Last Week Tonight with John Oliver looked at how large investment companies are making mobile homes less affordable.
Less than ten episodes in, there already seems to be a clear theme to season six of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Oliver has increased his focus on income inequality and the predatory practices of big business.
The examples Oliver has used have been diverse. This helps illustrate how these problems are happening in all different forms. Last Week Tonight has looked at how psychics can scam grieving people out of large sums of cash, the lack of care for World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers, and unemployment from increased automation.
What makes these segments so popular is the research used to support Oliver’s arguments. In doing so, he can make very specific topics that many viewers are either unaware of or wouldn’t normally think twice about become mainstream discussion points. This week was a prime example of that as Last Week Tonight explored how multi-million dollar investment companies are making life very difficult in mobile home parks across the country.
Viewers living in large cities or suburban neighborhoods may not know much about mobile homes or how the payments work in mobile home parks. John Oliver not only educates the viewers but expertly demonstrates how the plight of mobile home residents is reflective of a much bigger issue when it comes to income inequality and predatory loan practices.
To help drive home the point, Oliver’s segments often identify a villain whose behavior is so obviously unethical but often goes unpunished. For this segment, Oliver introduces us to Frank Rolfe. Rolfe’s Mobile Home University has been criticized and his Waffle House comparison certainly didn’t help his cause.
As we said, the research that goes into these Last Week Tonight pieces are impressive. Here we learn that John Oliver’s team enrolled in Rolfe’s online seminars and sent away for his audiobooks to get a better sense of Rolfe’s approach to business. It pays off to have the recordings to quote Rolfe directly and give him no chance at an excuse that the quotes are out of context.
The warnings that Oliver lays out in his updated commercial (featuring excellent performances by The Good Place‘s D’Arcy Carden and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Lauren Adams) are certainly educational. But unfortunately, it feels like many people don’t have many options when it comes to affordable housing. Hopefully the work of the organizations Oliver mentions can help get the necessary legislation passed to avoid the worst outcomes.
There are still more than 20 episodes left in this season of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. With so many examples, Oliver and his team have plenty to work with when it comes to exposing the many forms of income inequality affecting Americans. Keep watching and keep checking back with Last Night On for all the news and highlights.