Alumni in Action: Andie Diemer ’10 refines skills on ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’

Diemer worked as a hero graphic artist on the late-night Emmy-winning show.

The well-known talk show “Last Week with John Oliver” took home its seventh Emmy for Best Variety Talk Series last month. And Elon University alumna Andie Diemer ’10 got to share the honor as a hero graphic designer for the popular talk show.

During her time at Elon, Diemer started religiously watching “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” She was elated when the opportunity to help the “Last Week Tonight” crew presented itself.

“This was such a beautiful, unique opportunity that fell in my lap,” Diemer said. “It was the absolute best feeling to combine my passion for social justice and my actual skills and getting to be a part of this Emmy-winning crew.”

Andie Diemer ’10

Diemer graduated from Elon with a degree in journalism and minors in African studies and art. Being a Communications Fellow and editor-in-chief of The Pendulum, the university’s student-run newspaper, helped Diemer advance her writing and photography skills.

Colin Donohue, the School of Communications director of student engagement and alumni affairs, said he is not surprised by Diemer’s success after working alongside her as an adviser to The Pendulum in 2009.

“It’s hard for me to overstate how much I respect Andie Diemer,” Donohue said. “Her strong, considered and thoughtful leadership brought the newspaper to impressive heights. It’s no surprise that a show as esteemed as ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ would bring Andie aboard because she breeds a culture of excellence and expects only the best from herself and from those around her.”

While Diemer has always worked to keep herself relevant and competitive, the opportunity to work on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was a complete surprise.

In January of 2021, a friend of Diemer’s from the art department of GQ Magazine referred her for the opportunity to assist the “Last Week Tonight” staff as they adjusted to remote filming and a tighter production schedule following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up against another graphic artist, Diemer put everything she had into her designs, unsure if her work would even make the cut. Her graphics illustrated sensitive issues, including topics from abortion rights to housing crises.

Hero graphic designed by Diemer depicting voting rights activists

Although she didn’t have a deep background in typography and quick turnarounds, Diemer taught herself how to creatively obscure identities, layer real photos with textural elements and ensure that her graphics were visually appealing and factual.

“It was the most challenging job, by far, that I’ve worked on,” Diemer said. “Some weeks, none of my graphics were aired. I had to stay persistent and keep focused.”

Maintaining the same fast pace and major involvement that she did at Elon, Diemer is now working as a deputy photo editor at Domino, a photo editor at Kazoo Magazine and continuing with freelance photo editing and producing.

Diemer remains grateful for her experiences with “Last Week Tonight” and said she “will hold this entirely surreal experience close forever.”