It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve been treated to a healthy dose of John Oliver’s razor-sharp wit cutting through the cacophony. And by god, he’s been missed.
Donald Trump, the real estate heir, Celebrity Apprentice host, and bona fide misogynist, has emerged as the Republican presidential nominee, following the abrupt exits of opponents Ted Cruz and John Kasich—and the even more abrupt exit of Cruz’s VP pick, Carly Fiorina.
“Obviously, the big news here in the U.S. is that Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee for president,” Oliver said on Last Week Tonight. “That’s right, this sentient circus peanut now holds the future of a major political party in his tiny, raccoon paw-sized hands—which is frankly a little surprising because the Internet repeatedly tells me I had ‘destroyed’ and ‘eviscerated’ him. Why would they say that if it wasn’t true?”
For those believing the U.S. has become the laughingstock of the world, however, Oliver offered an olive branch: Rodrigo Duterte. Yes, the current mayor of Davao City and frontrunner for president of the Philippines—their election takes place Monday—is perhaps the only person on the political stage even more outspoken than Trump and, according to Oliver, is “a colorful character, to say the least.” At a mass wedding recently, Duterte—taking a page out of Braveheart—offered himself up to the brides as a wedding gift, announcing from the stage, “I don’t have money to give, but I could give your wives something else—and this is for the wives only. Men, I’m sorry but you don’t get anything because I’m not a queer.”
“Duterte routinely kisses his female supporters, once called the pope a ‘son of a bitch,’ all of which has earned him a reputation of the ‘Trump of the East’—a title previously held by a burnt wonton covered in scarecrow pubes,” Oliver quipped, adding, “Duterte has also suggested, if elected, he would kill five criminals every week—which may not be an idle promise as since he’s been there, extrajudicial death squads have reportedly killed over a thousand people. And while he denies any involvement in that, he does admit he has blood on his hands.”Oliver then threw to a news clip of Duterte admitting in a nationally televised interview that he had killed people in the past. “Yes, of course. I must admit I have killed,” he told the interviewer. “Three months early on I killed about…three people.”“I’m sorry…about three people? That’s not good!” exclaimed Oliver. “Not knowing how many people you’ve killed is like not knowing how many Vicodin you took: If you don’t know the exact number, the answer is way too fucking many.”
The 71-year-old ex-lawyer, who in addition to “Trump of the East” has received the nicknames “The Philippine Punisher” and “Duterte Harry,” said last month on the campaign trail that he should have been the first in line to gang-rape Jacqueline Hamill, an Australian missionary who was gang-raped and murdered in his city, Davao.
Hamill, 36, was gang-raped and killed by inmates during a prison break in Davao back in 1989. She was ministering to the inmates at the time.
“I looked at her face—son of a bitch—what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up,” said Duterte. “I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing…but she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.”
Australia’s ambassador in Manila, Amanda Gorely, was revolted by Duterte’s statement:
Oliver was, too. “What a fucking asshole,” he said. “And if any part of you is thinking, ‘Was that some kind of horrific joke?’ please know he meant every word of it.”
The HBO host then cut to a TV interview with Duterte saying of the gang-rape line, “It was not a joke. I said it in a narrative. I was not smiling, I was just talking plain sense.”
Wow.“OK, let this be a lesson to all of us: When we say I just want a politician who will tell me what he really thinks, we should specify that that politician should not be a total fucking monster,” said Oliver.
“And yet, incredibly, this man is leading in the polls by 11 points, so he’s probably going to get elected president tomorrow—which isn’t just terrifying for the Philippines, because it means that in just a year’s time, we could be treated to this”—a picture of Duterte shaking Trump’s hand in the Oval Office—“as an official state visit.”