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Kudos to John Oliver for taking on Dr. Oz, America’s Quack

After Dr. Oz’s very bad week last week, it’s wonderful to see John Oliver take on Dr. Oz in a very long segment on his show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver:


By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

24 replies on “Kudos to John Oliver for taking on Dr. Oz, America’s Quack”

Crap piece of television, though. Surprised Oliver has any ratings if he does much stuff like that.

Crap comment though. Surprised anyone reads them if he makes comments like this.

“Crap piece of television, though. Surprised Oliver has any ratings if he does much stuff like that.”

Let us know when you get your own TV show, Jeff1971.

Been there, done it, bigger audience than 11pm Sunday on HBO, that’s for sure.


One might think Oliver reads a certain blog or two. But why does it take a Brit to point out the shortcomings of the DSHEA?

Oliver hilariously demonstrates how it’s possible to engage the audience without selling them on spurious health information like Oz does:

I understand that …er…*some people* do that whilst simultaneously deconstructing spurious health information.

Take a bow.
You know who you are.

That was a thing of beauty. 😉 He’s right. You can totally engage your viewers without feeding them harmful BS masquerading as advice. Of course, that’ll probably reduce the ad revenue you get from BS peddlers, and you might lose the market segment that really craves being told secrets to salvation but which thinks it’s too smart for televangelists. But I would tend to consider that a good thing.

It is so depressing to me when obviously intelligent individuals (like Dr. Oz) choose to disseminate woo instead of science. John Oliver nails it in this clip.

@Dorothy #8:

One might think Oliver reads a certain blog or two. But why does it take a Brit to point out the shortcomings of the DSHEA?

It’s probably something to do with the accent…

Also, in fairness, between the Daily Show and the Bugle, and now his very own show, John Oliver has been a professional pointer-out of American shortcomings for about eight years now.

I just realized, Jeff is the name of the lab rat with herpes. Maybe that’s why he’s so pissed about this.

Oliver is a gas. In looking up this clip (because it doesn’t run for me in this context), I found his interview with Stephen W. Hawking. I highly recommend it.

John Oliver .. . we need more funny men like him. Tap-dancing Steve Buscemi was good, too.
Chris Hickie @19 : The further you go into the desert, the further you go from reality-based thinking. By the time you arrive in Yuma, be ready to meet up with Chemtrails, Black Helicopters, UFO/Reptilian/Ickes types and FEMA Death Camp believers. Oh, and the Sovereign Citizen set lives out there also. Apologies to you rational Yuma, La Paz and Mojave county people. My theory is that it’s not the desert air that does it, but crank magnetism. I figure non-cranks in large numbers must repel cranks, who move away until they encounter masses of similar cranks, who attract them.
One day I’ll have to sit down and see if it conforms with Maxwell’s Equations.

Does anyone actually live in Yuma besides snowbirds and personnel from the Air Station? Granted, I haven’t been there since my MAWTS-1 days back in the ’80’s, but I don’t remember there being much of a native population (native in the sense of born and raised there).

Seriously, I am not making this up:
about 12 hours ago, I was flying in a 737 @ 34 000 feet and looking towards the horizon, I saw……
several- perhaps 6- intersecting, interweaving, nearly horizontal, contrails..

They were bold and strong- they seemed to race intrepidly across the cerulean blue sky like pale flames, proclaiming themselves for all to see, going on forever; they glistened like arctic faery dust across the frigid upper atmosphere. Like sylphs or powerful elemental personae, creatures of light or so I would hope.

Then I landed, got in a line, got into a car, drove across the city to the pristine – but comfortably posh- scenic and culturally significant environs where I had a drink, walked into the pool and observed the mimosa and lilies swaying in the warm Mediterranean breeze.

There are no contrails here. They wouldn’t dare- it would wreck the scene. I swear there are laws about things like that. Now I need to take someone to a cafe or suchlike.

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