John Oliver took the time Sunday to tackle an industry that, while often laughable, preys on vulnerable people. Yep, we’re talking about psychics.
Here’s a quick disclaimer: We’re not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with believing in psychics, spirits or any other paranormal phenomena. Four out of 10 Americans believe in psychics, as Oliver notes on Last Week Tonight, so there’s a decent likelihood you do. That’s just fine.
However, we do agree with Oliver’s main point, which is that the psychic industry tends to attract money-hungry charlatans who take advantage of people who are clearly emotionally distressed. On top of that, media platforms that lend these so-called psychics an air of legitimacy (here’s looking at you, Today Show) should be considered at least partially responsible for their reckless and predatory behavior.
During his segment’s 21-minute run, Oliver distinguishes the different types of reading used by psychics (cold and hot, aka generalized guessing versus researching a subject) and calls the Theresa Caputo of Long Island Medium “living proof of what would happen if you added too much baking soda to Edie Falco.” It’s a hilarious and enlightening critique of the potentially $2.2 billion industry.
Watch Oliver’s latest Last Week Tonight deep dive below and, if this has you in the mood for some supernatural content, read about comedian Jamie Loftus’ visit to the psychic capital of the world right here.