Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 4, Episode 29 - Economic Development Incentives - full transcript

[HBO] HD. Main story: Economic development; plus, the latest on "Stupid Watergate;" And Now: Morning Shows Celebrating Halloween; the USPS on TV.

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

Season IV
Episode 29

Welcome to Last Week Tonight.
I'm John Oliver.

Our thoughts are with people of Texas
following today's horrific incident,

details of which
are still unfolding.

I am sure that there will be more
to say about this in the days ahead,

but for now, we are gonna dive
into tonight with President Trump.

Statues of him will inevitably
one day be erected and later taken down

amid a storm of controversy.

The news surrounding Trump

was dominated by the bombshell
that dropped on Monday.



Huge developments unfolding
in Washington this hour

after Special Counsel unveiled
the first charges in his investigation

into Russian interference
in the American election.

Yes, it's finally happening !

The first charges in the scandal
we've been calling "Stupid Watergate".

A story that, like Watergate, could
end up toppling democracy,

but only because one of these idiots
slipped on a banana peel,

yelled something stupid like
"spaghetti-o !"

and knocked democracy over.

It is worth looking at Monday's
charges, they're incredible.

Let's start with Paul Manafort,
former Trump campaign chairman,

and his business partner,
Rick Gates.

The rap sheet against them
is impressive.

The 31-page indictment charges
that over at least 10 years,



the two men set up a scheme
to hide tens of millions of dollars

they received from a pro-Russian
Ukrainian political party.

The scheme involved hiding
that foreign work,

funneling $75 million dollars
through unreported foreign accounts,

laundering tens of millions and lying
to the IRS and Justice Department.

That is a lot of charges.
Trump must be furious with them,

not so much for the part where they
allegedly lied to the government,

but for where they pretended
to have less money.

That violates the tenets of the sticky
issue of Fuckable Yachts magazine

Trump considers
his code of ethics.

While they deny charges,
details are damning.

Not all the money was squirreled away
in shell companies and accounts.

Some of it
was used to go shopping.

According to the indictment,
Manafort used the money

to enjoy a 'lavish lifestyle',
spending nearly a million dollars

on antique rugs and more
than 1.3 million on fancy clothes.

Over $2 million
on rugs and clothes ?

I can't speak to
the quality of his rugs,

but how is this guy spending
that much on clothing ?

He looks like he bought all the suits
that he was going to wear all his life

on one day in 1982 with
a cashier's check for $900.

When journalists tried to find out
where he got his clothes from

they got either denials or
"no comments" from Canali,

Isaia, House of Bijan,
Zegna and Brioni.

Surprising, because what brand would
not want, as its public face,

a man who looks like an extra
from a direct-to-DVD mobster movie

who fell asleep in a tanning bed ?

If I may quote the TSA agent assigned
to inspect Mariah Carey's carry on,

"let's set aside the $1.3 million
in clothes for just a minute."

And let's ask the question Trump
asks himself every day:

how does
Donald Trump fit into this ?

To hear him tell it, he doesn't.

The president revealed
his thoughts in two tweets.

Sorry, but this is years ago

before Paul Manafort was part
of the Trump campaign.

Why aren't crooked Hillary
and the Dems the focus ?

Adding also: 'There is no collusion',
writing all in capital letters.

All capital letters ?
I haven't seen such a forceful denial

since every men's clothing store
in two major American cities

denied supplying Manafort
with a closetful of boxy jackets

from the "dad's opencasket
funeral" collection.

If you think about Trump's defense,
which he definitely hasn't,

it's pretty strange,
'cause he's essentially saying:

"Manafort had already done
this stuff at the time"

"that, I, decided to hire him
as my campaign manager."

Which means either
Trump did a background check,

discovered his suspicious
activity and didn't care.

Or he didn't so much as Google
Manafort before hiring him.

Everybody
knows that Manafort is dodgy.

He has represented the interests
of strongmen around the world,

including Ferdinand Marcos,
Mobutu, Viktor Yanukovych

and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska,

the last two of whom
had close ties to Putin.

