Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Pennies (HBO)

Published on November 23, 2015

Pennies are not even worth what they’re worth. So why do we still make them?

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  • Dudefromspace567 3 years ago

    Why don’t you take about refugees and the Paris attacks John? It’s oddly
    convenient that you happen to talk about pennies than the dangerous
    refugee, and Muslim threat that threatens western society as we know it.
    Keep up with these pointless topics John Cuck Oliver, while people continue
    to die to “peaceful” Muslim, and stand on your high horse of “tolerance” of
    murder, rape, torture, and oppression.

  • In_a_Trance Studios 3 years ago

    I always round up at the gas pump. #deathtopennies

  • americansoldier22181 3 years ago

    eliminating the penny is going to make products costs’ go up. Businesses
    are driven to make money at maximum profit.

  • britgonewild34 3 years ago

    Here in Canada, we got rid of the penny. We just keep it for debit and
    credit purchases and round up the rest. Or round down, but most cashes
    luckily do it for you XD. But hey, you don’t need to keep the penny, and if
    you do still like them, just collect the old ones!

  • Jackson Tong 3 years ago

    I don’t keep any coin less than a quarter.

  • Throw a Chair 3 years ago

    …That’s M. Night Shamlayan’s job

  • ChevaliersEmeraude 3 years ago

    Interesting fact about the whole ”rounding the price in the customer’s
    favor” part at 3:30, that’s not really how we do things in Canada now,
    we’re doing it a little bit worse. We round to the closest number. If
    something cost 5.32$, it will ultimately cost 5.30$. But if it costs 5.33$,
    it will round up to 5.35$. If you guys start rounding down all the time,
    that would probably be better from a customer’s standpoint. Would be
    interesting to see.

  • John Myers 3 years ago

    I always pick up a penny I find.

  • Craxin01 3 years ago

    You showed a bike shop that rounded down to the nearest nickel. Fine. How
    many businesses do you think are going to be willing to do the same?
    Walmart I can guarantee is always going to round it up. Your change is
    2.01? They’ll charge 2.05, which doesn’t sound like a lot, 4 cents, but
    when they do it over and over again, all day, to every customer, they are
    pocketing millions of dollars that they are not entitled to. Honestly, if
    you make dozens of cash transactions every month, and they steal up to four
    pennies each time, you think it’s nothing, but it adds up. FAST. We need
    to curtail inflation, set the currency value higher, not rid ourselves of
    the penny. OR, end cash transactions entirely, and use nothing but debit
    or credit and give a lot of extra power to banks. Bad ideas all the way

  • Videology.exe 3 years ago

    Listen up: What if we made the penny worth two cents? Eh?

  • L.K. Britton 3 years ago

    Anyone else read “penises”

  • Fuji Fiasco 3 years ago

    damn this is short

  • tharsim 3 years ago

    In Brazil, we’ve extinguished the 1-cent coin. That’s good but you’re more
    likely to get less change than you should. I never complained about it
    because it’s just one or two cents but I know people who have complained
    and that’s reasonable, too.

  • athletico320 3 years ago

    What’s a nickel cost to make? Isn’t that the alternative to the penny??

  • arty imbad 3 years ago

    I’m in those 2% who throws them away. I thought that percentage was higher.
    Penny sucks

  • epicpolyphony 3 years ago

    I’m a local Charlotte resident, and actually the story about the UNCC
    student who paid his fine with pennies was actually quite effective. Sure,
    it’s a dick move to those 2 employees (who are hourly, so it really doesn’t
    matter), but his actions brought the problems of the UNCC parking services
    to the attention of the local populous, which actually generated a small
    change in policy.

    I appreciate your humor, but please, either do your research more fully
    next time, or don’t be a jerk talking out your ass. :)

  • Kylemsguy 3 years ago

    The best thing: when the half-penny was dropped, it had more purchasing
    power than the penny does now

  • Brian Walters 3 years ago

    You’ve been handling my ass-pennies, for years!

  • Mackenzie McOmber 3 years ago

    It doesn’t make sense to eliminate the penny because businesses aren’t
    going to round their prices down. Prices will definitely go up. The dollar
    may get devalued by President Obama, but removing the penny should not be a
    way for companies to round up and create inflation.

