On Sunday, John Oliver added a new installment to what is now a 21-day-long running joke: “Two weeks ago, I told you that if you looked up, you could see rock bottom,” the Last Week Tonight host said,recalling the episode in which he reacted to Donald Trumpinsulting former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. “Then last week, I told you that if you looked up, you could see the place we were a week ago,” he continued, a reference to his segment last weekcovering the hot-mic tape of Trump and Billy Bush. So, where are we now that Trump has started burning bridges and calling our nation’s democracy “rigged”?
“Well, this week, if you look up, all you can see are the thin, plywood boards surrounding us on all sides, because we are in a coffin and we are buried alive in the horror that is this election,” Oliver said. Sounds about right.
It seems after hopping on the Trump critique train a little late, Oliver has joined the likes of Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, and other late-night hosts who tirelessly work to address the Republican candidate’s latest comments in every episode. Like Bee, he only airs weekly, but he deploys his time wisely—and this week, Oliver focused on the Trump campaign’s mistrust in American democracy.
As Trump loses allies within the G.O.P. and continues his crusade against media outlets he doesn’t like, such as The New York Times,he has started to play up a narrative he’s alluded to throughout the election: that America’s democracy is fixed. At a recent speech in Florida, Trump accused Clinton of holding secret meetings with foreign banks to “plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty,” which, Oliver noted, “is not the kind of thing a presidential candidate says. It’s the kind of thing a man in a tin-foil hat screams inside his concrete bunker because he thinks his soup cans have been bugged by the lizard people in the White House.”