Last Week Tonight: Commonwealth Games


And now this. And now Last Week Tonight asks “How Is This Still a Thing?” This week: The Commonwealth Games. How is this still a thing? If you live in certain parts of the world, this week you’re looking forward to one thing. We got the Commonwealth Games coming up. Commonwealth Games. Welcome to the friendly games. In America, we not only don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, we couldn’t tell you if you offered us $2,000. Here’s a question: what the fuck are the Commonwealth Games? Other than the winner of the creepiest mascot
on earth competition. Well, imagine the Olympics without the United States, China, and Russia. Then imagine a track meet dominated by sprinters from Wales. And you have: The Commonwealth Games. A competition that’s only opened to members of the British Commonwealth. The Games began in 1930s, just as the British Empire was falling flat on its face. And for some
reason, continued to this day. Once every four years, the world is treated to the spectacle of the Queen join her full emotional rage. From irritated in Victoria, to damped in Manchester, to bored in Melbourne. But why would she be bored? The Commonwealth Games feature all the world’s top sports such as: squash, lawn bowls, competitive mountain biking, and netball. Which is basically what basketball would be if you didn’t have the rights to play basketball. As many of these games are British-derived, it’s no wonder that England has soared all the way to the top of second-place of the medal count. And for non-sports fans, the
Games also offered opening and closing ceremonies that speak to our sense of wonder specifically
the wonder of what an off-broadway version of the Olympics ceremonies would look like.
So tonight, we salute this week’s Commonwealth Games. The historic display of a once mighty
nation, gathering together the countries that lost and finding a way to lose to them once more. So next time, you’re on Jeopardy, and the answer is “The Commonwealth Games”, the only possible question is: how is this still a thing?

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Well, as is evident from the clip of Usain at the end, The Commonwealth Games offer good training for the Jamaican track team, so shrug

  2. How is the queen still a thing? Or any other schmuck thinking they are royalty. My dog's SHIT has more class than them all combined. And that is SHIT, not shite. A HUGE STINKING FUCKING TURD. Get it right for once eh Britain?~!!!

  3. the continued success of the commonwealth is actually proof that the empire did something right. countries after leaving the empire could have given the 2 finger salute, like many countries did too other european colonizers but instead decided to stay somewhat loyal and recognise that britain did a lot good mixed in with some bad.

  4. While we talk about England v Australia, Richie Benaud died today.  A great Australian, a great sportsman, a great commentator and a gentleman to boot.

  5. Aw… are you guys sore because someone else is having a social event?

    How dare people get together and form social bonds without inviting the US!?

  6. Another question that could be asked is why is the World Series called the 'World Series' when only the U.S. is the only country that takes part?

  7. I fail to see why the US is criticising the Commonwealth Games. We in the UK don't laugh at the World Series, which inexplicably takes place in the US and excludes the rest of the world. Some things just are. Silly video.

  8. Technically China should be part of Commonwealth because Hong Kong, which is now Special Admin Region of China, was a British colony until 1997. I mean, the whole China team can disguise themselves as Hong Kong.

  9. If the Commonwealth Games are irrelevant it only seems logical that the Pan Am Games (where the US does compete) would run along the same lines.

  10. To all those Australians who gave me grief a while back when I said England would win back the Ashes in 2015…..

    ….Ha!

  11. Go jews. Tearing everything while patronizing it.
    The best reporters in the world. Such good people.
    Because the truth has to be told especially your neughbors

  12. Everybody should chill in the comment sections. The Common wealth games are a good thing that ties many tense countries together (like India and Pakistan). And if you are wondering why the united states is not part of the commonwealth, It's because you need to have the Queen as your monarch; And I'm sure you don't want that. But for the 53 countries that do, we enjoy the games as like a second mini Olympics. No harm, no foul. Also it's not mandatory, any country can leave at any point.

  13. Why are the Commonwealth Games still a thing?

    Sorry to say America, the party doesn't stop when you aren't there.
    You're not as necessary as you think you are.

  14. the fact that some people are actually offended by this makes it even funnier, some people are ridiculous it's a comic segment on comedy show , pull your knickers out your asses haha

  15. As a Canadian I can tell you that we and the other commonwealth countries need to have Olympic type games where USA Russia and China are not there so we can win gold and feel special too!

  16. As a Canadian I can tell you that we and the other commonwealth countries need to have Olympic type games where USA Russia and China are not there so we can win gold and feel special too!

  17. As a Canadian I can tell you that we and the other commonwealth countries need to have Olympic type games where USA Russia and China are not there so we can win gold and feel special too!

  18. great Britain has this because they can't compete in most world sports again other nations in sports like track, basketball and etc

  19. I love how Britain still refuses to play as one team despite the fact that they would probably do much better if they did. Not just at these games but at pretty much everything else.

