John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is on hiatus this week, but last Thursday Oliver was a guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, and over the weekend, The Late Show posted this unaired clip of Oliver and Colbert sparring over the wax figures of Warren G. Harding and Zachary Taylor the bought, respectively, at an auction in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is mostly safe for work, and features a contest of comedic insults about historical figures most people know little about.
The fight over Harding and Taylor was prompted by Oliver’s comments on last week’s Last Week Tonight, in a decidedly NSFW segment on Harding that features a short film on the 29th president’s life with four Academy Award nominees interacting with the wax figure, including Anna Kendrick as his mistress.
Oliver was off this week, he explained on The Late Show, because typically this is a very slow time for news. “I imagine you took these two weeks off because this is the part of the year, the summer, where you go, like, nothing’s gonna happen,” Colbert said. “Nothing — it’s always quiet, right?” Oliver said, laughing. “You’d have to have an offspring who is so stupid,” he began, referencing the emails Donald Trump Jr. released acknowledging he met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who promised information from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton. Oliver mentioned his show’s “Stupid Watergate” frame for the Trump-Russia scandal — “the idea that it’s something with all the gravitas but where everyone involved is stupid and bad at everything,” he reminded viewers — and said the frame “was supposed to be a self-contained joke, but current events are making it more and more relevant, which is not normally how jokes work.”
Oliver and Colbert went on to discuss whether the Trump Jr. news or anything else matters in this current political climate, and compared notes about being openly shadowed by menacing figures in Russia. Watch below.
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