John Oliver is following in the footsteps of Stephen Colbert by running for the highest office in the land … just not this land. On Sunday, during a segment of Last Week Tonight about the upcoming Italian election, John Oliver announced his candidacy for prime minister of Italy, becoming the latest ridiculous candidate in an equally ridiculous race.
First, Oliver walked his audience through some of the alternatives. There’s Matteo Renzi, who resigned after a humiliating defeat in the 2016 referendum, and Luigi Di Maio, the pick of the anti-establishment, populist party Movimento 5 Stelle, which has some alarming ideas about vaccinations and immigration. There’s also the most Trumpian of the bunch, Matteo Salvini of the far-right Lega Nord, who Oliver compares to “a fascist Mary Poppins—so, Mary Poppins.” Hovering over all of this is former prime minister (and perpetual national embarrassment) Silvio Berlusconi, who has been banned from holding public office until 2019 but has still tossed his hat in the ring anyway.
Now, we can add another name to that list: British comedian John Oliver. Oliver says his team consulted with multiple Italian legal experts and, while they discouraged him from running, they also admitted that technically, there’s nothing in the Italian Constitution explicitly preventing him from doing so. “We have ourselves an Air Bud scenario,” said Oliver. “Remember, the rules of basketball did not explicitly state that he couldn’t play. Next thing you know, the dog’s dunking.”
It’s not clear how exactly Oliver would accomplish this, given that he’s not affiliated with any of Italy’s political parties, but he at least gifted us with this sound bite, which should immediately become his campaign slogan: “I am that dog, Italy, so alley-oop, motherfuckers.”