John Oliver has finally done what Last Week Tonight viewers have been waiting for — he blasted Donald Trump in a twenty-minute rant that left fans reeling. On the February 28 edition, Oliver began his monologue by admitting that he had “mostly ignored Trump on this show,” but Trump’s recent wins in the New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina primaries had at last earned him one of Oliver’s famous rants.
“Donald Trump is America’s back mole. It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s gotten frighteningly bigger it is no longer wise to ignore it.”
As reported by the Washington Post, Oliver took Trump to task on his debate behavior and failed business ventures — Trump shuttle, Trump vodka, and Trump Steaks (sold exclusively through The Sharper Image). Speaking about Trump’s infamous lawsuits, Oliver explained that Trump stated (under oath) that his personal wealth is estimated based on “… feelings, even my own feelings, and that can change rapidly from day to day.” Oliver went on to say that Trump considered his brand, i.e. the Trump name, as a $3 billion part of his personal wealth, the total amount of which changes depending on Trump’s mood.
Oliver also talked about the discovery by a Trump biographer that an ancestor of Trump’s changed the family name from Drumpf.
“Then Oliver offered a novel strategy for those who wish to battle Trump: refer to the candidate by ‘Drumpf,’ what one biographer said the Trump family name was before it ‘evolved over the centuries.’ Indeed, Gwenda Blair, the author of ‘The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire‘ (2000), thought it was ‘fortunate’ that ‘Drumpf’ had become ‘Trump.’ “
There is a website run by Last Week Tonight where you can download a Chrome extension to change Trump to Drumpf on web pages. Twitter jumped onto the hashtag in a frenzy, encouraged by Oliver, and you could even buy a hat.
"I know words. I have the best words." - Donald Drumpf #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain— Marcus Craven (@predsfan_mc) February 29, 2016
"I am rich, therefore I tell the truth" has the same internal logic as "I am a vegan, therefore I know Karate"— Sébastien Bizeul (@Seb_Bizeul) February 29, 2016
According to Time, Oliver presented a “point-by-point takedown of the businessman turned potential President of the United States.” Oliver, with the help of the occasional swear word, claimed to somewhat understand why Trump’s fans were fond of him, and Oliver even admitted that a part of him actually likes Trump just a little himself although “it’s a part of me hate.”
Oliver had particular reason to be offended by Trump, as the businessman had tweeted in 2015 that he had been invited to be a guest on Last Week Tonight but had declined. His comments about Last Week Tonight and John Oliver were not very gracious.
.@thehill John Oliver had his people call to ask me to be on his very boring and low rated show. I said "NO THANKS" Waste of time & energy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2015
Oliver says that Trump was never considered as a potential guest, but offered a description of himself as a “near-sighted parrot who works at a bank” when Trump insisted that he didn’t even know what John Oliver looked like.
A couple of points...— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) November 1, 2015
1. Yes, we have a boring show.
2. At no point did we invite Donald Trump to appear on it.https://t.co/qjpg9FLb0V
Oliver reported that a Vanity Fair writer, who said that Trump was “a short-fingered vulgarian,” routinely received mail from Trump with photographs of his (presumably average-length) fingers circled in gold Sharpie. Oliver of course had a quip to go with that.
“[The gold Sharpie] is so quintessentially Donald Trump; something that gives the passing appearance of wealth, but is actually just a cheap tool.”
Oliver is a British comedian who started as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Oliver’s dry wit, coupled with his biting sarcasm, became a stand-out hit on an already hilarious show, and Last Week Tonight was born. Oliver and his famous monologues have taken on subjects as diverse as Miss America, the Supreme Court, and the infamous Salmon Cannon.
As always on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver ended his diatribe on Trump with a final scathing word.
“Mr. Drumpf, I await your lawsuit in the morning.”
[Photo by Frederick M.Brown/Getty Images]