John Oliver is a British comedian with an understated and wickedly clever sense of humor. For his new show, the Last Week Tonight crew wanted us to re-think the news parody show open and emphasize what sets him apart: an International approach, a show airing once a week, and the ability to curse freely on HBO.
Inspired by curiosity cabinets and encyclopedic visual reference books, we created a set of fake Latin labels and iconic imagery of cultural, political and social topics. The open is set up as a modular system with embedded “easter eggs” that can be updated regularly to reflect current events. Our favorites so far are “Putin Head” aka “Adversarius Maximus” and the Missile aka “Penne Envious.”
We extended the brand language we created with the show open into all the elements of a “proper” news broadcast.
Based on our work, HBO asked us to do a series of promos for the launch of the show. Cue office-wide fist bump.
While on set directing the open, Kelli kept John updated on Game of Thrones, reminding him of how the Khaleesi hatched her dragon eggs (Drogo’s funeral pyre).