John Oliver Reveals What’s Really Happening To These “Last Week Tonight” Mascots

The ninth season of “Last Week Tonight” premieres Sunday on HBO, and host John Oliver learned a valuable lesson over the show: everything is better with a good mascot.

“It’s a really good rule for comedy shows and sporting events,” Oliver told HuffPost.

Over the years, the show has used cute and cuddly mascots to comically raise awareness of very serious issues.

Some of the most memorable mascots include NASA’s Horny Space Gecko, which was created after Russia lost contact with a space capsule containing geckos; Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat, which Oliver suggested Philip Morris International adopt as a mascot during an article on plain-pack advertising in the tobacco industry; and most famously, Mr. Nutterbutter, a giant talking squirrel who mocked coal baron Robert Murray of Murray Energy in 2017.

Oliver plans to include more mascots in the future, if any, but admits keeping the costumes has caused some issues.

“Back when we had an office, we used to keep them all in one room,” Oliver said. “They were hung lifeless like in a meat locker. And it was one of those situations where you become so desensitized to sight that you don’t see it anymore.

That is, until someone brings their kids to work.

“They opened the door [and] immediately started crying as they literally went into a child’s nightmare,” Oliver admitted. “After that, we took them to a storage locker, thinking, ‘Humans can’t walk past this. It doesn’t look fun.

But the locker doesn’t have to be a permanent solution.

Oliver said he was “more than willing” to present the “Last Week Tonight” mascots “at a theme park that would be, I guess, closed in three months.”

“Last Week Tonight” airs Sundays on HBO. You can see Oliver with Mr. Nutterbutter in the clip below.


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