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John Oliver Didn’t Have To Come for Me Like This

Haven't I been through enough?!

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on the JohnnyCare website.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is known for two things: 1. It tackles complex topics with unflinching honesty. 2. John Oliver’s weird (and kind of hot?) obsession with actor Adam Driver. I love the mix of sharp-edged comedy with very serious topics. As they say, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Season nine of the hit HBO series ended in November, leaving us without John Oliver’s wit for months.

And there’s been a lot of news I would love a funny spin on lately. Can we get one joke about the Doomsday Clock being moved forward? What about one making light of several high-ranking elected officials taking classified documents home like the rest of us take home notepads? Thankfully, we are only about a month away from the show’s season 10 premiere. To promote its return, Last Week released a poster highlighting how much the news weighs on us all. It is so accurate that it feels like a personal attack.

“This guy f*cked around and found out.”

Last Week Tonight tweeted about season 10 starting on February 19 (yay!), and the featured promo poster had an image of John Oliver from when the show began, next to an image of him now. The younger Oliver has a full head of dark brown hair and an impeccable suit. He looks confidently into the camera with a pair of glasses cheekily hanging against the corner of his mouth. Oliver now has short grey with an overall rumpled appearance. His face looks out at us like he knows just what we’ve all been through recently. In between the very different versions of Oliver is the text, “It’s only been 9 years.”

Goddamn, Last Week Tonight, that hit hard. These last nine years have been a lot for me! 2014 feels like a lifetime ago. Can you remember such a simple time? It was a time before Trump, COVID-19, and everyone knowing who the hell the postmaster general was. Roe v. Wade still stood as the law of the land, and no malevolent force had breached the Capitol since the 1814. All Fox News had to complain about were Obama’s suit choices.

John Oliver has since appeared on The Tonight Show, where he discussed the image in depth with host Jimmy Fallon. Oliver pointed out that no full-grown human should ideally age that much in nine years. His younger self “had his whole life in front of him.” Young Oliver thought, “There hasn’t been a pandemic since 1918. What’s the worst that could happen?” Pointing to the current version of himself, Oliver said, “This guy fucked around and found out.” We all messed around, John, and we found out the hard way.

(featured image: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver/HBO)

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D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a freelance pop culture writer. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. She fangirls over the X-Men, folklore podcasts, and historical fantasy. When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse and offspring.