  • davidportugheis 3 years ago

    When are you gonna make a video about the military industry and the
    economic system? People need to know what wars and most conflict in the
    world is about…

  • Groisu 3 years ago

    but if you pick a penny up all day long you’ll have good luck 🙁 oh well
    lucks kinda useless anyway

  • Shahrukh Ali 3 years ago

    we could make the penny to equal 2 cents.

  • Jared Parker 3 years ago

    Cringe-worthy shoulder-brushes. That is all.

  • missmannino 3 years ago

    I’m not a fan of price rounding- does anyone think merchants will round
    down without a penny? No, I don’t go up to a store with a roll of pennies
    to try to make a purchase, having the extra few cents in my pocket has
    always deemed helpful when I am in line at the grocery store.

  • HazerdLet 3 years ago

    John Green can’t agree more.

  • Daniel White 3 years ago

    well they could just stop making so many pennies, or stop making then
    completely, and continue to use those in circulation until they fade off

  • Brandon the Chihuahua 3 years ago

    Pennies are important to the poor, its what keeps low income families from
    becoming homeless and keeping the homeless from starving to death. Its the
    rich who don’t give a shit about pennies.

  • Loranne D 3 years ago

    Thanks for this amazing show. Can’t wait for the next season !

  • MrMalorian 3 years ago

    In Canada we got rid of the penny, and my reaction was, “Why don’t we get
    rid of nickels and dimes too?” It really is a waste of government money,
    and has almost no worth in modern times.

    The penny has been gone for a while, and I don’t miss it.

  • Takyr Dai 3 years ago

    I throw away my pennies in hopes that it will feed an African someday…

  • Brigid Quinn 3 years ago

    I may not be willing to pick up pennies from the sidewalk, but when you
    look at it from a business perspective – Businesses aren’t going to set
    their prices in a way that rounds down, without the penny businesses would
    start rounding prices up. Food for thought.

  • Kha Lee 3 years ago

    Smart: Collect a lot of pennies and then exchange it at the penny machine
    for money(if your state provides penny machines).

    Stupid: Throw pennies away.

  • glaked32 3 years ago

    Honest, and probably dumb question, but why does the penny still exist in
    countries that use the Euro if all of them, at least in my experience,
    include sales tax in the sticker price? Would sales really be hurt that
    much i they rounded off the sticker price to the nearest €0.05?

  • JuiceBox 3 years ago

    I love u john oliver

  • Nathan Cassidy 3 years ago

    Spending money on what we don’t need is the American way.

  • Nikkimond 3 years ago

    I seriously hate the 1 euro-cent. The 2 euro-cent is something I rarely use
    but honestly, the lowest currency needed is 5 cents.

  • Riley Whisler 3 years ago

    Grocery stores and convenience stores already work on the margin of a
    couple cents…eliminating this will surely cause them to round the prices

  • achilleus 3 years ago

    I shouldn’t have been drinking anything when he got to the M. Night
    Shyamalan joke. Great stuff, as always.

  • sarvesharma 3 years ago

    running out of ideas now are we????

  • Randi Garcia 3 years ago

    I’m not the only one here that actually picks up Penny’s right lol

  • Abhishek cherath 3 years ago

    There’s bigger fish to fry…

  • NightSlasher53 3 years ago

    Be like Canada and get rid of them

  • Zack Massaud 3 years ago

    first time I’ve ever disagreed with this show. Muppets kick ass.

  • EL1TE GUARD1AN 3 years ago

    Canada already got rid of pennies, if America wants to get out of dept they
    need to stop making pennies altogether.

  • rk6281991 3 years ago

    The problem with shows like “Last Week Tonight” is that they often don’t do
    enough to show the two sides of an argument. John Oliver doesn’t bother to
    mention that it actually costs 7 cents to make a nickel. Further, the
    notion that most businesses will “round down” to the nearest nickel isn’t
    even close to realistic. His attempt to demonstrate this by anecdotally
    employing a local store called “Mike’s Bikes” is actually kind of
    embarrassing. Problems like these are present in a lot of Last Week
    Tonight’s bits.

