John Oliver and Last Week Tonight were off this weekend for the Easter holiday. But on Sunday night, Oliver shared this special web-only segment about that most-cherished Internet phenomenon, the homemade conspiracy video.
It’s “science fiction for people who don’t understand they’re watching science fiction,” Oliver says, before quickly summarizing how he and most of us might feel when we watch one:
First, we think, “this guy guy has to be fucking kidding, right?” And then, maybe you, like Oliver, become jealous at the “sheer scale of imagination” it takes to dream up such scenarios, track down footage, suspenseful music, and then edit them together for a conspiracy video.
Oliver shares these two key things that every conspiracy video must have:
- “A wild claim that something we take for granted is actually the responsibility of robots, aliens, or U.S. presidents who are also robots or aliens.”
- “An eye for incredibly specific detail and an ability to make wild accusations with complete confidence.”
And then, because he’s John Oliver, a comic who enjoys turning his comedy into real-world projects (see: Make Donald Drumpf Again), he announces: “I’m going to make my own YouTube conspiracy video” choosing an appropriate subject for the holiday:
Yes, Oliver picked a scheme that’s greater than even the one that brings Candy Corn to shelves every Halloween — he chose the plot to keep Cadbury Creme Eggs coming back, year after year.
“The Cadbury Creme Egg is a terrible candy that tastes like mermaid placenta covered in candle wax and yet every year, these eggs show up in January like newly signed gym memberships, or movie theaters full of films that will never win Oscars.”
Why does this happen every year, asks Oliver? Follow the money, he says. He then takes us along a bizarre line of reasoning that’s like a mental Rube Goldberg machine: Each link in the chain reaction feels random — except for the fact that it keeps his pinball of a conspiracy theory rolling.
It ends with this straight-forward conclusion: Cadbury Creme Eggs are connected to the Illuminati.
“I’m pretty sure most of that is completely false, but it felt amazing to say and it almost made sense,” Oliver says. “And that is what YouTube conspiracy videos are all about.”
Only if he would have explored the conspiracy behind Peeps. The success of those just has to be a conspiracy.
Here’s the full video: