As far as newsworthy trolling goes, there's pretty much no contest when it comes to John Oliver — and his most recent prank on the Federal Communications Commission has us muting our phone ringers in solidarity. In an era of rushing to answer your phone only to find that it's some pre-recorded telemarketer instead of a family member or friend, it's no surprise that the Last Week Tonight host couldn't hold back from expressing how fed up he is during his Sunday night segment.
"Hi, FCC. This is John from customer service," Oliver said in an actual voicemail message for the FCC. "Congratulations! You've just won a chance to lower robocalls in America today. Sorry, but I am a live person! Robocalls are incredibly annoying, and the person who can stop them is you!" In an effort to prove to the FCC just how annoying it is to receive frequent and repetitive robocalls, Oliver dramatically revealed — via a giant red button pushed by an equally as giant hand — that his message is set to go out to the FCC every 90 minutes, followed by a sound clip of bagpipe music.
According to Last Week Tonight, robocalls increased by 57 percent in 2018 alone, resulting in nearly 47.8 billion robocalls. And, despite the fact that nearly 60 percent of complaints directed at the FCC are about robocalls, according to CBS This Morning, the agency continues to insist that it's the individual's responsibility to prevent large companies from gaining access to their contact information. The FCC does have the authority to combat robocalls — and even solved the spam call problem a few years ago — but pushback from major companies has led the number of robocalls to skyrocket once again. Oliver described the situation by saying, "We basically got our one-year sobriety chip and celebrated by drinking a bottle of Captain Morgan."
Watch the full clip above, and let's all hope Oliver's message gets the point across once and for all.