At the top of Thursday night’s remote episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the host asked his two guests how they’re doing during quarantine.
Real Housewives of New York City star Luann de Lesseps delivered a long, circuitous monologue about bonding with her children and finally having the time to do chores she’s never been able to do. Then John Oliver, the night’s second guest, answered: “Everything’s terrible. Everything’s terrible. I’m glad that Luann’s managing to keep it up. I’m mentally drowning.”
It’s the second time the seemingly unlikely pair have appeared on the Bravo show together, though the first time they’ve done so via webcam from their respective homes. Their wacky chemistry together is fated: The Last Week Tonight with John Oliver host is an avowed RHONY fan.
In a welcome change of pace from his weekly HBO series, on which he is exposing the extent of the Trump administration’s lethal incompetence in dealing with the coronavirus and shaming companies like Amazon over their health-care policies for essential workers, he spent his time on WWHL fangirling over the Countess and singing the praises of the genius comedy editing of his favorite reality show.
Before he answered any of Cohen’s questions, he made a point to go on record calling the teaser for next week’s RHONY episode “one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year.”
The promo starts with Leah McSweeney, who doesn’t drink, shrugging after learning there’s vodka in her juice. It then cuts to her naked in the backyard bellowing while throwing flaming torches into the woods, skinny dipping with the other cast members, drunkenly ranting, and then Sonja Morgan peeing with the bathroom door open. “I laughed four times in the last 20 seconds,” Oliver said.
After Cohen played the clip again, he continued fawning: “That should have the logo for ‘Jury Selection Cannes Film Festival’ at the end...I watched Parasite and I liked it a lot. If you were to say to me, ‘What did you like more, Parasite or 20 seconds of that trailer?’ I would say Parasite—and I would be lying to you.”
Oliver was also more than happy to deliver his hot takes on the early drama from the season. When it comes to the cast berating McSweeney for having tattoos, he said, “The ladies seem to be more upset about her tattoos than I am about the coronavirus.”
On whether de Lesseps overreacted to being assigned a bedroom in Ramona Singer’s basement, he said of course she was. “But in a time of pandemic like this we all want some sense of normalcy, and what is more normal than Luann reacting to a room assignment? I was so grateful.”
And as for whether Dorinda Medley is right to be upset that Tinsley Mortimer isn’t revealing more of herself to the group, he reminded Cohen that last season Mortimer revealed that she had frozen her dead dog. “If that isn’t revealing some of your authentic self then I don’t know what is.”
He and de Lesseps played a game called “1, 2, QuaranThree” in which they answered questions to see how compatible they are. They agreed on everything: “Money Can’t Buy You Class” is the best Countess Luann song, Mortimer is more likely to be a trophy wife than Sonja Morgan, and Medley would make a better president than Ramona Singer.
“There’s not been a time in American history when Ramona would have been a good answer as president,” Oliver said, to which Cohen was quick to reply, “I would say right now might be the moment, actually, John. I might call in Ramona…” It was the only time Trump was even alluded to in the episode, which may be a first for a John Oliver TV appearance.
The show ended with a fan question about what Oliver thought the biggest takeaway from 2020 so far is—“I think a lot of us were really angry at 2016 and probably realize that we owe four years ago an apology”—and de Lesseps singing him a sultry version of “Happy Birthday” a few days ahead of the actual date, to which he seemed to absolutely lose his mind with glee.
As he said earlier in the episode, recounting a conversation he had with one of his writers, “This is not a great time for the world, but is a great time for The Real Housewives of New York to come back.”