Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s entire season finale dealt with, as to be expected, the results of this year’s U.S. presidential election being a win for Donald Trump.
If you’ve been to a live comedy show this whole week or watched late night or SNL, you’ll notice it’s unavoidable to talk about as it’s the only thing on anyone’s mind (no matter if you supported Trump or not). Many comedians on television do skew left, so many monologues and segments took a slightly more solemn tone that had a tinge of Sully Sullenberger’s call to brace for impact on that fateful Flight 1549.
One should note that a joke being told “too soon” can also apply to the person telling the joke as they might have not properly processed their own emotions after such a tragic event.
That being said, as far as we’ve seen, comedy, by and large, fulfilled its main priority in bringing laughter amidst all the anxiety/shock/grieving/crying/coping/etc. (and we’ve seen a few comedians crying on stage this week during their set). This is all in the liberal bastion of Los Angeles, by the way, where the air definitely hangs heavy still throughout the entire city.
Whether it be Stephen Colbert live on election night or Solomon Georgio demanding to take the stage on a show that was all but cancelled due to a Trump win being eminent or Emily Heller at a show that was supposed to celebrate a Hillary Clinton victory and was a show for solidarity in defeat, they did get to the jokes and got the job done. It wasn’t easy in the face of so much terrifying uncertainty of a Trump Administration, but they pulled it off spectacularly anyhow. These moments are where comedy just goes beyond being a clown and is shown as the art form that can bring people together and put them at ease.
John Oliver does just that with this week’s entire episode of Last Week Tonight by going through the election in a slightly sober tone, but ultimately bringing us together over just how much 2016 sucked. Indeed, there is a silly unity in telling the year 2016 to “f off”.
FYI, HBO has the courtesy of putting the whole, as opposed to portion of it, on YouTube for your convenience. Watch it here.