John Oliver tears into Trump’s budget, suggests adding zebras to news events

Warning: Video contains graphic language

John Oliver seems pretty sick of dealing with the news. So sick, in fact, that he thinks maybe it’d be better if he adds something into the mix: Zebras.

Yes, zebras.


During his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday, Oliver highlighted an apparently much-loved effort in a Bolivian city where people dressed as zebras on the street to help calm traffic.

Oliver was so delighted by his discovery of the program, he pointed out that maybe US political news could use a healthy dose of, well, zebras.

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“Frankly, I have needed this over the last few months. The news has been hard,” Oliver said. “If zebras can make Bolivian traffic jams better, what else could they help with?”

And. . . Cue the zebras.

Oliver superimposed a person in a zebra costume in the audience during the inauguration of President Trump, adding the character into the background as Trump took his solemn oath. (Many in the audience laughed even harder as the zebra held up a “stop” sign.)


“See? It’s better, right? It doesn’t change anything, but it is easier to watch,” Oliver said.

Oliver also used zebras in more clips, including one to lighten the mood of Rachel Maddow’s show on Trump’s 2005 tax returns this week. He even went so far as using one playfully during a heart-wrenching scene from “Manchester by the Sea.”

Oliver then called on his viewership to action: The show has made available a person dressed as a zebra “going through a wide variety of emotions” against a green-screen backdrop, and he wants his audience to use it to create their own hilarious situations.

And with it being one of Oliver’s antics, there is, of course, a hashtag to go with: #justaddzebras. (As of 2 a.m. Monday, the 23-minute video of the green screen zebra had nearly 80,000 views on YouTube.)

The playful ending segment came after Oliver tore into Trump’s proposed federal budget, which was released this past week.

Oliver highlighted the proposed cuts at the departments like the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, pointing out that these organizations’ budgets were minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

“You don’t cut those agencies as a cost-saving measure, you do it as a [expletive] you,” Oliver said. “It is the budgetary equivalent of inviting Mitt Romney out to dinner at Jean-Georges before not offering him a Cabinet position. And I will say that was awesome, by the way.”

He also pointed out that some Republicans are not fans of the budget, quoting Representative Hal Rogers, who called Trump’s budget “draconian, careless, and counterproductive.”

“A Republican saying that about budget cuts is like a toddler telling you, ‘This balloon [expletive] sucks!’” Oliver quipped. “Really? I really thought you liked those.”

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