It's since come to light
that Manafort may have been

"in debt to pro-Russian interests
by as much as $17 million."

And the more we learn
about him, the shadier he gets.

Prosecutors have noted that
Manafort has three U.S. passports

with different numbers,
and recently traveled abroad

while using a phone and email
registered under an alias.

Who outside of Jason Bourne

needs
three passports and an alias ?

Besides, of course, the Olsen twin.
Because she's got one for Mary-Kate,

one for Ashley
and one for Hilary Duff.

Right, there is also
no Hilary Duff,

it's just one Olsen twin moving back
and forth very quickly

and changing her hair and face,
standing still in a different place.

I'm so close to blowing
this whole charade apart.

Trump has argued that Manafort

was with the campaign
for a short period of time.

But he held top positions
within it for five months,

he also spoke on the campaign's
behalf, with decidedly mixed results.

Trump has no financial relationships
with any Russian oligarchs ?

That's what he said
and that's what I said.

That's what our position is.

There is nothing suspicious
about that response at all,

except for the sweatiness,
the stumbling

and the fact you couldn't
hold eye contact with the camera.

While Manafort may have been
gone before the election,

Gates, his partner, who prosecutors
say had 55 bank accounts,

has been a frequent visitor
to the White House.

So, again: did Trump know all
of this and not care ?

Or did he know none of it,
because he's incompetent ?

In other words: is Trump
smart enough to be evil ?

And before you answer, consider
the surprising news from Monday,

the guilty plea
from George Papadopoulos,

the former Trump campaign staffer
and real cool dude,

who has now admitted
to lying to the FBI.

He could be a real problem.
Because we now know,

not only did Papadopoulos have
contact with the Russians,

who told him that they
had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton,

but he mentioned his Russian
contacts to the campaign,

who responded like this.

A Trump campaign
supervisor told Papadopoulos:

"Pursue contact with Russians" and
that he had done "great work".

It speaks to the stupidity
of the people involved

that they left written records of
their potentially-criminal actions.

It's like if during Watergate,
we had an email chain

of Howard Hunt
saying "about to break in !"

and Nixon replying: "noice !"

This would not be stupid Watergate
without some truly idiotic details.

One of Papadopoulos's former
professors described him as

"zealous and a bit simple"

which, is also how you would
describe a golden retriever in ISIS

and some of his Russian sources
turned out to be unimpressive.

Papadopoulos was in London,
meeting with his Russian connections,

including a woman he thought was
Putin's niece but turns out was not.

We are living in an era where the top
New York Times headline could be:

"Shades McCool Got Catfished
by a Fake Putin Niece."

Trump is now also trying to
distance himself from Papadopoulos,

calling him a low-level volunteer,
a pretty weak defense,

because not only did Trump
once call him an "excellent guy",

they were photographed together
in a national security meeting.

That photograph was released
this week,

when the seal
on grand jury testimony was...

I'm kidding, Trump posted it
to his Instagram last March.

While that photo looks damning,
White House insisted it meant nothing.

How can you describe
Papadopoulos as having a limited role

when there's a photograph of him
sitting at a table with...

The president has thousands of
photographs with millions of people.

She is not wrong there. Trump has
taken photos with many people.

Here's one of him
with O.J. Simpson.

Here's one of Trump
and Harvey Weinstein.

Here he is with Grimace.
The president has smiled for photos

with murderers, sexual predators
and, in the case of Grimace, both.

But none of them got to sit
with Trump and his campaign staff.

When Trump was asked about what
happened in that meeting,

this was his response.

It was a very unimportant meeting.
Don't remember much about it.

You don't remember ?
That is convenient.

Although it's undercut
by one of Trump's favorite boasts.

People know me for my memory.

It's up here and
it's called memory.

I have a good memory.

I have a good memory.

I have a good memory
like a great memory.

One of the great
memories of all time.

There is just no way to reconcile
those two positions,

although Trump
tried in the past.