  20. So Australia can have a troll competition every 4 years and kick the shit out of a bunch of countries that don't even have swimming pools

  21. It's more of a chance to allow countries who don't win anything in the Olympics to win something, which is why it's really fun to watch a close competition between usually overshadowed nations and athletes 🙂

  22. Canadian here… What the f**k are the Commonwealth Games? Of course, the video covered it for me but… It's been 20 years of my life and its the first time i've heard it

  23. The Pan Am games are even worse! They were just held in Toronto a while back and every one who lives there knows how useless it was. We're already part of the Olympics, and Commonwealth games, so why do we have more? In fact, my aunt who just graduated from there tells me that the people that mainly paid for the government to build the Pam Am stadium were the students that went to the University it's right beside- UTSC. She said that their tuition fees skyrocketed to pay for the stadium and even students now are still paying for them despite the fact that they are done building it, because they still haven't paid it off. And the only thing they get back? They get to use the stadium as a gym, but only if they are still students at the university, if they graduated, forget it. If an actual gym membership costed thousands, no one sane would actually get it, but the students done have a choice because it just gets added to their tuition. And sure, if they apply to get reimbursed, they can get some of the money back, but only if they apply and only some money.

  24. Ever seen that meme with the queen making an irritated face? And it says "look at all these countries that I used to own"? Yeah, the commonwealth games are that.

  25. Here's a question… what do Americans know about the planet when 75% don't own a passport and will never set foot outside of North America – unless its to invade countries such as Iraq!

  26. Wow, I thought British people had a pretty good sense of humor and were able to have a good laugh at themselves from time to time. The amount of butthurt Brits in this comment section proves me wrong, apparently.

  27. The bit about the sprinters, it's not just Wales. In fact there are fast runners from Kenya and Jamaica (think Usain Bolt).

    Second; the Commonwealth Games is opened to those countries who are part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

    And next year; The Commonwealth Games will be on the Gold Coast of Australia.

  28. The bit about the sprinters, it's not just Wales. In fact there are fast runners from Kenya and Jamaica (think Usain Bolt).

    Second; the Commonwealth Games is opened to those countries who are part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

    And next year; The Commonwealth Games will be on the Gold Coast of Australia.

  29. The World Series should not be compared to the Commonwealth Games. Honestly, if it wasn't called the World Series, no one would draw any comparisons to begin with. Allow an American to educate you on why the comparison is really stupid.

    The Commonwealth games are basically the Olympics, but based entirely around the British Commonwealth and with sports popular in said commonwealth. It contains competitions in multiple sports and has international relevance since competitors span five continents and each participating country sends teams and individuals delegated to play international sports.

    The World Series is the best-of-seven championship series of a professional baseball league in the United States and Toronto, Canada with 30 clubs spanning the width of a large country. Each individual team is a business making a profit and hiring the best baseball players both in the US and a few dozen countries, mostly in the Americas and Asia. All of them are vying for the title of the best team in the league for one season.

    While I do agree the the "World" moniker is pretty stupid, it was created to get the attention of its intended audience, which at its inception was mostly Americans. Yes, even before we actually became the superpower we currently are, we had huge egos. To my knowledge, there is no international competition for professional baseball, BUT there is a competition for international baseball delegations called the World Baseball Classic.

    Anyway, the point is that these two competitions are incomparable. One is about as important as the Stanley Cup or NBA Finals, while the other is a step down from the Olympics.

  30. Do the offended Brits here realize that John Oliver, the host and presenter, is British? This is YOUR humor and YOUR comedian whom we have imported. He's normally a very funny guy, and he has offended just about everyone at one time or another. He hasn't exactly singled out the Commonwealth Games – this is just one among thousands of his skits.

    You can't blame America for inviting an Englishman to come on to American television and letting him do his thing. It was his choice to entertain us with HIS tongue-in-cheek view on the Commonwealth Games. I'm sorry you got offended.

    I'm sure the Commonwealth Games are great, but since we were part of the first empire and therefore not a part of the commonwealth, we can't be expected to know what the hell the fuss is about.

    Americans ARE comparatively ignorant of what goes on in the rest of the world, but that is because we have the Atlantic to the east, the Pacific to the west, and the arctic to the north. It's a simple matter of geography from our perspective. But are the English any better? Do you know what's going on in Asia, Africa, or Latin America at the moment?

    Our "insular" country encompasses an entire continent and over 350 million people. We have plenty to keep us busy right here. So it shouldn't offend anyone that the average American doesn't know what's going on in Dusseldorf. It just doesn't affect us.

    By the way… when Europeans talk about "knowing what's going on in the world," they usually are just talking about Europe. For example, how many Englishmen could name the president of Brazil?

