HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” triumphed over five other formidable nominees including CBS’ “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” Crackle’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” and NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“Last Week” is the first show not hosted by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or David Letterman to win the top variety series honor since 1997. That year the winner was HBO’s sketch comedy “Tracey Takes On…,” which was followed by five consecutive wins for CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman,” 10 consecutive wins for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” back-to-back wins for “Daily Show” spinoff “The Colbert Report,” and a farewell victory last year for “Daily Show.”
Of course Oliver’s show still has roots in “Daily Show,” he served as a correspondent from 2006-13 and filled in for Stewart as host for eight weeks in 2013. That’s when HBO signed the Brit-born comedian to “Last Week Tonight,” which traffics in a very similar brand of irreverent political commentary, and the show instantly became a buzz sensation when it premiered in April 2014.
At the end of his acceptance speech, Oliver thanks Stewart “for everything.”
Oliver’s epic takedown of Donald Trump earlier this year — in which he revealed the presidential candidate’s ancestral family name is actually Drumpf — broke social media records for the show and for HBO.
Oliver and “Last Week” had already picked up an Emmy for writing in a variety series at last weekend’s Creative Arts ceremonies. Oliver previously won three Emmys for his writing on “Daily Show” in 2009, 2011 and 2012.