John Oliver Bites Hand With Snipe At HBO Max: “It’s Not HBO. It’s TV”

John Oliver helpfully provided his corporate overlords with a slogan for one of their big new ventures: “HBO Max: It’s Not HBO. It’s Just TV.”

The joke – aimed specifically at HBO’s upcoming streaming service that will include, in addition to original programming, classic TV fare, or as the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver said on Sunday’s episode, “reruns of Big Bang Theory, reruns of Friends and reruns of Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

Oliver’s snipe arrived early in last night’s show during a monologue segment about the NBA’s ongoing contretemps with China, a situation sparked when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, a tweet Morey quickly deleted, but not quickly enough to appease Chinese political and business sectors.

In his report, Oliver – who, like David Letterman before him, often mocks his corporate bosses, particularly AT&T, which owns HBO – showed clips of NBA players, appearing in an NBA China division commercial, wishing China a happy new year.

Noted Oliver, “Come on, there is nothing more cringe-worthy than watching someone forced to engage in promotional bullsh*t to appease the whims of their parent company.” Then Oliver launched into a faux-promo of his own.

“Have you heard about HBO Max?,” he asked. “Looking to add another app and monthly charge to watch things? HBO Max has you covered. It’s gonna have all your favorites. Reruns of The Big Bang Theory, reruns of Friends, reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. You can pay for all of those through HBO Max. HBO Max: It’s not HBO. It’s just TV.”

The joke, of course, referenced HBO’s old promotional campaign kicker: “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO.”

The WarnerMedia streaming platform is slated to debut in spring 2020.

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