Brow Beat

Last Week Tonight Recruits Gilbert Gottfried to Read Obscure Brexit Provisions and Bigfoot Erotica

Consider yourself warned, because whatever the opposite of ASMR is, this video contains it. Last year, Last Week Tonight ran a segment dedicated to checking in on how Brexit negotiations were going, but fans in the U.K. weren’t permitted to watch the same material that their American counterparts were. That’s because the segment in question used footage from the House of Commons, and the U.K. has strict rules that limit that kind of footage to use in news and similarly factual programs only. Per the BBC guidelines, the footage “must always be kept separate from musical, fictional, or humorous items.”

John Oliver voiced his objections to the law at the time of Last Week Tonight’s segment, noting that “the fact that we are using parliamentary footage in making fun of this means that this part of the show is now going to be blacked out in the U.K. tomorrow,” which he called “genuinely insane and frankly antidemocratic.” The show had to fill the time during the British version of the broadcast with the help of the ever-melodious Gilbert Gottfried reading Yelp reviews. On this side of the pond, meanwhile, we all had a good laugh at Parliament for being so afraid of comedians, and moved on.

But then, it happened again, on Oliver’s last show of 2018, when a new, shorter segment catching up on Brexit was similarly cut from the U.K. broadcast for using video taken from the House of Commons. Fortunately, Gottfried was available to save the day yet again, this time by reading provisions from Theresa May’s deal, right down to the punctuation—that is, until Oliver decided his countrymen deserved something a little spicier. “Let me tell ya, it’s true what they say about big feet, because standing before me was half-man, half-beast …”

As of press time, Congress had unanimously passed a bipartisan proposal to prevent HBO from inflicting anything like this on the public again.