“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” doesn’t return to HBO until February, but host John Oliver took to YouTube on Sunday night to release a special web exclusive about a topic he considered very important: the 2003 book “The Da Vinci Code” and its accompanying film adaptation starring Tom Hanks.
“I already know what you’re thinking,” he says as the nearly nine-minute video begins. “You’re thinking, ‘I’m riveted, and I don’t need an explanation as to why you’re talking about this book 18 years after it was released. I think it’s normal and good that you are doing this, and I assume that your take on it will be measured and fair.’”
Oliver toes the line between a traditional “Last Week Tonight” episode and a clip from a YouTube personality as he goes on to discuss, at length, his nagging problem with the plot of “The Da Vinci Code,” a story he describes as being about “solving art crimes hornily.”
“My chief gripe with this book and movie is with the maddeningly simple solution to the titular puzzle,” Oliver begins after briefly recapping the plot, before launching into a segment on a poem that’s central to the main puzzle that describes a knight interred in London.
“We quickly find out the knight in question is Isaac Newton,” Oliver explains. “So Isaac Newton, ‘labors fruit,’ you’re thinking apple right? Apple. It’s your first guess and it’s also your only guess and you’re right cause it’s f—king apple. No one should need Robert Langdon, a Harvard-educated puzzle solver who f—ks, to get to the bottom of this. A child could solve that puzzle.”
Oliver then plays a clip from the film in which Hanks’ Langdon, upon solving the puzzle, spells out apple a-p-p-l-e, which makes Oliver extremely upset. “My dad told me this book was good! Everybody’s dad did,” the host later notes in explaining the zeitgeist-grabbing popularity of “The Da Vinci Code.”
The entire video is well worth a watch as Oliver repeatedly acknowledges the ridiculousness of the premise of his video, in which it must be said he makes a very valid point. Watch the whole diatribe above.
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” returns to HBO in February and “The Da Vinci Code” is currently streaming on Peacock if you suddenly have a hankering for revisiting the Ron Howard-directed adaptation after watching the video.
And nobody tell Oliver they made a Peacock series based on Robert Langdon’s adventures.