When he was asked in 2015
about claiming that he had

one of the world's great memories,
he said and I quote:

"I don't remember saying that.
As good as my memory is."

"But I have a good memory."

There are three people
from the Trump campaign

facing serious charges about
their entanglements overseas.

Trump's pushback has basically
been: "I don't know anything about"

"the people I should've known
those things about."

That is his signature move.
He is playing the Trump card.

He's using his own incompetence
as a defense.

It's the same way that you might excuse
the behavior of a dog, or a child.

If you found your dog
pissing on a rug

and your child urinating on the dog,
you would think:

"I'm annoyed, but they're idiots
who don't know what they do,"

so they get to walk away
from this one.

That is the Trump card.

The worrying thing here is,
it may work for Trump.

Because think about what
the counterargument may be:

"this is a meticulous man who
made strategic decisions,"

"fully aware of the consequences
of his actions."

But we cannot accept the Trump
card as his defense here.

Just think about
what we actually be saying there:

"this guy is too dumb to really
understand what he's doing,"

"so we have no choice but
to let him keep being president."

Please let's not do that.
And now this.

The inevitable, sad consequences of
morning shows celebrating Halloween.

Halloween has come to Channel 6.
I am the Gru and you are my minion.

I feel like I look like a Hamburgler.
I can be Hamburgler.

- On a mission from God.
- No, we're on a mission from God.

- Mario.
- It's-a Mario.

Nice.

This is Kate, one of our interns.
She is the Operation game, I guess.

We go over to Alissa Henry.
I gotta watch my corn stalks. Alissa ?

- How did it take to put all this...
- Two seconds.

- Really fast ?
- Yeah.

You'll be Wilma later on in the
show, 'cause we can't have you

reading the news in a costume.

It just doesn't work !

Developments in a Houston County
truck bombing case.

Moving on. Our main story
tonight concerns jobs:

literally the only reason that
anyone gets up before 11:00.

Politicians care about jobs
more than anything,

as you can tell from
how often they mention them.

These are the things I have
focused on: jobs, jobs, jobs.

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Jobs, jobs, and jobs. Period.

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

It's about jobs, jobs, jobs,
good paying jobs.

It's about jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs
and more jobs, American jobs.

Politicians seem to think
that jobs are like "Beetlejuice",

if you just say the word a magic
number of times, they'll just pop up.

I'd like to talk about one of the ways
that politicians try to create jobs:

economic development incentives.

I know that that doesn't sound
interesting... Wait !

You're putting me picture-in-picture ?
Is that "Entourage: The Movie" ?

Fine ! Switch over the audio. Listen
to the first line. You'll be back.

I may have to jerk it
before we even get there.

How about that ?
A show about economic development

doesn't seem like the worst thing
you could be watching, does it ?

So, as I was saying: economic
development incentives are essentially

when state and local governments
offer perks to companies

to entice them to build
or expand in their area.

In New York, there is a program
called "StartUp New York"

which launched
with astounding tax breaks.

StartUp New York creates zero
tax zones for new businesses

for ten years, zero property tax,
zero corporate tax, zero business tax

and zero income tax.

Zero property, corporate,
business and income tax.

That sound you heard was Trump
getting an erection.

Wait for it, it's gone again.

See you next year, little buddy.

It's not just New York,

all 50 states offer some kind
of incentives, like tax breaks,

to attract companies.

And the argument is that
they attract employers,

which attract jobs, which lead
to spending, which creates more jobs.

Many places bought into this hard,
trying to outbid one another.

Indiana even once took out
attack ads on other states,

like this billboard, which readý
"Illinoyed by higher taxes ?"

"Come to Indiana, a state that works."
And that's pretty aggressive,

it's much tamer
than their original billboard:

"just Arkan-saw your tax bill ?
Ida-hope you like our tax breaks."

"If you Colora-don't, we'll
Connecti-cut your fucking balls off."

And if a company is big enough,
it can even start a bidding war itself,

that is happening now with Amazon.

They are planning to build a second
headquarters in North America

and they are making
governments bid for it.

