The last time comedians John Oliver and Seth Meyers saw each other was the night after the presidential election. They were tasked with performing stand-up at a charity event benefitting the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy nonprofit. And it was, given the shock victory of then-President-elect Donald Trump, a tough night for laughs.
“I was also very concerned that, you know, again, it’s a great environmental group, but there were parts where I wanted to say, ‘Tigers may need to just move down the pecking order for four years, because humans are endangered again,’” Oliver told Meyers on Monday night.
Oliver, the host of the Emmy-winning HBO series Last Week Tonight, was the main guest on Meyers’s increasingly vital Late Night program, where the two pals chatted about a variety of topics, from Oliver’s decision to blow up a 2016 sign during his last show of 2016 to how being glued to the news for his job makes him feel “like a heroin addict not being able to disengage from heroin.”
Meyers lightly addressed fan concerns that the notoriously hard-working Oliver, during his two months off, was “kicking back” on a beach sipping on pina coladas while Trump ran roughshod over the country.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever ‘kicked back’ in my life,” joked Oliver, before throwing a few surprising jabs at former President Barack Obama for living it up on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson at his private oasis in the British Virgin Islands. “I tell you who, I would argue at the moment, should kick back a little less—and this might be controversial: I’m a little sick of seeing photos of President Obama on vacation with Richard Branson,” said Oliver. “Just… tone it down with the kitesurfing pictures. I’m glad he’s having a nice time, [but] America is on fire.”
He added, “I know that people accused him of being out of touch with the American people during his presidency. I’m not sure he’s ever been more out of touch than he is right now as he’s kind of pushing [Branson] on a surfboard.”
Meyers and Oliver then cracked a few jokes about how Obama should, at the very least, be requesting that people not take (and circulate) photos of him having the time of his life while we’re all stuck with the daily anxiety of life under President Trump.
“[Obama] should be saying, ‘Don’t take pictures! I’m not sure this will play well when I’m going, WEEEEE! WEEEEE! Isn’t this fun? We’re losing public schools! WEEEEE! You’re fiddling while Rome burns? WEEEEE! Billionaires are fun people to be around!’”
Later in their fairly lengthy chat, Oliver aimed his ire at President Trump.
“He’s always acted like the most powerful man in the world—that’s how he carries himself, I’m sure through his childhood as well. He dons the disposition of the most powerful man in the world—now he actually has the power to go along with that,” said Oliver. “It’s like The Secret was real and it worked for one person, and unfortunately it was him.”Oliver then joked: “What I’m saying is: Trump is Oprah’s fault.”