WNEP-TV’s backyard train is getting some national attention once again.
And this time, it comes with a gift for the television station.
John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, featured the train on his show Sunday night. It was the second time he has done so.
The train appears on the station’s weather forecasts, running in the background.
Oliver was responding to a caller from the station’s viewer comment line, Talkback 16, who criticized him for poking fun at the train.
“We’re not clowns for his entertainment,” the caller said.
“I don’t think the residents of Scranton are clowns for my entertainment,” Oliver responded. “I don’t think clowns are for entertainment at all.”
He goes on to profess his love of the WNEP train.
“Please don’t think I was making fun of that backyard train,” he says. “I (expletive) love that backyard train.
“I also love how passionate you are about it.”
He then goes on to unveil a “almost irresponsibly larger” train set that he had built for the station.
The set includes “every Scranton landmark we could find on Google,” Oliver tells the audience.
Included are the Scranton sign, the Electric City sign, the Penn Paper building, the Lackawanna Station Hotel and Coal Mine Tour.
“It’s not the train set Scranton needs, but it is the train set Scranton deserves,” he tells his audience as the large train set spins in the background behind him, complete with fireworks.
Oliver’s Google search may have been a bit off, however. Also included as one of the Scranton landmarks is the Tunkhannock Viaduct, which is in … well, Nicholson. It’s the concrete arch railroad bridge in Wyoming County that crosses the Tunkhannock Creek.
All WNEP has to do to get its new train set is pick it up because “it can’t stay here,” Oliver said.