(Screenshot: YouTube)

John Oliver delivers a perfect 4-minute back-to-school lesson to save high schoolers a year of classes

"Last Week Tonight" may be on summer vacation, but its host is still performing public service

Sophia Tesfaye
September 8, 2015 6:29PM (UTC)

"Last Week Tonight" is still out on summer hiatus, but host John Oliver took time out of his busy tanning schedule to offer American students a back-to-school lesson with at least a year's worth, if not a lifetime's worth, of an education packed into 4 minutes.

In a new web exclusive, Oliver summarizes (but of course) all of the most important high-school classes complete with spoiler alerts (classic literature apparently is full of death so Oliver offers a handy “who dies at the end” lesson).


According to Oliver, American history all boils down to “Warren G. Harding’s love life” and his penis’ nickname, while world history amounts to little more than learning “that Africa and Asia are places, but that’s about it.”

Math, of course, is “bullshit,” according to Oliver, who suggests that students just ignore the subject altogether: “I’m an adult with a job, and I can’t remember if a logarithm is some kind of exponent, Kenny Loggins' first album or a method of lumberjack birth control. I don’t know.” Oliver also warns students that chemistry will likely be disappointing as “you probably won’t even learn how to cook meth" and predicts that the only biology lesson that will actually stick is the fact that the smell of dissecting a frog will haunt you to your grave. 

“Last Week Tonight” returns with new episodes on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 11 p.m. on HBO:


John Oliver Replacing Jon Stewart As 'Daily Show' Host


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

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