Brow Beat

John Oliver Explains How Corporations Get Away With Not Paying Taxes, Looks Suspiciously Like Steve Mnuchin

John Oliver struck fear into the hearts of law-abiding but forgetful citizens on Sunday night by announcing, less than an hour before midnight, that their taxes were due. Fortunately, the Last Week Tonight host was just messing around, since Tax Day has been bumped to Tuesday this year. But you can bet that Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn’t among those panicked HBO viewers anyway—as Oliver laid out in detail during the show’s main segment, major corporations like Apple take advantage of loopholes to pay as few taxes as possible. And last year’s overhaul of the tax code didn’t do much to help.


It was a thorough and informative segment, but unfortunately, I stopped paying attention as soon as a photo of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin popped up onscreen, because man, he and Oliver look alike. It’s not as though Oliver isn’t aware of his resemblance to Mnuchin, who he called “objectively good-looking,” “a California 10,” and “a smokeshow.” But seeing the two on the same screen, side by side, will still have you switching tabs to type Have Steve Mnuchin and John Oliver ever been seen in the same room together? into your preferred search engine.

If that search engine happens to be Google, well, you should know that the company is notorious for its tax workarounds using overseas subsidiaries, funneling profits through Ireland, the Netherlands, and Bermuda.