Brow Beat

John Oliver Fake-Climbs Mount Everest to Prove It’s Probably Not Worth It

The debate around whether people should still be climbing Mount Everest is hardly new—check out this post Slate published on the subject way back in 2003—but a viral photo that made the rounds in May has renewed interest in the subject. “Climbing Mount Everest has somehow gone from a rare feat of extraordinary skill to something that looks like the line at Trader Joe’s,” said John Oliver on Last Week Tonight.

In the show’s main segment on Sunday, the late-night host gave a laundry list of reasons not to climb Everest: While still extremely dangerous, it’s not all that impressive in terms of technical skill, and the greatest risk falls on the local sherpas, putting visitors in an ethical quandry. (Also, there’s poop.) You’re better off visiting Oliver’s faux-Everest website to get the perfect mountaintop photo without ever leaving your couch.