John Oliver tackles the Sacklers: the litigious, secretive billionaires whose family business engineered the opioid crisis

The Sacklers (previously) are a reclusive, super-secretive family of billionaires whose fortune comes from their pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of Oxycontin, the drug at the center of the opioid epidemic, which has claimed more American lives than the Vietnam war, with the death-toll still mounting.

The Sacklers have gone to enormous lengths to launder their reputations, endowing galleries and museums in a bid to make their name synonymous with philanthropy rather than mass death (they also had an expensive lawyer threaten me over unflattering posts about them).

But the states that are left dealing with the bodies have sued the Sacklers, and these lawsuits have resulted in mountains of court documents (which the Sacklers have sought to suppress), including a bizarre deposition of Richard Sackler that reveals his active role in maximizing the extent to which Oxytocin users became addicted to his company's products.

The deposition is a stunning document, but as John Oliver points out in his latest segment, not many of us will sit still to listen to a talking head read a court record, and the Sacklers have blocked every attempt to get the video of Richard Sackler's deposition released.

That's why Oliver has commissioned a quartet of A-list actors to re-enact Sackler's testimony, putting them on the deliciously named Bryan Cranston (reprising his role as TV's most memorable dope-lord from Breaking Bad); Michael Keaton (at his most sociopathic); Michael K Williams (giving us a long-overdue taste of The Wire) and Richard Kind (in comic relief, giving us a taste of all the times Sackler said "I don't know").

It's a bit that Oliver has done before (remember when he commission Helen Mirren to make an audiobook out of the CIA torture report in a bid to get more of us to read it?) but this is truly next-level.