John Oliver wants us to be penniless

John Oliver has taken on the American prison system, the Washington football team, and Big Chicken. Now he's set his sights on our currency. Specifically, the wasteful, useless penny.

Gone are the days of penny candy. Thanks to inflation, it now costs 1.7 cents to make each penny. That means we're spending money to make coins that no one really wants, as demonstrated by the occasional local news report where a reporter throws pennies on the ground and then watches as no one picks them up.

So who still wants pennies around? Oliver names a penny fan club backed by the company that sells the zinc pennies are mostly made out of (97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper, to be exact) and Abraham Lincoln fans who don't realize he's also on the five dollar bill.

Fun fact: it also costs more to make the nickel than it's worth. In fact, it costs more per dollar to make nickels than it does pennies. So maybe Oliver can devote a future segment to that … unless he's the pocket of Big Jefferson.