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John Oliver reluctantly spent his second show in a row talking about the election. The Last Week Tonight host joked that he’d rather be talking about a rare yellow turtle that was discovered in India earlier this year, but instead he was forced to talk about “this asshole” — aka President Trump.
“In normal times, the loser of a presidential election would simply acknowledge they lost and the country would get to move on,” Oliver said. Instead, a full week after the election was called for Joe Biden, “Trump is still refusing to concede.”
Oliver said that Trump’s refusal to concede may not be surprising, but something that Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said was. Pompeo said he was confident there would be a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration” (some commentators thought he may have been joking).
Oliver’s take: “What the fuck are you talking about? You’re the secretary of state. You’re supposed to forcefully denounce kooks.”
Oliver then took a look at “just how weak Trump’s case for overturning this election is.”
He explained how the stories of several would-be whistleblowers were debunked. He also showed a clip of a Nevada poll worker on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show claiming she saw a Biden-Harris campaign worker outside a polling place attempting to commit voter fraud with ballots.
“That is either total bullshit or the dumbest scheme of all time,” Oliver said. “The Biden-Harris campaign opened envelopes and marked ballots in the parking lot of a polling place in broad daylight against the side of a van which had their logo on it. That is like if in Ocean’s Eleven, they showed up to the casino in a giant Danny Ocean Robbery Service van and slowly put on their disguises in a lobby. It’s the perfect crime.”
Moreover, Oliver said, the woman has not filed a formal complaint.
Oliver then noted that Biden has not been getting access to intelligence reports or transition funds because Trump refuses to recognize him as the president-elect. Biden also has not been given important information related to plans on fighting COVID as a result.
“As a parting gift to the country, Trump is somehow managing to divide us even further while also hobbling his successor at the worst possible time, which is absolutely unforgivable,” Oliver said.
Oliver began wrapping up his show with a FaceTime call from one of his favorite subjects, Adam Driver. Longtime viewers of Last Week Tonight know that Driver has been an obsession of Oliver’s for some time; the host enjoys making lewd and sexual comments about the actor on a regular basis, apropos of nothing.
Said Driver to Oliver: “What the fuck are you doing? This bit? This bit, this thing you’ve been doing that’s either sexual or violent. … This strange, strange bit that for some reason you’ve pulled me into. What is it? When you first started doing it, it was easy for me to shrug off. … But then it kept going on, and on, and on, and on. … Do you realize, over this past year, what you’ve asked me to do to you? ‘Collapse on your chest.’ ‘Tie your fingers in a square knot.’ ‘Step on your throat.’ ‘Shatter your knees.’ ‘Pull your heart out through your ear.’ What’s wrong with you? You realize we’re strangers, right? I don’t know you. And now, random people on the internet stan us, claiming that you thirsting over me is a mood.”
Driver continued: “I’m sick of people stopping me on the street and asking me if I’m going to punch a hole in you like a Marriage Story wall. … And you know what? You should be ashamed of yourself, because you know this was inappropriate.”
Oliver said by way of explanation: “I was having some weird fun,” he said, before apologizing and assuring Driver: “Consider this bit over. It’s done.”
Driver encouraged Oliver to step out of his “void,” as Oliver calls his white-background set.
He then showed viewers the entirety of his “void,” which is a seemingly endless space of white and more white. He also lamented that he has typically been able to end his seasons “with huge stunts” (Sunday night’s episode marked the last of 2020).
Oliver then discovered a red door in the white void. Walking through the door, he discovered … another white void. He walked viewers through all of the moments in 2020, including Australian wildfires, the deaths of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman, the pandemic, high unemployment levels, evictions, “that video of those celebrities singing ‘Imagine'” — “it was really terrible,” he said.
“For fuck’s sake, 2020 made me learn who Carole Baskin is. It made set up a Google alert for Carole Baskin, so I’d immediately know if she was ever convicted of that thing we’re all pretty sure she did,” he said of the polarizing Tiger King figure, whose former husband disappeared without a trace.
It turns out, Oliver wasn’t actually in another white void. As the camera pulled away, it showed he was outside with a giant set of white numbers reading 2020. As he did in 2016, he ended his last show of the year by blowing it up. Hitting a red button, he blew up the sign — and, metaphorically, the year itself.
“Fuck you 2020,” he said. “Get fucked.”
Watch it below.
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The Flight Attendant