John Oliver on Psychics – Big Seance Podcast #137

John Oliver on Psychics - English Comedian and Political Commentator Goes On a Skeptical Rant about Psychic Mediums - Big Seance Podcast: My Paranormal World #137


English comedian and political commentator John Oliver recently went on a skeptic rant about psychic mediums in his HBO series, Last Week Tonight. Are psychics offended? Were you offended? Should we be? Does he have valid points? I’d love to know your thoughts.


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In this episode:

Intro :00

A recent rant by John Oliver offended your host, Patrick Keller. Was he right to be offended? After all, he’s not psychic. Are some of the points valid? :41

A clip from the HBO series, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 1:55

Patrick discusses his conflicting thoughts on the clip 19:30

Feedback from members of the Big Seance Parlor on Facebook 23:08 

Send Patrick your feedback! How did this segment make YOU feel? Are you a believer? Skeptic? In the middle? Were you offended? Should we be? 25:02

A special THANK YOU to Patreon supporters at the Super Paranerd and Parlor Guest level! 26:10

Outro 27:47


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About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit! View all posts by Patrick Keller

One response to “John Oliver on Psychics – Big Seance Podcast #137

  • Corryn

    So, I’m a big fan of John Oliver. I don’t have HBO, but when his main story gets published on Youtube the following day, I always take the time to watch. I think his comedic reporting is smart, well written, and cuts through bullshit in a way that is so necessary during this time in history. So when I started watching his segment on psychics, I was sad and kinda shocked to have to turn it off.
    It makes me slightly uncomfortable to pass judgement on his segment, while not having seen it in it’s entirety, but I was too offended to watch more than 10 minutes.

    Here are my personal thoughts on what I did watch:

    – The blanket statement that all psychics and mediums are frauds is incorrect. Easiest statement of this whole post. Of course I can say that though because I’ve been lucky to have only encountered truthful and positive people with these types of gifts, but I also think that there are OF COURSE many frauds, scammers, or people who are out there to take advantage of others. I didn’t see the cases that John presented, but it sounds like he reported on the result of some scams or “bad psychic work” (not sure if that’s a correct or fair way to term that).

    – I agree with the statement that your listener made that no psychic or medium is going to be 100% accurate. To me though, this expectation that somebody is all-seeing and all-knowing is silly. From my limited knowledge and experience, these gifts just seem like a different type of communication. As with all communication, there are pitfalls and differences in interpretation and understanding that exist.

    – I don’t look down on or blame people who don’t embrace spiritualism or maybe just this idea that this type of communication is real. I myself only embraced it about two years ago, and I’ve been linked to believers my entire life. The events that lead me to my belief are personal and unique to my story, as it is with all belief. For me it has been a positive change in my life, but I totally understand the fact that not everyone embraces the same beliefs and that some have been negatively affected by this particular one.

    – The question, was his reporting on the subject fair? I myself, I think it would have been smarter reporting to talk about facts only: stories of fraud, how to spot scammers or opportunists, etc. Reporting on your personal beliefs as fact, while only citing fraudulent cases is irresponsible and disrespectful.

    Anyway, this whole thing has me bummed. I still have so much respect for the work John and his team do, but this was a blunder. Thanks for doing a segment on this story, it’s been on my mind since it came out. I’m looking forward to hearing what your other listeners think. 🙂

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