Polar bear penises are in serious jeopardy, people.
Hear John Oliver out. The deliciously droll host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight is an expert at deconstructing—nay, atomizing—complex issues and reframing the conversation to make it more palatable for a mass audience. With Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations, he waded through the myriad redactions and legalese and got down to the nitty-gritty: the safety of our dick pics. And in his very first episode of the series, he tried to convince former NSA honcho Gen. Keith Alexander that his former employer was in need of serious rebranding, and should adopt a cute kitten named “Mr. Tiggles” as its mascot.
Needless to say, the Brit is a master of branding.
And on Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight, Oliver set his sights on rebranding Earth Day—you know, the oft-overlooked holiday celebrating the sorry state of our environment (in case you weren’t aware, it falls on April 22). “We’ve become immune to shock,” said Oliver. “Just look at that classic image of a polar bear balancing on a block of ice. That used to horrify people, but now it’s lost its power. It’s like looking at pornography from the 1840s. I don’t care how much shin that woman is showing, I just feel nothing.”
In fact, things have gotten far worse for polar bears in recent years.
“Earlier this year, a study showed that environmental toxins could potentially cause them to be at risk of ‘… increased risk of species extinction… as a result of weak penile bones and risk of fractures,’” Oliver said. “To put that in layman’s terms: Pollution could cause polar bears to break their dicks.”
Yes, pollution is helping cause polar bears’ penises to break. Ouch.
To demonstrate just how important the penis is to the polar bear, Oliver, as is his wont, showed a National Geographic video of polar bears going at it—set to ‘70s porno music. “It’s the male’s thrusting penis which causes her to release an egg—but it could take up to two weeks,” says a NatGeo narrator. “To help her conceive, he’s got a trick up his sleeve—a bone right in the middle of his penis. It’s called a baculum, and it doesn’t just help to stimulate ovulation… it keeps him hard.”
Cue Oliver: “Now you understand why those Coca-Cola bears have to hold bottles in front of them: they have raging erections all the time. Always.”
So, the satirist’s solution? To “retire the polar bear on a chunk of ice as the face of global pollution, and replace it with this image of a polar bear clutching its shattered penis—because that will get people’s attention.”
With that, he brought out “Marshmallow the Polar Bear with a Broken Penis,” a mascot doubled-over in pain and clenching his groin area.
So this Earth Day, instead of taking that taxi or throwing out that garbage, perhaps you may consider going for a walk or recycling instead.
After all, a polar bear’s penis may depend on it.