The Census: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Published on Nov 18, 2019
John Oliver discusses the census, why it matters, and the consequences of an undercount.
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  • Why not use the mass surveillance, that they already have in place, to count people?

  • hahaa Hamsters in tiny Speedos hahaha yes this is a Comedy Show hahahah Comedy prize 2020 here we come

  • Love the thought of the graphic designer going home and telling his wife how he spent his day photoshopping speedo's onto photos of hamsters :) I want a job like that!!!

  • So there will be a lot fewer (the uncounted) persons living in the US then. Not smart!

  • I've been watching Fox news and listening to right-wing radio and taking all kinds of supplements from my faith healer Alex Jones. Maybe someday I'll have pecs like him. When somebody knocks at the door and says they're from the government all of a sudden I can see all kinds of black helicopters. No no no, I am not giving my information because I could get raped and murdered!. Now Donald Trump knocked on my door I'd have to bend over in front of him and tie my shoes because he's so wealthy and such a boss who's not afraid to fire people plus I want to be his new trophy boyfriend.

  • So when will those stats be implemented?

  • Doesn't the us government already have much of that info? Everybody pays taxes and such, so it must be known who lives where? As someone from Western Europe, this seems odd to me

  • *America. Canadas underwear* It's so shitty, we don't even know how properly it is cleaned. First, it was cleaned, then it turned into a pee vs poo battle, in which, poo won, then it got shitty, cleaned again but that underwear got torn, it's taking so long so let's skip it. The it got a wee-bit cleaner until the fire nation attacked, then we went to buy new black underwear and now, that underwear somehow got whitened. But what we do know right now that it seems like we took our underwear down, but it on a bull and let the bull take the biggest dung that it ever had.

  • Woohoo! Census will include a Puerto Rican and an Iroquois native. Haha!

  • 😂

  • Ok is no one going to mention the scary white guy dressed as an Indian mouthing the wrong words in that census music video? He made me poo a little.

  • I don't know how this works in the US but here in Canada, answering the census is mandatory. Refusing to do so is punishable by fines and in extreme cases, jail.

  • Susan Skellington is not related to Jack Skellington. That’s a fact. That is a Disney fact!

  • Man, that poor census lady.

  • Damn, poor census workers. I could never be one 🙃 Also, anyone notice that Oliver is stumbling more often than ever? Is he okay??

  • Maybe trump was a norman knight who worked on the Domesday Book post 1066 and that's why he thinks they ask about how many toilets people have.

  • Read Article 1 Section 2. The census is intended to be nothing more than a headcount. Period.

    • Difficult to have a head count when you don't know how many people you're counting twice because you don't have the names. Unless you want a proper national ID number of course, then its fine.

  • This is the Trump era, John. Admitting to crimes on camera doesn't mean _SHIT_ anymore.

  • There's no reason the Census can't be done every year. And done by the States themselves.

  • Trump on elections: "They use computers. Why not pen and paper?" Trump on census: "They use pen and paper. Why not computers?"

  • I wish we could ask the citizenship question on the census because that’d be super fucking useful information to have, but I understand why it’s not appropriate while we’re in this is “fuck illegals” environment. Very unfortunate data we can’t collect for policy and city planning.

  • It's "people experiencing homelessness," John.

  • lol In Canada we receive the census form by mail and return it by mail. Thats it. its easy.

  • At twelve minutes I think the law is useless.

    • Canada and the USA can not be trusted. They're both in bed with evil for money.

  • john wont be back until Feb. oy....

  • That one hampster actually had a pretty impressive verga.

  • I was a Census worker for the Canadian Census conducted in 2016. I definitely ran into some...... "difficult" people who refused to participate (in whole or in part). In Canada, Census participation is mandatory and failure to comply can result in a jail sentence (but this has never happened) - but I have to report it. As to the citizenship question: we don't ask it. Here's an overview of the Census questions we asked:

  • Sadly, John Oliver did a bad job researching the history of the census. The 1980 census had a short and a long-form. People sent the long-form who responded with the short form had people coming to their door to gather the correct form and the detailed answers.

  • Yes, the only reason people at your door can't come in and rape you is because you didn't tell them your name.

  • I have this little trick for illegals filling out the census. See that little box that says 'yes' next to the question 'Are you a citizen?', tick it.

  • Australian Census data demands to know how much "housework" you do per week. As an intermittently employed, university educated (with a TAFE degree... oh wait, they call it something else now), somewhat heterosexual, Leftist leaning, but generally centrist idealism hoping, childless, Atheist with a cat and a dog and is the only child of a widow... WTF?!!! HOW DOES THAT QUESTION HELP MY SUBURB KNOW WHETHER THEY NEED ANOTHER DOG PARK?!!!

  • Just a wee problem, the claim at the beginning that 'The Census is America's Great Tradition' (paraphrased). China has the oldest surviving census, taken by the Hang Dynasty in 2ad, now over 2,000 years old. The first Western Country to take one was Norway in the 1660's, over 100 years before the US constitution was written. America has done a lot of things that should make it proud (and some to its eternal shame), but it really has to stop taking the credit for shit that others have done way before and way better before the US even existed. Heard of The Domesday Book? England's first census of absolutely everything, including how many chickens individuals owned, compiled in 1086. Not only is the US census one of the newest in the West, it's one of the least informative because of this paranoia about 'freedom' and a distinct lack of detail as a result. As you know, John, the UK one is pretty extensive and a historian's goldmine, but we're as free as a bird and don't even have to carry any ID, which is rare in the West, or East for that matter. We can also proudly claim that officially we have 319,127 Jedi Knights living in the UK because under 'what religion are you? ' we can legally state anything we want. There are more Jedi's in the UK than Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, nearly 1% of the entire population. I know these programs are for an American audience, but the rep' Americans have got themselves for being ignorant about the rest of the world are partly down to the misinformation they are fed by TV, just stop it.

