John Oliver was a bit puzzled that his reference to HBO last week tonight to the “shocking” death of Queen Elizabeth II was censored by UK Sky television. Or at least that’s what he told Seth Meyers last night on NBC. Late at night.
With more than a bit of comic falsehood, Oliver insisted that his censored comment (he said the UK was “recovering from the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman of natural causes”) was not even a joke, but simply a fact stated with “a kind of imbecilic inflection”.
“And yet they cut it,” Oliver continued, “which sucks because apparently all we’ve heard all week is that the queen had an incredible sense of humor. Just non-stop – Oh, she was so much fun. Seth, she was so funny. The queen, she was very sharp.” Both Oliver and Meyers scoffed at commentators who insisted, repeatedly, that the Queen was a riot of laughs.
Oliver said of the frequently aired clip of Queen Elizabeth sharing jam sandwiches with Paddington Bear: “I’m watching a bear lead her comically in a scene. She is giving that bear any back.”
As Deadline reported last week, UK pay-TV service Sky has cut parts of Last week tonight with John Oliver about ironic comments. Angry viewers took to social media to ask why two segments had been removed from the British version of the HBO satire show, which followed the passing of the UK royal last Thursday.
The comments in question came in a post-opening credits segment. During this, Oliver lampooned several unexpected tributes to the Queen on social media by cartoon character The Crazy Frog and Dominos Pizza, saying: “Obviously we have to start with the UK, which is clearly still reeling from the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes. It’s a big time this week and for some reason absolutely everyone felt like they had to get into it. [it].”
In another comment minutes later, Oliver responded to the UK’s new leader Liz Truss’ praise of for-profit businesses by saying: “The best thing the Queen of England did for anyone was to die the week that woman she became Prime Minister. Because for at least a week, she’s not going to be justifiably destroyed by answers like that.”
Check out Oliver’s segment with Meyers above.