John Oliver went to town on America’s unemployment insurance system on Sunday. The “Last Week Tonight” host found
someone something some monster to point the finger at: Elmo. Yes, of “Sesame Street.”
We’ll get there. But first, Oliver took another potshot at his (and Elmo’s, technically) parent company AT&T.
“Our main story tonight concerns unemployment, the thing that would happen to me if AT&T executives ever find out what I’ve been saying about them,” Oliver said. “But on the other hand, what are they going to do? Look it up online? How? With their internet plan? And then what? Call someone? Using AT&T? I think I’m fine.”
“Last Week Tonight” then rolled footage from the “Sesame Street” episode where Elmo’s mom loses her job.
In the clip, Elmo, definitely not tickled by the news, asks if it’s his fault for having “too many toys.” (Don’t ask us to explain how a parent losing their job could possibly be tied to their child having too many toys, but let’s chalk that up to a developing brain.)
Elmo’s mom and dad swiftly assure him that no it is not, but Oliver cannot rule it out.
“Are we absolutely sure that it’s not Elmo’s fault?” he asked.
Oliver also took the opportunity to shout out Elmo’s mom for keeping it tight despite the bad news.
“She’s going through some s—, but she still managed to get her hair up in two-strand twists before she went to bed the night before,” he said. “She’s taking care of herself and protecting those edges.”
Watch the video above.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is produced for HBO by Avalon and Sixteen String Jack Productions. It is executive produced by John Oliver, Tim Carvell, Liz Stanton, Jon Thoday and James Taylor. The late-night show is directed by Paul Pennolino and Christopher Werner.
New episodes of “Last Week Tonight” air Sundays at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.