In a recent episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the titular host took a jab at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, saying it lacks substance. John Oliver’s Emmy-winning series is known for taking on tough subjects with long-form rants every Sunday night on HBO. The series is currently in the midst of its eighth season.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off in 2008 with the release of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. In the years since that initial film hit the big screen, the MCU has become arguably the biggest force in entertainment. That domination has led to the blockbuster releases of films like Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, as well as beloved new Disney+ series such as WandaVision and Loki. Now, the MCU is continuing to redefine itself in Phase 4, with films like Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home still to come for the remainder of 2021.
Though the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to dominate Hollywood at the box office and with many critics, not everyone is singing the franchise’s praises. In a recent episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver the host jokingly likened internet misinformation to the MCU. Read what Oliver said below:
All it takes is a few superficial labels and style choices to convince people that something with no real substance is actually meaningful and good. Or as it’s known in America, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Oliver clearly understood the reaction he was able to elicit with that joke, as he subsequently yelled “grow up!” to a groaning crowd. This is not Oliver’s first time poking fun at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, either. In fact, earlier this year, Oliver joked that the commercials for Frosted Flakes did a better job of creating a cohesive universe than the MCU had managed to over the course of all of its films. Though Oliver may have worked with Disney (who owns Marvel Studios) on the 2019 remake of The Lion King, he seemingly has no issue cracking wise about the entertainment giant’s biggest property.
At this point, it’s worth addressing the fact that Oliver is joking with these remarks on Last Week Tonight, but also that he is entirely entitled to his opinions. The internet has consistently exploded as celebrities and public figures speak out in favor or in opposition to comic book movies, especially Marvel films. This has been seen with the discourse surrounding individuals like Martin Scorsese or Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. That said, a lesson that some fans might want to learn is that individuals like Oliver may not like Marvel or the MCU as much as them, and that’s perfectly fine.