russia, which seemed as if it might not come to pass after Snowden was late to their meeting. Thankfully, Snowden finally arrived and the duo shared a frank, funny and wide-ranging discussion about everything from NSA programs to the leak of phallic photos.

You can watch Oliver’s entire segment on surveillance below — the interview itself begins around the 16 minute mark.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Ballers HBO

    'Ballers' to End After Season 5 on HBO

    “Ballers” is coming to an end after five seasons on HBO. Star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson confirmed the news via an emotional Instagram video. “My heart is full of gratitude to all of you for rocking with us every season. You made us HBO’s highest rated comedy for years and most importantly, you helped [...]

  • Sublime Primetime

    How Emmy-Nominated Writers’ Rooms Keep Politics in Mind

    In a world filled with elections, social movements and national tragedies, how open should the doors of a writers’ room actually be? For some of this year’s Emmy-nominated shows, those doors are wide open. Before the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sept. 22, the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild Foundation, [...]

  • Disney Villains Series 'Book of Enchantment'

    'Book of Enchantment' Series Based on Iconic Disney Villains Shelved at Disney Plus

    Disney Plus has decided to not move forward with “Book of Enchantment,” a series based on some of Disney’s most iconic villains, Variety has learned from sources. The news comes the day before Disney is set to unveil its streaming service at the biannual D23 convention in Anaheim. The prospective project was based on the [...]

  • ITV STUDIOS PRESENTS VERAFILM 2Pictured: BRENDA

    Brenda Blethyn to Star in New ITV Sitcom 'Kate and Kolo'

    Oscar-nominated Brenda Blethyn is set to star in the new sitcom “Kate and Kolo” for ITV, the U.K. broadcaster announced at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Blethyn takes on the title role of Kate in the comedy alongside theater and film actor Jimmy Akingbola as Kolo. Blethyn is a popular star with ITV audiences after having [...]

  • Sean Spicer Emmys

    Sean Spicer's Casting Explained? Red States Love 'Dancing With the Stars'

    ABC faced backlash this week after casting former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on “Dancing with the Stars.” But that outrage might actually spice up the dancing competition’s dwindling ratings — particularly in Trump Country. “Dancing with the Stars” has faced a relatively alarming decline in ratings over the past two cycles, falling 32% [...]

  • Peppa Pig

    Hasbro Acquires Entertainment One in $4 Billion All-Cash Deal

    Toymaker Hasbro is acquiring studio Entertainment One in an all-cash transaction valued at $4 billion, bringing My Little Pony and Nerf under the same umbrella as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” and furthering Hasbro’s growth goals in the infant and preschool categories. Hasbro aims to expand its operations in film and TV. Entertainment One’s production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content