They released eight pages
of instructions for candidates,

telling them
"to think big and be creative".

Which led many cities
to do stupid shit like this.

Overnight, the Big Apple
looking more like an orange.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
lighting the city in "Amazon Orange".

The city of Birmingham is using
giant Amazon boxes

to try to get Amazon's attention.

Stonecrest, Georgia offering to create
a new town of Amazon, Georgia.

They would create a new town
and name it "Amazon".

To compete, I'm surprised
Omaha, Nebraska

didn't offer to let Jeff Bezos kill
any three people he likes,

because you know he would,
he wants it so bad.

It's the only thing
he can't have and he wants it.

And numerous mayors
made direct appeals to Amazon,

with videos ending in versions
of the same bad joke.

Alexa, where should
Amazon locate HQ2 ?

In Frisco, Texas.

Alexa, where is the most interesting
company in the world gonna locate ?

Obviously, Washington D.C.

Alexa, where is the best place
for Amazon to locate its headquarters ?

Danbury, Connecticut.

I told you so.

My one and only worry,
sincerely, is:

are they almost too hilarious ?

Those stunts are window dressing.
What Amazon cares more about,

as they mentioned in their instructions
21 times, are incentives.

While few places
are revealing what they offered,

New Jersey reportedly
offered $7 billion in tax breaks.

An insane amount that other places
may now have to compete with.

That could be billions of tax
dollars that would not be collected

for things like roads,
or schools, or hospitals.

Amazon already has more money
than it knows what to do with.

How else can you explain
the existence of "Goliath",

a show that literally
nobody has ever seen.

Nobody. No human, no animal.
No one.

If you make a show and no one
watches it, does it exist ? Discuss.

We give companies a lot of money
through these incentives.

In 2015, they cost state and local
governments $45 billion.

That money can go
to some questionable projects.

Years ago,
Kentucky took a big swing on this.

A full-size replica of Noah's Ark

is drawing visitors to
Williamstown, Kentucky.

The Ark Encounter, a chapter from
Genesis told on a $100 million budget.

Four floors of Noah, his family
and beasts, great and small.

The project received $18 million
in Kentucky tax incentives.

$18 million of tax breaks
for a gigantic ark museum !

I'm not saying it's a bad idea.
I do want to see this thing,

especially as its website has a section
devoted to the question

"what about all the manure ?"

The answer is "slatted floors
or multiple-level cages".

Not a good answer, you don't want to be
the animal on the lowest level.

While the ark created some jobs,
there were caveats to those positions.

Critics complain of discrimination
in hiring. Only Christians.

No gays or lesbians, and single
people have to sign a chastity pledge.

Aside from the homophobia,
chastity is a pretty weird rule

for a museum that's a gigantic
replica of a floating fuck-zoo.

They weren't brought in two by two
so everyone would have a swim buddy.

They were on that boat to fuck.

To fuck !

But the justification for taking
a gamble on a gigantic ark

was that it would be a boon
to the area.

The economic impact
has been underwhelming.

The ark's success has not had
the ripple effect many hoped.

Downtown Williamstown, which
was expecting increased traffic

has almost as many empty
storefronts as occupied storefronts.

What's it meant
for downtown Williamstown ?

Nothing. I don't mean to sound
negative, but there's nothing here.

That makes sense.
Once you've spent three hours

walking around a wooden boat
with sexually frustrated tour guides,

and haunted by the image of
a miserable zebra, neck-deep in shit,

'cause apparently decks
were assigned alphabetically,

you're probably gonna skip
lunch in town.

A well-designed, closely-monitored
program with clear goals

might make sense to an area.

But too often,
the terms are extremely lax.

Some don't require that jobs
be created at all.

Some require almost laughably few.

Remember "StartUp New York" ?
Zero taxes for a decade ?

Shit. I'm sorry, don't think about it.
I'm sure it will pass.

That program's hiring requirements

were that you create
just one new job a year,

and the state considered scaling that
back to one new job in 5 years.

Sometimes, incentives are given out
even when they may not be necessary.

