John Oliver of Last Week Tonight is known for having a sharp British wit that transforms serious topics into something lighthearted enough to enjoy. His “calls to action” at the end of his segments may be funny, but they have also spurred many to action and actually made quite a difference in the world.
But among his many sarcastic statements, which stand out among the funniest? Here are a handful of John Oliver’s funniest statements for your reading pleasure.
The Florida combination
“Florida, just because you’re shaped like some combination of a gun and a dick doesn’t mean you have to act that way.”
Florida was once known as the sunshine state – a state where you could go to the beach, visit Disney, and eventually retire along with millions of others on the same day. More and more lately, however, Florida has become known for strange news and weird legislation. John Oliver’s concise yet hilarious statement wrapped all that up in a single sentence.
No longer the sunshine state
“I think it might honestly be time for the Sunshine State to officially change its motto to the Worst State.”
John Oliver expressed this statement directly after George Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges after killing an unarmed minor named Trayvon Martin. While not a laughing matter (most things John Oliver pokes fun at are not), this statement was both an accurate description of how millions around the country felt and gave a small bit of laughter to an otherwise traumatic subject.
American isn’t quite in it’s prime anymore
“I think the best analogy for where we are right now is that America is Elvis Presley… the most beautiful, talented, rebellious nation in the history of Earth. And now, you’re in your Vegas years. You’ve squeezed yourself into a white jumpsuit, you’re wheezing your way through ‘Love Me Tender’ and you might be about to pass away bloated on the toilet. But you’re still the King.”
We’re not sure if this was the best analogy for where America is right now, but it’s certainly the most imaginative… and descriptive.
John Oliver has had a lot of things to say about what American has become not only modernly, but specifically under President Donald Trump. This was just the best among the many verbal images he’s painted of America.
Britain – the fallen empire
“As any Brit will understand, things get a little easier when you don’t have to be number one anymore. Really, the fall of an empire is not as bad as everyone thinks. It’s like retirement. People fear retirement, but it can turn out rather pleasant.”
One of the funniest things about John Oliver is that nobody is immune to falling victim to one of his segments. He jovially criticizes Britain as often as he does America, and other countries have also fallen under his verbal realm.
“The moment I accept that there’s an artistic, redeeming quality in puns, I have a horrible feeling I’ll get hooked.”
Unfortunately, we’ve already gotten hooked on John Oliver…
On maternity leave
“Mothers — we owe everything to them. They gave birth to us, they nurtured us, they made us who we are. And this Mother’s Day, we have just one thing to say to all the mothers out there: Get the fuck back to work.”
John Oliver devoted a long segment to his view on America’s legislation on maternity leave – which happen to be among the shortest in the world. Federal regulations only require companies to give mother’s six weeks of unpaid leave a year.
John Oliver aptly targeted the point that around Mother’s Day the same companies who give their employees little to no time off are also marketing their products to those same mothers.
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