We might need to change John Oliver’s name to Cassandra.
Last June, the batty Brit’s HBO program Last Week Tonight aired a segment blasting soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, and its overlord, president Sepp Blatter, for perceived corruption. Oliver branded it a “comically grotesque organization” that should answer for its sins. And during last week’s episode, the host doubled down on FIFA and Blatter, pledging “the ultimate sacrifice” if some of the big-name brands that back FIFA pulled out and demanded Blatter’s resignation:
“Adidas, I will wear one of your ugly shoes. One of these shoes that make me look like the Greek god of aspiring DJs. McDonald’s, I will take a bite out of every item on your Dollar Menu—which tastes like normal food that was cursed by a vindictive wizard. And I will even make the ultimate sacrifice: Budweiser, if you pull your support and help get rid of Blatter, I will put my mouth where my mouth is, and I will personally drink one of your disgusting items. I’m serious. It could be a Bud Light. I will even drink a Bud Light Lime, despite the fact that all the lime in the world cannot disguise the fact that this tastes like a puddle beneath a Long John Silver’s Dumpster. But I will do it. I will drink one maintaining eye contact with the camera and say it’s delicious, because if you get rid of the Swiss demon who has ruined the sport I love, this stuff will taste like fucking Champagne!”
And sure enough, on Tuesday, Blatter announced his intention to resign from his post as president of FIFA—a position he’d held for a staggering 17 years.
“Oh my god! He’s leaving! He’s actually leaving!” Oliver exclaimed Sunday night. “I feel like a Greenpeace volunteer who actually got someone’s attention! I didn’t think this would happen, and now I don’t know what to do.”
Yes, Oliver was understandably ecstatic. The sport that he loves had finally rid itself of what he called its “Swizz lizard” of a president.
“The timing of Blatter’s announcement was notable for two reasons: First, it was only four days after being reelected president. That’s like being elected pope and immediately announcing, ‘Judaism makes some good points…I think I may have got this wrong,’” joked Oliver. “And secondly, Blatter stepped down just days before the U.S. release of United Passions—a suspiciously glowing movie history of FIFA.”
“The reviews so far have been phenomenal,” he continued. “The Guardian said that, ‘As cinema it is excrement,’ and The New York Times called it ‘…one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory.’ And remember, this is the same week the Entourage movie came out. #THEBOYSAREBACK”—taking a jab at his own network’s show.
He then aimed his ire at former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who stands accused of facilitating up to $10 million in bribes. This past week, Warner purchased time on Trinidadian television to air a 7-minute clearing of the air that he comically dubbed Jack Warner: The Gloves Are Off. In it, he claimed he’d “compiled a series of documents, including checks and corroborated statements,” and placed them in “unexpected hands,” putting all his alleged FIFA co-conspirators on watch.
Cue Oliver. “We had more to say to Jack Warner than we had room for here, so we bought five minutes of airtime on Trinidad’s TV 6 at 9:01 pm on Tuesday,” he announced. “We will be preempting the first five of minutes of—and this is true—Mike & Molly, and we’ll be doing it with John Oliver: The Mittens of Disapproval Are On.”
This was apparently not a joke.
Then Oliver got down to the “unfinished business” portion of the telecast. He upheld his end of the bet by donning ridiculous Hermès-esque gold Adidas sneakers and taking a bite out of every item on the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.
Next came the moment we’d all been waiting for. Oliver, ever the showman, erected a ridiculous beach set filled with beach balls, buff dudes, and bikini-clad babes—something straight out of, well, Entourage. He shimmied over to the set and got down to it.
“Bud Lite Lime may taste like your tongue is angry with you but, after seeing Sepp Blatter leaving, to me, it tastes…”—Oliver popped the bottle and chugged it dry—“…delicious!”
John Oliver: A man of his word.