Take a look at Fargo, North Dakota.

He's not wrong and I knew
that would do the job.

Fargo gave a tax break to FedEx
for moving a facility to their city.

But why ?
Did they really need to ?

Listen to what happened when
one city council member asked

that question
of a FedEx representative.

If you don't get this exemption,
will you still move to Fargo ?

Yes.

Yet ten minutes later, the council
voted to give FedEx that exemption.

Why ? Also: if someone wants
to willingly move to Fargo,

you don't offer them
tax incentives.

You offer them a full psychological
workup that starts with the question:

"who did you murder ?"

"We'll still let you live here,
but we do need to know."

There are programs narrowly set up
to encourage an industry to grow.

Sounds great, but may not lead
to good, permanent jobs.

Take film and TV incentives.
In the last couple of decades,

nearly every state decided they
wanted to be the next Hollywood

and now, 31 states have incentive
programs for film or TV.

If you are one of them, you have
30 other states competing with you.

And because film productions
are portable,

if you scale back your incentives,
they'll go wherever a better deal is.

Listen to this producer, who has taken
advantage of multiple incentives.

I would never make a movie
where I didn't get an incentive

and I don't intend to.

If there's an incentive,
it's good for me.

He's not wrong. He looks like
every woman's worst ex-boyfriend,

but his job isn't to worry about
his incentives are good for states.

It is his job to refer to sushi
as "sush". He definitely does that.

But it should be someone's job
to worry about the effects.

When states have done that,
the news they got was not great.

Louisiana found that, for every dollar
it spent on its film program,

it generated
just 22 cents of tax revenue.

Which sounds bad, but which
is still better than Maryland,

which made just 10 cents, still better
than Connecticut's program,

which returned
only seven cents on the dollar.

That's like putting a dollar
into a vending machine

and getting a single
yellow Starburst.

At some point, what you're getting out
is not worth what you're putting in.

Defenders of incentives will say,

that's just a fraction of the broader
economic benefit that they bring.

The problem is, there's
not much evidence for that.

Accounting for the total economic
impact of anything is tricky.

But we are gambling billions
on little more than faith,

and even basic information
can be really hard to come by.

Three-quarters of major state
development programs

don't even disclose actual
jobs created or workers trained.

Throwing money down a hole
and hoping it brings us prosperity

is the exact business model
of a wishing well.

To see this at perhaps its most
pointless, look at Kansas and Missouri.

They've offered competing tax breaks
for years,

which made things
interesting in one metro area.

I'm in Kansas City, Missouri.
That's it behind me.

There is Kansas City, Kansas.
Two states, one metro area,

but both states offer subsidies
for job creation.

So what do businesses do ?
A Missouri business will move

some employees over to Kansas City,
Kansas and claim a tax break.

Move 'em back,
claim another.

Kansas City, Missouri lost offices
for companies to Kansas City, Kansas,

which, in turn, lost offices for these
companies to Kansas City, Missouri.

And that isn't creating jobs any more
than moving your couch

is creating fucking furniture.

This war has come
at a real cost:

a local foundation has studied
two state-level incentives programs

and since 2009, 6 600 jobs
moved from Missouri to Kansas,

while around 5 500 jobs
have moved from Kansas to Missouri,

there's been a net gain of around
1 100 jobs on the Kansas side,

at a combined cost of
$331 million in lost tax revenue.

You could create a program

where the first 1100 people to move
to Kansas City from Missouri

would each get a Ferrari,
which they could then drive around

a giant pile of $30 million
that the state had set on fire

and you'd be fiscally responsible,
would've saved the area $20 million.

Economic development needs to be
done in a much smarter way.

I don't fully blame the companies,

if governments are going
to offer ridiculous incentives,

they are going to take them.

Governments need to hold themselves
and companies more accountable.

If companies aren't producing
what they promised,

we need to claw our money back.

We're going to need much
more oversight over these programs

and what
we're getting in return.

I will tell you one thing that I know
for sure we got in return:

the Entourage movie.

