John Oliver closed the final Last Week Tonight of 2016 by stating the obvious: “[It’s] been an uncommonly shitty year” – from the Syrian refugee crisis to the draining election cycle. He capped off the episode by blowing up a giant “2016” sign, as celebrities like “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jeffrey Tambor and Larry Wilmore flipped the bird to the depressing past 12 months.
“Fuck 2016,” grumbled Larry David in trademark style, pissed off over mayonnaise on his sandwich. “Go punch yourself in the dick,” offered Megan Mullally. Between the celebrity spots, ordinary Americans vented about tragedies both massive (the Flint water crisis) and small (being denied a selfie with Bruce Willis).
Oliver spent most of the episode processing the presidential election of Donald Trump. “Instead of showing our daughters that they could some day be president, America proved that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world,” he cracked, admitting he’s suffered “wave after wave of nausea all week.”
The host vented his fears of a Trump presidency – and cautioned against blind optimism. “Optimism is nice if you can swing it, but you’ve got to be careful because it can feed into the normalization of Donald Trump,” he said. “And he’s not normal. He’s abnormal. He’s a human ‘What is wrong with this picture?’ He sticks out like a sore thumb, and, frankly, he even looks like a sore thumb.
“Maybe you’ve tried to make yourself feel better, fantasizing that he might Google ‘How much does the president get paid?’ get depressed and then resign,” he continued. “But that is when you remember Mike Fucking Pence, who might be even worse – because he looks like he’s from the 1950s, but he thinks like he’s from the 1960s.”
Mostly, though, Oliver focused on where we go from here. He encouraged viewers to vote, buy newspaper subscriptions and donate to “organizations that need help under a Trump administration,” including Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council, International Refugee Assistance Project, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Trevor Project and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
“Keep reminding yourself, ‘This is not normal,” he said. “Because a Klan-backed, misogynist Internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address, and that is not normal. It’s fucked up.”
Several factors may have contributed to Donald Trump winning the presidency. Watch here.