John Oliver compels viewers to fill out the census in the funniest way possible

With an estimated 14 million households having yet to fill out the 2020 census, John Oliver took the last two minutes of his show to give viewers time to do just that. Oliver attempted to make the last two minutes of his show unwatchable, which it might have been if it wasn’t so funny. Oliver said it only took him about two minutes to fill out the census, so, after explaining the importance of it, Oliver warned his audience that they weren’t going to want to watch the final two minutes. He informed them that he was actively trying to drive them away so they could fill out the census instead of watching his show. Oliver’s means of getting viewers to tune out was a DVD screensaver over the audiobook of Sean Penn’s 2018 novel Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff read by Sean Penn. Just seconds in, text appeared on the screen letting viewers know that there was nothing else coming. What they were watching was really how the show was going to end.

Video Transcript

JOHN OLIVER: Why not do it right now? Because you definitely have two minutes on your hands. And the reason I know that for sure is we are currently 28 minutes into a 30-minute show. And I'm about to drive you away to go fill it in. And if you're thinking, well, I don't know about that, I'm pretty comfortable right now, not for long you're not.

KYLIE MAR: On "Last Week Tonight" Sunday, John Oliver urged his viewers to fill out the 2020 Census before the deadline at the end of October, just days after a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration's efforts to stop the counting early. And to compile his viewers to stop watching the show, he assured his audience that the last two weeks would not be pleasant.

JOHN OLIVER: For the rest of this show, I'm going to leave you watching this screensaver of a DVD logo bouncing around like a substitute teacher who fell asleep after "Glory" ended. And not only that, underneath it, we're going to be playing the audio book version of Sean Penn's "Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff," read by its author-- a man with a face that's seen better days and a voice that seen by the centuries.

KYLIE MAR: Before cutting to the screen saver and Sean Penn's reading of his book, Oliver gave the book a less-than stellar review.

JOHN OLIVER: The book has no formal plot, a president character referred to only as Mr. Landlord. And it contains lines like, "effervescence lived in her every cellular expression, and she had spizzerinctum to spare." It is dreadful.

KYLIE MAR: And Oliver ended the show just as he promised.

SEAN PENN: Only the trains remained a spirit refuge to modernity's craving trumpery. There were few remaining romantic vistas experienced in solitude, but rather, interstates, strip malls, retail emporiums, traffic, road work, and bottlenecks.