That got a $5.8 million tax credit
from California.

Where else were they going
to film Entourage ?

Idaho ? So, California, know
you had a hand in producing a movie

which, may I remind you,
has this for its very first line.

I may have to jerk it
before we even get there.

I've got to say this: congratulations,
Kentucky Ark Museum !

You've become the second-worst
taxpayersubsidized fuck boat.

And now this.

Let's check in with Halloween
traffic and weather.

33 degrees, winds out of the west
at 13 that's making it feel like 24.

Things are changing. There's snow
embedded with the cold.

Seeing a few clouds.
We are expecting rain.

34 here but we're tapping
into cold air off to the west.

Sunday there is a cold front coming.
None of you are taking me serious.

We have an overturned semi-truck
and there's no ETA yet.

Over an hour delay from Pennsylvania
Avenue to the Wilson Bridge.

You've probably never seen this
before: the bodiless weatherman.

That northbound traffic
heading away from us there.

We've got zombies in the forecast !

The two other suspects. They're
charged with accessory to murder.

We are seeing clear skies
starting off your Tuesday.

And finally tonight, a quick word
on the United States Postal Service,

drivers of windowless white
vans you can trust.

It fallen on hard times recently.
It's massively in debt

and last year posted
a loss of $5.6 billion,

'cause why send a letter
when you can send an email ?

You could send a two-sentence letter
in the mail to your friend that reads:

"Finally saw "The Martian".
It was okay."

But that would be both
inefficient and deeply weird.

Postal Service is fighting
to stay relevant and cool.

Which is hard for an
organization whose uniforms

make you look
like a sexual predator on safari.

They try to get out there. And one
recent attempt is incredible.

Did you know that, since 2015,

the Postal Service has had
its own television show ?

It's on Saturday mornings
and it's called "The Inspectors",

and while it airs on CBS, its budget
is funded by the government.

And the show is pretty much
what you would expect

if a bunch of civil servants
had their own show.

I'm Preston Wainwright
and this is my mom, Amanda.

She's a US Postal Inspector,

she solves any crime
that uses the mail.

My dad was an inspector too,
one of the best,

until I lost him and the use
of my legs in a car accident.

I'm following my dream with
an internship in the crime lab

and the help of my best friends.

Together we are "The Inspectors".

The whole thing is a mix
of teenage soap opera,

police procedural and a PSA
about how to protect yourself

from mail related crimes, all
amounts to a kind of "CSI: Mailbox".

Its stars include this guy, who looks
like Anthony Michael Hall.

And you may think
I'm cherry picking similar photos,

but I'm not,
their photos are all similar.

Which of these actors was in the
"The Breakfast Club" ?

You can't do it !
That's my point.

There is something about
the aggressive tone of a cop show

and postal inspectors
that doesn't seem to quite fit.

I want to see my lawyer.
I know my rights.

Who are you anyway, the FBI ?

- We're postal inspectors.
- We've got a 98% conviction rate.

You're about to raise it to 99.

If a postal inspector
is your worst nightmare,

you need
to have worse nightmares.

There's a reason
that Freddy Kreuger kills people,

he doesn't fine them for
manufacturing counterfeit stamps.

About that conviction rate line:
that's not how numbers work.

Say they've convicted
980 out of 1 000 people.

By convicting one more person,
their rate isn't now 99, it's 98.1.

I'm going to give this
our official stamp of never mind.

Never mind. Doesn't matter.
Let it go. Never mind.

Episodes are 30 minutes long,
but I can run you through one.

A story featured the postal inspectors
involve in a cyber-ransom case,

after they find some evidence on
an envelope, and they work fast.

Georgia can match this
guacamole to the stuff on the letter.

We should have the results
in a few minutes.

The elements on the sample is almost
identical to the guac on the envelope.

Fiesta's over, Frank.

U.S. postal inspectors.
Up against the taco truck.

That is solidly written dialogue,

except for the part
when the guy says: "Man".

If someone whips out a badge and
yells: "U.S. postal inspectors",

the only natural reaction is gonna be:
"You guys have badges ? Why ?"

