John Oliver's 4-minute back to school guide on YouTube goes viral

The comedian's hit-clip, which shows him 'teaching' an entire year of school, has already received over 1.6 million hits in just under two days

Aftab Ali
Tuesday 08 September 2015 13:27 BST
(Last Week Tonight/YouTube)

Students who have already started back at school this month will be kicking themselves after reading this: you didn’t have to go at all, and could easily have learned a year’s worth of work – in just over four minutes.

Thanks to the host of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, the British comedian has taken the time put together an online exclusive, giving students a crash course in everything they will – or will not – learn in school this year.

Having been posted just two days ago, the clip has already proven to be a big hit with YouTubers, having racked-up over 1.6 million views, and rising.

So, how will the coming academic year look for students, according to John Oliver? Let’s take a look:

World history look set to bring up some interesting facts about European “explorers” and “colonists.” However, the main thing on the agenda is learning about Africa and Asia – and that fact they are places. That’s about it. That, and the shape of both continents, is all students will be taught.

Despite being repeatedly told math would be needed as a grown-up, it’s not. The only things to bear in mind, he says, are: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Speaking as an adult with a job, Oliver describes how he cannot remember whether algorithm is “some kind of exponent, Kenny Loggins’ first album, or a method of lumberjack birth control.” He just doesn’t know, and recommends students just ignore it.

Why read books in English when you can just get straight to the end? (via Last Week Tonight/YouTube)
Why read books in English when you can just get straight to the end? (via Last Week Tonight/YouTube) (Last Week Tonight/YouTube)

Moving onto biology, if students dissect a frog, they will undoubtedly forget their first kiss – but never the everlasting stench of frog embalming fluid. However, chemistry could be extremely useful, he says, for a very specific reason – but only if the teacher is “really good.”

Finally, English students who were looking forward to reading the many books as listed in the academic syllabus had better look away – as he shares his definitive guide on who dies at the end of Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, The Jungle, The Great Gatsby, and Death of a Salesman. The main thing that seems to die throughout, he describes, is the American Dream.

So, now that you’re are all caught up with what to expect this academic year, courtesy of Mr John Oliver, enjoy your year off.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in