While “The Daily Show” has become known for its “Moment of Zen” over the years, one of the show’s most successful alums, John Oliver, chose to go a different route when addressing Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris during Sunday’s episode of his HBO series “Last Week Tonight.”
“We begin with a few words about France, which on Friday suffered the deadliest attack on its soil since World War II,” Oliver began soberly. “It’s hardly been 48 hours, and much is still unknown, but there are a few things we can say for certain. And this is when it actually helps to be on HBO, where those things can we said without restraint, because after the many necessary and appropriate moments of silence, I’d like to offer you a moment of premium cable profanity.”
Oliver then launched into an expletive-riddled tirade against the perpetrators of the deadly bombings, which left 129 people dead and 352 wounded across Paris on Friday.
“So here is where things stand: first, as of now, we know this attack was carried out by gigantic f–ing a–holes; unconscionable, flaming a–holes; possibly working with other f—ing a–holes; definitely working in service of an ideology of pure a–holery,” Oliver said, drawing cheers from the audience. “Second, and this goes almost without saying, f— these a–holes, f— them, if I may say, sideways. And third, it’s important to remember, nothing about what these a–holes are trying to do is going to work. France is going to endure, and I’ll tell you why. If you’re in a war of culture and lifestyle with France, good f—ing luck, because go ahead, bring your bankrupt ideology. They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloises cigarettes, Camus, Camembert, madeleines, macarons, Marcel Proust and the f—ing croquembouche. You just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friend. You are f—ed.”
In closing, Oliver said, “So to the people of France, our thoughts are truly with you and I do not doubt there will be more to say on all of this as events unspool.”
On Friday night, late night hosts Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher weighed in on the attacks, and the following day, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” paid tribute to Paris with a somber opening segment.