John Oliver’s Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight operates by dousing its viewers (and its host) in a single serious topic, delivering long-form satirical reporting on subjects ranging from for-profit universities to the world of professional soccer. That sort of deep dive can be exhausting, though, especially when the thing you’re diving into is the all-consuming orange maw of the Donald Trump news cycle. Hence Oliver’s hesitation, as the show proceeds into its fourth season, of making the show “all Trump, all the time.”
“I’ve not really missed having to condense our thoughts down about whatever’s going on,” Oliver told The Hollywood Reporter, referring to the series’ between-season break during the period between the election and the inauguration. “[Trump] moves so fast that there’s no real point in spending a month on something that he’s said until you work out what the consequences of that are going to be.”
Oliver says he and his staff are determined to not devote excessive running time this year to Trump, “both on a level of interest and on a level of what the human soul can sustain.” Of course, he said something similar at the start of the show’s third season, which saw Trump—and his eventual victory—take over the entirety of the political world, and an increasing amount of the show’s run time. We’ll see how long Oliver and his team can keep their pledge going this time, once the show returns this Sunday on HBO.