John Oliver Bashes The Mooch & Says The Words No Newscaster Can

by Lani Seelinger
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If the news seems like it's moving at a breakneck pace at the moment, it's because it is. But have no fear, John Oliver is back to digest things for you, and did he ever have a lot to digest this week. To start this episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver bashed Anthony Scaramucci in a way that only he can — basically, by using the expletives that Scaramucci himself used in the highly publicized interview he gave to the New Yorker.

He started things off brightly, by discussing the new White House communications director's nickname, "The Mooch." "Scaramucci’s nickname is ‘The Mooch,’ which already sounds like the name of a cow STD," Oliver said. "So, uh… neither one of us has been with anyone else, and yet somehow I have The Mooch. Is there anything you need to tell me?”

Oliver then moved on to a slightly troubling comment that Scaramucci made on CNN, where he chose to quote, of all people, disgraced former football coach Joe Paterno. “Remember Joe Paterno? What would he say?” Scaramucci said. “Act like you’ve been there before. Act with honor and dignity.” An interesting person to choose when talking about honor, dignity, and cracking down on leakers (which Scaramucci was discussing on CNN), Oliver pointed out, as Paterno actually has a "Child sex abuse scandal and dismissal" section on his Wikipedia page.

The Daily Beast pointed out that Scaramucci was probably actually just attributing the quote to and mentioning Paterno because of an HBO documentary he's producing on the former Penn State football coach's life. However, given that Paterno's fall from grace happened because he stayed silent on allegations of sexual abuse against assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the quote is still, let's say, just a bit creepy.

Oliver really hit his stride when he began his discussion of the New Yorker interview, though. While I've often said that Oliver has a way of encapsulating news stories the way that no one else in the media can, in this case he literally did use the word that no one else in the media was willing to say: "cock."

"Scaramucci said, 'I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not going to suck my own cock.' That's what Scaramucci said, to a reporter, on the record," Oliver said. "There's just no point in anyone being coy about this anymore." And then just the drill in the point, Oliver's "Now This" segment following the opener showed a compilation of newscasters doing exactly that — trying to be coy about quoting the White House communications director.

The country has only just seen the beginning of Scaramucci, or, as Oliver called him, "a communications director who answers the question of, 'what if a tanning bed were a person?'" And as this administration rambles on, you can be ever more thankful that you have Oliver to put things in a way that you're just not going to hear anywhere else.