On Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver ended his show by speaking in French, imploring French voters to carefully consider their choices in the upcoming French presidential election and to not elect controversial populist candidate, Marine Le Pen. After his impressive French monologue, many are likely wondering whether Oliver speaks French. While it is unclear whether or not the comedian is fluent in the language, his adept delivery of a French monologue at the end of his show on Sunday certainly struck a chord.
Oliver dedicated much of his show on Sunday to the French election, which he featured as his main segment. Oliver discussed the importance of the upcoming French presidential election, indicating that the election could dictate the future of the European Union. Oliver explained that one of the election's front runners, populist candidate Le Pen, possesses strongly anti-E.U. views and could withdraw France from the E.U. if she is elected. France's withdrawal could possibly dismantle the E.U. and the Eurozone entirely.
Furthermore, Oliver also warned of the additional dangers Le Pen could pose to French prosperity and global stability. Oliver indicated that the election of Le Pen would be similar to that of Donald Trump in 2016, saying Le Pen is a "a potentially destabilizing populist, campaigning on anti-immigrant rhetoric, who rages against the elites despite having a powerful father and inherited wealth, even though all the experts assure us that there is no way that this [the election of Le Pen] can possibly happen." Thus, Oliver believes it is imperative that she not get elected and he pulled out all the stops on his show in order to appeal directly to French voters.
Toward the end of his show, Oliver indicated that he wished to appeal to the French's "innate sense of superiority over the U.S. and Britain," which he indicated is not "entirely misplaced," particularly in light of America's election of Donald Trump and Britain's decision to exit the European Union. Oliver then went on to compare the superiority of several French products, like wine and croissants, to those of American and British origin. He asserted that the French could further "prove" their "superiority" over the Americans and Brits by not electing a populist president like Le Pen.
Oliver then decided to appeal to the French in the "elegant, restrained manner they prefer," and changed the entire set of his show into a cozy French bistro, shot in black-and-white, with accordion music playing in the background. Oliver then began speaking French, saying (in French):
Listen to me. Britain and American f*cked up. Don't f*ck up too ... You're better than this. This is your chance to live up to the French philosophy of the Enlightenment ... Help us France. You're our only hope.
Oliver's appeal to French voters was quite impressive for both its content as well as for his adept use of the language. Social media users certainly seemed to be impressed with his French-speaking skills and his take on the presidential election; hopefully French voters will feel the same and make sure to head to the polls with careful considerations in mind on election day. Regardless of whether or not he is fluent in the language, hopefully Oliver's French monologue will have a positive impact.
Images: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/ HBO