  • gqfiend 3 years ago


  • dhrprod 3 years ago

    Drop the penny, and while we’re at it, America, adopt the metric system.
    And the world will rejoice.

  • Retro Power Up 3 years ago

    Pennies are definitely not worth my time to pick up

  • IndianaKong95 3 years ago

    I actually make money with the penny because no one wants them. Seriously,
    just go to everyone you know and ask for their pennies, and to give you any
    penny they find in the future, they will do it because they think they’re
    worthless. The money will end up adding up to at least getting you a few
    extra dollars which is actually pretty nice.

  • Connor Kenney 3 years ago

    John Oliver should’ve had John Green on the show, he too wants to get rid
    of the penny.

  • Mike Keller 3 years ago

    The problem with rounding is sales tax. You not only have state taxes, but
    many cities add a little bit of tax on sales as well. So the state may add
    6 cents to a dollar, a city may add 1 or even 1.5 cents to a dollar. If
    rounding is OK, who is going to take the hit? The business who loses a few
    cents on the dollar to round down to a dollar? Oh wait, if the business
    rounds a one dollar item down to 94 cents, the tax may no longer be 6
    cents. Confused? yes, I am. :)

  • Tom Krystinik 3 years ago

    I’m fairly certain the only time I’ve used a penny in the last decade is to
    scratch off Steam cards and then they get chucked off the balcony.

  • Devin Pierce 3 years ago

    I like the Muppets. :(

  • Phillip Bergeman 3 years ago

    Saw the title and immediately went “omg yeah, eliminate the penny!”

  • loppydisk 3 years ago

    I still pick up and dig through dirt for pennies even tho I can’t use them
    here in Canada. Canadian tire money on the other hand I leave or just throw
    the garbage.

  • mohammed yousif 3 years ago

    This is cgp gray material

  • comicbookguy83 3 years ago

    Just before I moved here from Canada, pennies were discontinued. TAKE A

  • xillian344 3 years ago

    Wasteful government spending is a long standing American pride. It just
    makes cents to us.

  • Edwin Contreras 3 years ago

    For the same time it takes you to bend over to pick the penny, you make
    more money compared to minimum wage.

  • dumaskhan 3 years ago

    if we get rid of our pennies, how will i give my two cents?

  • Tessa 3 years ago

    John Green would love this.

  • only half bad 333 3 years ago

    I hate pennies… That is all

  • Ace Diamonds 3 years ago

    we have the same problem with nickles.

  • TheFloweulb 3 years ago

    Am I helping? XD

  • 3 years ago


  • ThunderVids 3 years ago

    Panamanian here, since the US invaded our country and took our currency
    away, we also use the US dollar as currency now, and even I throw away

  • George Corser 3 years ago

    CGP Grey did it better, IMO

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


  • backdraftvideos 3 years ago


  • Snoitseuq Pie 3 years ago

    The same conversation happened in Canada, 99% didn’t give a fuck, but 1% of
    the population was outspokenly pro penny. We got rid of the penny, and it
    was never mentioned again…

  • Cédric Raymond 3 years ago

    everytime i watch your show, i feel good to be in canada

  • Kyle Johnson 3 years ago

    Why don’t we just get rid of the penny and start producing Lincoln dollar
    coins? Make the first $5 coin and put his face on it. Given what he did the
    fact that he’s on the smallest, most menial coin possible is kind of

  • 14catorce 3 years ago

    we have the same problem in Euro zone. Some countries are leaving 1 and 2
    cent production.

  • sanjebuk 3 years ago

    Get rid of your pennies and send them to me!!!!!!
    I think they would make a good piece of artwork.

  • Marco Onyxheart 3 years ago

    Fuck pennies. The only reason why I still encounter them is because
    freaking Germans get upset when the Aldi doesn’t hand them the exact change
    they’re owed, and I happen to live just over the German-Dutch border (which
    means lots of Germans around here). Most supermarkets here don’t hand
    pennies over anymore, though.

