John Oliver Defends IRS With One Direction Jokes, Michael Bolton Performance (Video)

"Think of our government as a body. The IRS is the anus — it's nobody's favorite part, but you need that thing working properly or else everything goes to shit."
HBO/Screenshot
'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver'

John Oliver is hoping to help America sympathize with the IRS.

The Last Week Tonight host tackled the topic of the underappreciated department on Sunday, showing viewers a different side — particularly, one that's covered in brown sugar, dust and mustard and compared to the Gestapo by Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

"Those people are the physical equivalents of Ambien!" said Oliver, highlighting clips from the IRS' YouTube page in which they discuss their positions. "There is a weird kind of heroism to doing jobs that are that boring, because not only could I not do that job, I can barely listen to them talking about it."

Oliver noted that everyone's hatred for the IRS is misdirected. "Blaming the IRS because you hate paying your taxes is a bit like slapping your checkout clerk because the price of eggs has gone up — it's not her fault, she's just trying to help you get out of the store. That scenario, incidentally, is my pitch for The Slap, season two."

Mostly, it doesn't function properly because of a slashed budget, a misguided punishment for overspending (on things like a Star Trek-themed training video) and a Tea Party-targeting scandal. Yet still, "you can't lose nearly 20 percent of what you are and be as effective. It's like pretending Zayn [Malik] leaving One Direction doesn't tear the heart out of that band!" he shouted — especially when its work force and technology is rapidly aging.

Altogether though, it's an investment worth making. "I'm not saying the IRS is a likeable organization, but not everything that's important is likeable. Think of our government as a body. The IRS is the anus — it's nobody's favorite part, but you need that thing working properly or else everything goes to shit."

And who better to sing about all of it than Michael Bolton

Watch the video below.

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