Verbal threats between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are escalating to distressing levels. So in response, John Oliver aimed to diffuse the tension by appealing directly to North Koreans on Last Week Tonight.
Given North Koreans’ fondness for accordion instrumentals (the Last Week Tonight team found an all-accordion North Korean version of a-ha’s “Take on Me”), Oliver enlisted the only accordion-player he knew – “Weird Al” Yankovic – to extend a kind of accordion-assisted olive branch to the hermit kingdom.
The song, “Please Don’t Nuke Us, North Korea,” was about how Americans really feel about North Korea (despite President Trump’s baiting comments about “fire and fury” and North Korea’s anti-American propaganda). “Would you annihilate us if you had the chance?/ That’s such an anti-social thing to do,” Yankovic sang. “You’ve got us crapping our collective pants/ May I suggest you take it down a notch or two?”
Yankovic paused to consider the ramifications of nuclear war (“Why in the world would you kill Tom Hanks?/ ‘Cause nobody doesn’t like Tom Hanks”) and tried to re-frame North Korea’s mindset toward the U.S. (“You might call us blood-thirsty dogs/ But that metaphor is not very apt/ We’re just a bunch of simple, fidget-spinning, goofy dorks who probably couldn’t find your country on a map”).