  31. there are so many things wrong with that clip
    1 the comonwealth games is the second largest multi sports event after the olympics so it's a big deal for the country's in the comonwealth.
    2 the Welsh guy is a herdeler not a splinter and and the winner of the sprinting is usain bolt because Jamaica is in the commonwealth.
    3 England has com top of the medal table alot of times including the last one in 2014.
    4 those clips of the opening ceremonys are from along time ago and the more recent ceremony don't look that bad anymore.

  32. There are plenty of Games apart from the Olympics . The US participates in one called the Pan American Games . I think you will find that the Commonwealth Games is more popular than all these other Games perhaps because there are no Americans
    US TV especially makes all international sports unpleasant viewing .
    This compere guy knows that the way to American hearts ( and his own wealth ) is mock other countries .
    Maybe that is why so many people everywhere think that when the US is having a bad time that they have it coming

  33. Here's a question, why are the various American 'world series' sport tournaments still a thing? No one outside the US participates, so it's not a world series is it?

    Why are the Commonwealth games a thing? Because people, nations and organizations exist outside the US. And here's a novel concept for Americans, despite being called the Commonwealth games, it actually includes all Commonwealth members. I know right? Crazy!

  34. Damn this comment section makes me feel like i’m a terrible person cause i’m American, I agree America is a dump, but goddamn this is supposed to be funny

  35. Always fantastic to see Clank rightfully shitting all over the Commonwealth Games. No one cares even over here in the most successful nation of them.

  36. And American football? How is this still a thing? Sometimes I think America has their football and baseball so that it can't suffer the indignity of losing to the rest of the world at their own sport, like Britain does on a daily basis, without bitterness.

  37. Joke all you want but I think it's very accommodating of us to invent all of these sports and then graciously lose at them.

  38. For about 5 seconds I'd forgotten how much I hate John Oliver shitting over anything to do with Britain to pander to his US audience. Thankfully, this clip reminded me.

  39. Even though the games r dumb it’s worth noting Wales doesn’t dominate track and field JAMAICA does with USAIN BOLT!!!

  40. Warning,
    The comments are filled with pompous asshats who can't take a joke. Yet are willing to make fun of other countries who apparently think they don't have it as good as them.

  41. Americans love the sports only play….baseball is only popular in USA and don't talk about Japan…Football(not handegg) is more popular there…Basketball not as popular in other places…even cricket is more popular as it played and followed a lot in Aus,Ind(whole south Asia)NZ and eng…..American logic…insult what u can't play…FOOTBALL is the biggest sport in the world…

  42. I like how all you commonwealth nations are getting on our cases for not knowing about the commonwealth games. But just remember that it's due to the fact that unlike you guys we actually beat the British Empire. So we don't need your discount Olympics

  43. Those of you who say “America is ignorant”, “America is selfish”… Last Week Tonights’s director and presenter,John Oliver, is the one who chooses the subjects they are going to speak about, and he is ENGLISH, from Birmingham, so stop talking shit. Probably you cant understand that hes a progressive republican, but he is, and hes british ,and to him the Queen, the Commonwealth, the British Empire, the Peers… SUCKS.

  44. The British Empire :

    May I add: " and somehow refused to fall in its face by a series of hypocritical economical and political, burocratic bandages on to those same conquered countries…. "

  45. BECAUSE THE UK HAS AN IDENTITY CRISIS AND ALL THE OTHER NATIONS JUST WANT TO BEAT US AT THE RUNNY RUNNY, JUMPY JUMPY AND SWIMMY SWIMMY.

    Fuck you, its a fun event. xD

  46. you think these pompous limeys have any idea the money and military support the U.S. pumps into their insignificant sterile little euro countries. First of all The U.S. created NATO so Stalin and the Russians wouldn't come in and stick all you euro frogs behind a barbed wire wall. But aside from the United States inventing the light bulb, the personal computer, the internet that allows jagoffs from a dying country to give their opinions about us. Just The Marshall Plan alone post WW2 $110 billion dollars of American tax money (by todays adjustment) to rebuild their continent after Hitler nearly obliterated them

  47. Why do British people in here think that only Americans laugh at the commonwealth games? All non-commonwealth nations think they suck and even many people inside those states do. But praise your Queen and bloodily have your bloody fun, you bloody bleeders! (Or do you say bloody even more often?!)

  48. Everyone here making fun of Americans is hilarious.
    1.) it’s not that we don’t know about these games. We just don’t care
    2.) imagine if the US decided to take part. Wouldn’t it be delightful to get absolutely blasted in every sport?

  49. Coming from an American, I found this joke to be in very poor taste. But question: Do these games also end up leaving cities broke afterwards like the olympics does? If not, then the commonwealth games are automatically superior.

  50. awww, I like the commonwealth games. It's like an Olympics without Chinese, Soviets or Americans.

  51. If it weren't for a Father Ted I would have never heard of Eurovision 🇬🇧🇫🇮🇩🇰🇩🇪🇮🇸🇱🇺🇳🇴🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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