John Oliver is back. After a brief hiatus, during which Oliver produced a number of short web-exclusive videos on topics like endorsements and YouTube comments, Last Week Tonight returned to HBO on Sunday. This week, the host has gone after the Republican National Convention.
Oliver described the 2016 RNC as “the most apocalyptic thing ever to happen to that city [Cleveland], and bear in mind their river has repeatedly caught fire.”
Describing the vent as a “mismanaged shitshow,” Oliver criticized numerous aspects of the show’s planning. Trump’s wife gave a speech that contained lines almost identical to a speech given my Michelle Obama, while Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse the party’s candidate on stage led to the crowd booing him. The latter may not seem like a planning issue, but Trump revealed later on Twitter that he’d seen Cruz’s speech before the show and saw the refusal as “no big deal.”
Oliver drew attention to a 2013 party report, investigating ways Republicanism can grow as a movement. Suggestions were made on how to reach out to ethnic minority groups and show social awareness, ironically, since Trump has managed to go in the opposite direction, Oliver notes.
“It’s like making a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy, and then spending the next year eating meals that are so large, they are free if you eat them in one sitting,” said Oliver.
Oliver also played a clip where actor Antonio Sabàto, Jr. said that he thought President Obama is a Muslim. Oliver criticized Sabarto for suggesting that believing something to be true is the same as it actually being true.
Newt Gingrich appeared on a CNN segment where he seemed to use similar logic, elevating notions and feelings to the same level as facts and statistics. “As a political candidate, I’ll go with how people feel, and I’ll let you go with the theoreticians,” he told the reporter.
Oliver summed up the logic by saying that, if candidates can create feelings, and feelings are equal to facts, then candidates can create facts. “That is the closest thing to an actual magic spell I think I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Last Week Tonight airs Sunday nights on HBO.