    • @Michael McGlade Go away you annoying little buzzing bug, I swatted you, yet you still buzz. Your brain is so small that you will never comprehend that your buzzing is futile, that my huge presence is beyond your comprehension of size. Do I admire your persistence? Nope, you're just a little buzzing bug.

    • @Lewi Lewis That's just not true. A tradition is just a practice that a group of people or peoples take part in and repeat it generation after generation. Tea is the traditional drink of China, but it is also a tradition in all sorts of other parts of the world.

    • @Michael McGlade When you claim something as 'A (insert country name) Tradition' it suggests one thing, that they thought of it and are the only ones that do it, end of.

    • At no point was it said that the census is exclusively an American practice.

  • How does one toilet work in a group situation? Take turns? Lap dancing? Some kind of human centipede situation? ;p

  • I see that the real life Peter Griffin is a defeated librarian in Providence, not Quahog.

  • Ok, so given the recent events that have happened, you no longer have to talk about homelessness birdnana man. Just tell us when we can all expect to implode at the tiny hands of that weird pumpkin in a wig.

  • Damn... that's tough

  • if u pay taxes or have a drivers license yhe govt has all your info, so why not do the census?

  • @6:20 I'll have you know Mr Oliver that my butt goes EXACTLY the speed it needs to!

  • Where is John nowadays on YT?

  • We can file our taxes online. Decades from now we will be embarrassed by how long it took us to take the other functions of government as seriously.

    • HailMammon Moments should be embarrassed now. In Europe they do their taxes in less than 5 mins. They simply confirm with the info their irs already has or make changes

  • I am disappointed with you John. after watching this another time I realized at 14:00 the daughter didn't find a 'hard drive' but a 'zip drive'. I didn't even realize anyone still used those things, should have made a joke about how the dead father thought no one would be able to read the zip drives if they couldn't find a reader for it.

  • Shout out to Census Man. Doing more to serve Americans than Superman or Captain America ever did.

  • You know what, you (and other late night show hosts) would probably have 2x the viewership if you would at least try to be down the center... Like, even left leaning is ok.... I really enjoy your show when its on topic, but I hardly ever watch anymore because you tie literally everything to either Trump, or the republicans, or both... And you never NEVER say a thing about democrats... and if you do, its just a backhanded compliment.... I got up to 3 minutes into this video... its covering a topic I'm interested in, before I had to just shut it off.

  • May you please do an episode on the Australian Bushfires and our chickenshit P.M Scomo. I used to live next to the guy and he’s a right c*nt. He was fired for corruption and has exasperated this bushfire season dramatically which has affected the whole nation. Celebrities are pitching in money which is useful but the real causes are climate change and a shitty government so that needs to change.

  • Reminder: John Oliver is not a US Citizen. He is a foreign agent meddling in US elections. Not a citizen. "Of particular concern to Oliver is Trump's executive actions on immigration, which he fears could worsen. He is not an American citizen himself."

    • Samantha "Xene" Bee is a foreigner. So is the new guy on the Daily Show. If America sucks so bad. . . how come they go there to get a job?

  • Have you ever heard of the Boeing SLS? A multi-billion dollar boondoggle rocket that is soaking the poor American taxpayers to funnel money to Alabama and Louisiana. Disgraceful.

  • "Computers of the world" - LOL! He uses surf porn of Ivanka! :P

  • 8:55 that's the facial expression cats make when confronting a working printer.

  • Let Repulishits keep their doors shut so they can lose Congressional seats 👍🏿

  • Americans do everything in such a complicated manner... In Sweden, you're simply given a "personal number" when your born/become a citizen. Then it's deactivated once you're declared dead. No need to count... the government just have the data. And our "IRS" registers where people liv. And they also do your taxes for you. And taxes are included in prices. And no tipping. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • Rumpy Drumphy did an AMA? I can't picture *that*! How does he know what Reddit is? *Where* does he think it is? Can you imagine trying to explain Reddit to the Orange One?

  • Rumpy Drumphy did an AMA? I can't picture *that*? How does he know what Reddit is? *Where* does he think it is?

  • zip drives.. who uses that anymore!? :o

  • @5:05; There's another point to add though - presumably a census worker who wanted to murder people wouldn't need their name - unless, somehow, they've magically found the Death Note. You know, the magic book from the anime by the same name.

  • Well shit...

  • 14:17 Latino here. I have a question, how is knowing whether I'm American or not going to suppress my vote? I'm confused. I get why undocumented migrants (like my peers and neighbors) would refrain from answering the census. But how is that question itself going to stop an American from voting?

    • Has to do with drawing the districts. There are many that are weird shapes just to make sure that minority votes are never in a position to make a difference in a vote.

  • 14:25 So true. 😢

  • Reminder: when they release filling out the census online, make sure to file documents stating there are twenty thousand people living in your house all named: '; DROP DATABASE "Census";--

  • As an Australian, I can tell you an online census is a bad idea.

    • @Liam White We had a problem in Aus when someone hacked into it and took it down for a while

    • As a canadian, I can tell you an online census is a good idea.

  • The census Trump was talking about was one taken when he was a tot, when a whole lot of people didn't have toilets in the house. The long form I got in the '70s asked about televisions.