Other than countless hours of Netflix, what are we supposed to watch in order to fill the yawning, sports-shaped hole currently in our lives?
Well, John Oliver thinks he has a solution. But before he dives into it, the Last Week Tonight host starts by breaking down all the ways sport has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) — and all the risks and complications associated with trying to bring it back.
“Look, I will own the fact I really want sports to come back,” Oliver says. “There is no doubt that they have the ability to inspire. One of the things sport does best is to bring people together in times of crisis, like when the Yankees resumed playing after 9/11. Unfortunately though, bringing people together is the exact thing that we should not be doing right now. And while sport was genuinely helpful at the start of this crisis in showing us how serious this virus was, if it comes back too soon, and irresponsibly, it won’t be an inspiration — it’ll be a cautionary tale.”
Oliver’s suggestion? While we’re waiting for normality resume, we turn our attention to the (admittedly awesome-sounding) world of marble racing — and in particular, the YouTube channel Jelle’s Marble Runs, which Last Week Tonight has now become a sponsor of.
As Oliver explains, Last Week Tonight will award the winner of each event in this year’s Marble League with a $5,000 donation to a food bank in their name, plus a $20,000 donation to the International Rescue Committee for the overall winner.
“It is the only way we could think of making what these guys are doing even better,” Oliver concludes.