  • Kyle Nguyen 3 years ago

    The day we dump the penny is the day my collection of then useless copper
    coins get stashed away in a vault for my family’s future generations. The
    idea being that, after several decades or more where the coin is no longer
    in circulation, those pennies appreciate in value to the point that coin
    collectors would scramble for them. Granted, it would probably be more
    realistic to expect such value after perhaps a century or two. However, who
    is to say my nation will last that long? Or, better still, that our planet
    will last that long?

  • TMZbluesoldier23 3 years ago

    Wow this whole topic was stolen from CGPgrays video.

  • rustzz8 3 years ago

    Those idiots are at at school. Its pretty sad that people who work at a
    college can’t figure out to weigh the pennies then divide the total -the
    buckets weight by 2.5g which is what a penny weighs then you have the # of

  • ThePeacemaker848 3 years ago

    I used to think John Oliver was somehow speaking the truth. But this video
    and the one on Syrian Refugees just shows he’s a paid puppet for the 1%
    propaganda machine.

    The simplest solution to the pennies not being worth what they are is to
    reduce inflation. Its like stock splitting except your stock combining.
    But the 1% doesn’t like this option because they conglomerate banks
    generate wealth by just making money out of thin air and spending their
    wealth before the inflation has a chance to trickle down into the economy
    and cause inflation. This of course means the peasants shoulder the burden
    of inflation which actually means they are just giving 2%(average inflation
    increase per year) of their wealth to rich people who basically contribute
    nothing to society.

  • Serpent XI 3 years ago

    I pick up all of the pennies.

  • Benjamin Hennessy 3 years ago

    Ass Pennies.

  • odin licht 3 years ago

    When they discontinued the half penny in 1857, it was worth 13 cents in
    today’s money. So we should really just round everything to the nearest

  • SCURGE 3 years ago

    i regularly throw pennies in the garbage

  • Riley 3 years ago

    Guy Fieri is a fucking blessing you fuck.

  • Johannes Kronenberg 3 years ago

    oliver really feeling the brush off

  • Raj Rawal 3 years ago

    I mean, what’s a nickel cost to make, isn’t that the alternative to the

  • kappyfulliness 3 years ago

    Somewhere out there, John Green is greatly pleased

  • As You Were Reading My Very Long Username I Stole Your Sandwich 3 years ago

    Holy shit, John mentionned reddit… this will be intense

  • Mark Serrano 3 years ago

    if I could pay parking meters with pennies that would be nice.

  • timeobserver2013 3 years ago

    Pennies will be useful after a Fallout scenario. Free zinc for galvanizing

  • Иван Лихтин 3 years ago

    James Rolfe, John green, CGP Grey now John Oliver

  • JD's Variety Channel 3 years ago

    Enjoyed the video as a coin dealer and one of the largest metal detecting
    channels on YouTube. No one likes post 1981 pennies and calls them
    “Stinkin’ Zincoln’s”. They are made out of zinc crap, and after being in
    the ground a few years they literally start to deteriorate. Doesn’t make
    any cents why you would produce a coin you take a loss on.
    I feel bad for nickels though. They stand to be the new underdog!

  • AkilTheAwesome 3 years ago

    I throw away pennies. They are worthless. And Have been FOR YEARS.

  • Sean Norton 3 years ago

    I mostly agree with you about almost everything you talk about (not
    everything), but The Muppets is great. I do not think it is the best it can
    be yet, but there are very few shows that are great I their first season.

  • Alex Murdoch 3 years ago

    0.005 (Half penny) in 1857 was worth 0.14 in today’s dollars, when they
    rendered it obsolete. I think we should get rid of everything besides
    quarters and get dollar and two dollar coins

  • Dat Sneefa 3 years ago

    pennies? current year

  • Kayla Dever 3 years ago

    Nerdfighters have been saying this for years! DFTBA!

  • matt s 3 years ago

    canada gets rid of the penny yet i still see the damn things in my register
    every day. even the bank gives them to us like they’re legitimate tender.
    if canada doesn’t need them, and we’re still holding on to the penny, would
    it save money to import and circulate canadian pennies amongst our own?


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