Skip to main content

John Oliver's all-dog Supreme Court on 'Last Week Tonight' is hilarious and free for anyone to remix

John Oliver's all-dog Supreme Court on 'Last Week Tonight' is hilarious and free for anyone to remix


Constitutional paws

Share this story

Comedian newscaster John Oliver has aired some hilarious and incisive sketches so far throughout the first season of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight. But there's a new top dog among them: last night's bit featuring an all-animal Supreme Court. Inspired by Keyboard Cat, the sketch — which features dogs as the nine justices, a duck as an assistant, and a pitch-perfect pecking chicken as a stenographer — is meant to mock the absurdity of the US Supreme Court's refusal to allow its proceedings to be televised, despite permitting audio recordings. Using actual audio of the nine Supreme Court justices (from the ongoing case Holt vs. Hobbes, about whether prisons can force Muslim prisoners to trim their beards), Oliver's crew, "spent an incredible amount of time and an almost immoral amount of resources to produce an entire Supreme Court featuring real animals with fake paws." The resulting sketch (above) is even more amazing than it sounds.

But Oliver and his team went even further: they've made a full 10 minutes of video of their adorable animal SCOTUS sketch free for public use. Oliver said during his show that he hoped serious broadcast news organizations would use this animal recreation footage in place of the boring still illustrations that they currently use to accompany Supreme Court audio. "What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to," Oliver said during his broadcast. It's hard to argue otherwise, with SCOTUS's recent decisions covering female contraception, gene patents, warrants for cell phone records and other major aspects of modern life in America. Let's hope that his show's animal Supreme Court footage is enough to bait Americans into paying closer attention.