John Oliver Goes Deep Inside Miss America (Video)
In yet another terrific piece of longform investigative comedy, John Oliver andLast Week Tonight take on the Miss America Pageant, which likes to promote itself as "the World's Largest Provider of Scholarships for Women." Obviously, there are two questions here: 1) Is it still 1959? and 2) Really? Miss America provides $45 million of scholarships a year? There's also the follow-up question of why anyone seeking an academic scholarship needs to know how to keep her swimsuit snug with butt glue.
On the first question, there's some lovely snark thrown, especially at the absurdity of all pageant events that don't involve swimsuits. Yes, a clip of Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 is included, like such as. On the other hand, the notion that a beauty pageant contestant should provide a 20-second answer to "What do we do about ISIS?" is already so ridiculous that it's a wonder more contestants don't end up similarly tongue-tied (we should note that in some pageants, tongue-tying is one of the actual events). And then there's the competing Miss USA pageant, which of course is owned by Donald Trump, "a clown made of mummified foreskin and cotton candy."
But it's that second question that launches this segment into satirical low-earth orbit. Leaving aside the question of why a scholarship should depend on the candidates' never having been pregnant, there's the simple question of whether Miss America actually does provide all that scholarship money. Guess what? Absolutely not. It turns out that the actual amount of scholarships paid out was a bit under $500,000; the rest is a brilliant accounting gimmick resulting from adding together every single potential scholarship that winners might access, nationwide, if they could go to virtually every college in the country simultaneously.
Watch, enjoy, share. Also, there's Kathy Griffin and a hunky male model who she thinks is more academically qualified than John Oliver.
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