Brow Beat

John Oliver Exposes the Sinister Side of the Mobile Home Industry

Every industry has its Ebenezer Scrooge. On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained the many ways investors can exploit people who live in mobile homes, which despite their name aren’t actually easy or inexpensive to move. These tactics range from offering high-interest loans to buying the land underneath manufactured houses and then raising the rent on tenants. But there’s one man in particular who Oliver singled out: Frank Rolfe, whose “Mobile Home University” course teaches others the tricks of the trade.


Rolfe’s quote about mobile home parks being “like a Waffle House where the customers are chained to their booths” is so notorious that there’s an entire FAQ about it on the MHU website that accuses the press of not knowing what metaphors are: “I’m not sure in what county you can legally chain the customer to their seats, but it’s not in the U.S. I’m consistently shocked that some media outlets believe that option is available.” But Rolfe also has other downright Dickensian soundbites to choose from, as Oliver reveals.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Lauren Adams and The Good Place’s D’Arcy Carden lend a hand by starring in a more accurate commercial for mobile homes.