This isn't just about the cases. This
is a show that wants you to invest

in the histories and the complex
emotions of its characters.

With all the preparations
for this party,

I plum forgot to get you
something for your birthday.

You don't have to do that.

I thought I'd tell you why I became
a letter carrier after the military.

While I was deployed overseas,
every day I saw how important

a letter or a care-package from home
could be to a soldier

who was tired or scared
or was missing home,

it made all the difference
in the world.

I knew that when I got home,

I wanted to be a part
of that smile every day.

So, happy birthday.

That is officially the world's
shittiest birthday present:

Sorry, I couldn't get you a gift,
but how about I make you stand there

for what will feel like an eternity
while I talk about mail ?

That's a gift, right ?
I just gave you something.

The Postal Service made their
own behind-the-scenes video,

featuring Anthony Bootleg Hall
and the rest of the cast

talking about what
a great agency the USPS is.

The best and saddest part
is when they interview

the real-life chief
postal inspector Guy Cottrell,

who has an interesting assessment
of his status in Hollywood.

I came here, star struck,
looking at the actors

and the actors look at me
and the rest of our inspectors here

just as star struck because
we're doing the work.

As cool as it is for us
to see a TV show,

it's just as cool for them
to see real postal inspectors.

No, it isn't, Guy.
You're wrong about that.

You've misinterpreted the tone of
the actor who found out

he had to meet with you and said:
"I can't believe this is happening."

As this is a Saturday program,

it's supposed to be geared
towards kids and teens.

The main audience
for the show is 55 and older.

Not ideal. The postal service
needs to get its message out.

The point is to educate viewers
about things like mail fraud,

identity theft, and the importance
of postal inspectors.

It can't do that if it isn't
reaching the right audience.

What they need to do is insert
their message into popular shows.

Here is where we come in.
We've called in a few favors

from some of the most popular
shows and they agreed to help out.

First: there's this.

Laila McQueen,
Shante, you stay.

Misha Lopez, even though
you are a truly fierce tigress,

you forgot to check for watermarks
on postal money orders

and failed to turn on
two-step verification.

The Postal Inspection Service
can help you avoid scams.

If you can't love yourself,

how you gonna be
truly safe from identity theft ?

Now, sashay away.

Tell me that that is not
educational and fierce.

You can't, because it's both.

Not everyone watches reality shows.
What people do watch is "This Is Us",

which makes you laugh and cry,
and makes you wonder

when they're going to explain
how the father dies.

Why won't you tell us ?
Tell us so we can prepare ourselves !

If you could sneak some mail-related
dialogue, that'd be amazing, right ?

Take a look.

Hey, babe.
Did you get the mail today ?

I did. Once again, no suspicious
or fraudulent packages in it.

It's a good thing we
have a U.S. Postal Inspection Service,

otherwise I could be killed
by a mail bomb one day.

- It'd be terrible if that happened.
- Yeah, but luckily, it won't.

A mail bomb's definitely
not how I die, one day.

Even if you did die premature,
I doubt it would be from a mail bomb.

Yeah, definitely not. I'm gonna
live forever. I'm an invincible god.

See, perfect ? The key here,
as you've already seen so far,

is to do it subtly, a normal part
of a completely normal scene.

I'm tell you man it's like the system
is set up to keep us in here.

It's the prison industrial complex.

Ease up. Not everything
about the federal government is bad.

Let us not forget about
the hardworking men and women

of the United States
Postal Inspection Service.

True, the USPIS does guard us
from serious crimes.

Fuck that. The USP-I-S is trash.

I'm going to punch you.
I will cut you.

You don't know me.
You don't know the USPIS.

I told you to not be disrespecting
the postal inspectors in front of her !

If you'd like to know
more about them,

simply call
1-877-876-2455.

All right, I'll call them today.

You're welcome, Postal Service !
Our gift to you.

That's our show, thank you,
see you next week, good night !

LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

END OF EPISODE 29,
SEASON IV