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‘America needs to be careful’ says John Oliver on ‘Last Week Tonight’ season finale

Warning: Video contains explicit language

In Sunday’s season finale of “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver mixed his usual steady dosage of humor with a blunt, serious message: Authoritarianism is rising around the world and the United States won’t remain immune to its influence by luck alone.

The comedian concluded a segment about various world leaders with a plea to his audience to remain vigilant against those who have authoritarian impulses — including, he said, President Trump.

“The world is dabbling with something very dangerous right now and America needs to be careful,” Oliver said. “Checks and balances can be irritating and slow and might not deliver the outcome that you wanted. But removing them opens the door to something much worse.”


The host highlighted Trump’s attacks on his political and personal adversaries and the president’s expressed interest in a military parade and torture as some of the evidence of his authoritarian tendencies.

“His entire tone on the campaign trail was that of an unapologetic strongman,” Oliver declared.

In Sunday’s episode the comic also touched on the week’s news and concluded with a short parody film involving Armie Hammer, Russell Crowe, and wax statues of US presidents, which Oliver has joked about in seasons past.

“Last Week Tonight” is now on hiatus and will return for a sixth season in 2019.

You can watch Oliver’s entire commentary on authoritarianism above.

Peter Bailey-Wells can be reached at peter.bailey-wells@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pbaileywells.