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John Oliver’s Alternative To The CNN Doomsday Video Captures Humanity At Its Monster-Trucking Best

Ted Turner at one point prepared a video for CNN to play at the end of the world. John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight made a better one.

When it’s all said and done, and the inevitable robot uprising has brought us to the brink of annihilation, we will all of us humans gather our families and loved ones and face the end together. We will also apparently perish the same way we lived–watching television–where there will be at least two dedicated viewing options, one of which is far superior.

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Back in January, a writer for Jalopnik unearthed CNN’s so-called doomsday video, which Ted Turner assembled for the event of a global meltdown. The elegiac video presents grainy footage of a marching band playing “Nearer My God To Thee.” It’s kind of a bummer, to say the least, with the inherent sadness of the song allegedly played during the Titanic’s sinking infused with piss-poor production values. Who on Earth (literally) would want to go out like that? Thankfully not John Oliver and the team at Last Week Tonight, who have prepared an alternative with a bit more pep.

Oliver’s video features precisely zero military bands and instead is lead by honey-throated actor and world’s number one Sheen, Martin Sheen. Rather than close out humanity’s last hurrah with despair, the new video reminds its presumably already-sad viewers what kind of kickass achievements their species has racked up over the millennia. These triumphs include everything from harnessing the power of fire to the invention of the Segway.


Lest we get too high on our own supply just before the moment of extinction, the Last Week Tonight video also includes a few of humanity’s “bloopers” in a moment of humility. (That whole atomic bomb thing? Not very chill.) Of course, too many of these reminders of our flaws would be just as depressing as CNN’s doomsday video, so Sheen steers us right back into the good stuff.

Let’s chalk it up to another one of humanity’s achievements that we got to see this video without having an actual armageddon on our hands.