John Oliver Unloads on ‘Colossal Asshole’ Andrew Cuomo
The “Last Week Tonight” host took the New York governor to task over his bogus COVID-hero reputation, the sexual harassment allegations, and more.
On Sunday night, around the time the woefully corrupt Golden Globes were wrapping up, John Oliver was launching into a speech against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, “a man whose face, build, and general demeanor always seems to scream ‘Business Frankenstein.’”
The comic opened his latest Last Week Tonight on the myriad controversies surrounding Cuomo, a man who was inexplicably hailed as a COVID-19 hero for holding regular press conferences while he was presiding over a state with the most COVID-19 deaths of any, erecting a performative blockade in New Rochelle to “contain” the virus’ spread, overseeing erratic dining and school rules, somehow found the time to write a book about how well he was doing containing COVID, and placing COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes—an outrageous decision that led to countless deaths, and I say “countless” because the number of nursing home deaths were underreported by the Cuomo administration, who initially reported 9,154 nursing home deaths and recently upped that number to 15,049.
“You’d expect that less from a transparent democracy and more from an authoritarian regime like North Korea,” cracked Oliver. “Now, this scandal stems from a directive Cuomo made last March, telling nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients to free up hospital beds. Now that would be bad enough, but since then, his administration has been trying to downplay and consequences from that action.”
In addition to concealing COVID deaths, Governor Cuomo allegedly lashed out at New York Assemblyman Ron Kim for criticizing the nursing home situation, with Kim saying Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him and that he would feel his “wrath.” (Cuomo denies this.)
“Cuomo is famously unpleasant,” explained Oliver. “He reportedly has a ‘do-not-yell-at’ list, which a former aide admitted ‘is very small,’ and just this week another former aide accused him of sexual harassment—a claim that he denies. Although on the same day that story broke, Cuomo was at a vaccination site, and couldn’t help himself from joking about vaccinating this state senator.” (A second former Cuomo aide has accused him of sexual harassment; he has denied the allegations.)
Oliver then threw to footage of Cuomo joking, “I’m going to be doing the vaccination… I get to select the part of the anatomy where I do the vaccine, and you’ll be surprised—or maybe not—when you get to see the part of the anatomy that I pick.”
“Is it his penis, Andrew? Are you going to vaccine him in the penis?” asked Oliver. “Because to be honest, I would actually be surprised if you wanted to vaccinate him in the penis. The vein is hard to find, practitioners generally recommend the non-dominant arm, and also, what the fuck is wrong with you?!”
Then, Oliver pointed out that during Cuomo’s press conferences during the pandemic, he repeatedly cited motivational quotes from “A.J. Parkinson”—who apparently does not exist. According to Oliver, his father, Mario Cuomo, made up the name to toy with the press, so it was rather strange that Cuomo kept referencing these made-up quotes to raise people’s spirits amid rising COVID-19 deaths.
“It does feel like a pretty apt metaphor for an administration that has aggressively managed facts to fit its chosen reality,” said Oliver. “And it actually brings to mind another insightful saying: Andrew Cuomo is a colossal asshole.”