John Oliver’s Incredible Correspondence With The Farting Preacher Exposes Televangelist Sham
"Last Week Tonight" has a habit of making the world seem like a profoundly horrible place (probably because it is for many people). Whether it's how our criminal justice system puts low-level weed dealers away for life, how we waste nearly half of all the food we produce while a third of the planet struggles with malnourishment, or how soccer's international governing body is an unabashed organized crime syndicate, John Oliver has been ruining perfectly nice Sunday evenings since his show hit the air two years ago. Last night, he dug into one of the shadiest realms of all: televangelism.
If you've used the internet in last two decades, you've probably come across this video. It's objectively one of the funniest things in existence (Louie C.K. has said he owns it on VHS and has locked it away so that he doesn't ruin the viewing experience by watching it too many times).
The televangelist preacher in question is Robert Tilton, who, as it turns out, has been unknowingly participating in a seven-month correspondence with someone who exposes frauds on HBO. John Oliver spent Sunday's show recounting Tilton's barrage of mail-order oils and mountain-shaped paper cutouts -- and incessant donation requests -- only to found a church of his own dedicated to the study of (you guessed it) fraudulent churches. Like, for real.