Charlie Pickering Takes On Piracy & Anti Vaxxers, Accused Of Copying John Oliver In ‘The Weekly’

Comedian Charlie Pickering recently jumped ship from The Project to the ABC, with the added incentive of his very own show – a Wednesday night current affairs take down known as The Weekly, cheekily usurping ABC’s living legend, Shaun Micallef and his flawless ‘Mad As Hell’. 

The maiden episode of Charlie Pickering’s offering aired last night on the ABC, and the comparisons to John Oliver’s acclaimed ‘Last Week Tonight’ came thick and fast, pretty much as soon as Pickering kicked it off with, “And our main story this week…” The form of the show is blatantly similar to John Oliver’s own show – the city skyline background, the token mug, the framing, the picture box to Pickering’s left, the shots, the cuts, the rhythm of it – everything.
Such similarities were called out within moments. Like this highly original and totally sick burn from one discerning Twitter critic.

Mimicking John Oliver was hardly unintentional – Last Week Tonight has proved to be one of the most virally successful hits that HBO happened to run with, on a whim. Fair enough, in theory – the producers at ABC saw that HBO was on to a good thing, and played their regularly pulverised budgets safe by regurgitating a winning format. 
But it’s hard to not see the move as disappointing – when genuine talent like Charlie Pickering is on board. Then again, the content is still killer, regardless of the format, and this is the earliest of days for “The Weekly”. There’s still time.
Pickering’s opening monologue skewered Australia’s propensity for pillaging the torrent shop on a regular basis, discussed the harm that piracy inflicts on the local film industry, and the impact piracy has on the porn industry. 
Anti-vaxxers, the topic of the moment, was also grilled in the show – which was uploaded this morning but has since been removed from Youtube, for some reason. You can watch ‘The Weekly’ in full over at the pandora’s box of archives that is ABC iView.