Magazine May 17, 2021, Issue

Surely You Jest

Prince Philip (l.) and John Oliver (r.) (Popperfoto, Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
John Oliver’s absurd attack on Prince Philip

When did America agree to be lectured at by comedians? The question went through my mind again last month when I made the error of watching Late Night with Seth Meyers. On his own, Meyers is unfunny enough, but on this occasion the offense was squared by his being joined by the British-born comedian John Oliver. Perhaps the COVID-remote nature of the interview made it especially hard for them to judge things. Ordinarily Oliver and Meyers are used to live audiences in studio who are directed when to clap and when to laugh. Over time, this might warp anyone’s sense

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President Biden’s climate summit was a step forward in a process that is likely to end up being a very good deal for America’s rivals.

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