Watch John Oliver Find Turkey Pardoning So Freaking Weird, He Had To Break His Hiatus To Rant About It — VIDEO
John Oliver, you read our mind. We were just wondering how we're going to make it till February without Last Week Tonight, and we've been fiending for a fix like the hopeless J.O. junkies that we are. Well, luckily, there's one American tradition that's so absurd that Oliver couldn't bite his tongue on the matter, and he's taken a brief hiatus from his hiatus to give us a piece of his mind. Oliver called out the presidential turkey pardon for being hypocritical and just plain weird, while offering an interesting alternative. Hint: If you're a turkey, you're not going to like it.
Oliver opened the segment explaining that though his show is on hiatus, "like a psychotic ex, we're still sending you videos from time to time to remind you what you're missing." We're pretty sure that America doesn't need to be reminded, as we've all been pining for you since you went away, but we welcome the unexpected mini segments, so keep 'em coming. So what prompted this pleasant surprise? Thanksgiving.
It's Thanksgiving, and I'm here to discuss perhaps the strangest Thanksgiving tradition — no, not sitting through a Detroit Lions game. I'm talking of course about turkey pardoning. Each year, the president pardons one turkey, who then presumably moves to Mexico with Tim Robbins, like they promised each other.
The tradition that Oliver speaks of takes place at the White House's annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation shortly before the holiday. During the presentation, the president grants a live turkey a "presidential pardon," sparing them from being slaughtered. Sounds like a nice gesture, right? But Oliver points out that it's steeped in hypocrisy.
There is something profoundly strange about the president making a show of pardoning one turkey to mark a holiday on which everyone — the president included — consumes an estimated 46 million birds.
It's a bit like saving one tree right before partaking in mass deforestation masked as an American holiday. So what's a compromise that would redeem our characters as a nation?
If we're going to pardon one turkey, we should pardon them all, or we should put them all on trial ... which would, admittedly, be a little difficult because getting a jury of their peers is nearly impossible. They do not, and will not, respond to summonses.
It's only fair that we subject turkeys to our normal judicial process — how much do we actually know about these turkeys that we pardon every year? Who's to say they don't have a history of violent crime? In Oliver's opinion, every last turkey deserves to be punished.
And also, more importantly, it would be an open-shut case, because let's be honest here — every single turkey is guilty. Specifically, guilty of having delicious bird parts that should be serving time in the prison of my mouth.
Oliver has an even better idea for the president than pardoning or lengthy legal processes — why not just cut to the chase and slaughter the damn bird yourself?
In fact, I issue this challenge to President Obama and all future presidents: If you want the world to respect you, just once, show up at a White House turkey pardoning with a clever and administer the justice these birds so clearly deserve.
That way at least you won't be a hypocrite who thinks pardoning a turkey will cancel out devouring another days later, a bird that someone else slaughtered for you. Anyway, at the very least, we now know how Oliver feels about turkeys. He ends his segment with:
Death to turkeys! Death to turkeys! Death to turkeys!
Oh, John Oliver, how we've missed you.
Watch the entire video below.
Images: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver/YouTube