All the Mascot Costumes from Last Week Tonight, Ranked

Last Week Tonight's John Oliver knows that one of the best ways to make a point is to use a mascot. He learned this trick from Japan. Japan uses mascots to make issues and entities more relatable and, some might argue, terrifying. In America on a comedy news program hosted by a British guy who used to be a fake correspondent on The Daily Show, mascots are comedy gold. But which are the best and funniest John Oliver mascots and character costumes?

Sex geckos lost in space? Meet Last Week Tonight’s Horny Space Gecko. Want to show love for Scotland so the country won’t break off its union with England? Bring out the Scottish Independence Unicorn to show just how much you care.  

Many of Last Week Tonight’s mascot characters are now part of pop culture. Just like Japan’s beloved antler/boy Sentokun, there’s no reason why Creepy Baby with Hulk Hands Wearing a Tutu won’t be in the next Olympics or Senate panel hearing for the HHS. Or at the very least a party at Charlie Sheen's house. 

Other Last Week Tonight mascot characters have a life of their own as well. Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat has become a symbol of anti-tobacco and has spread around the world. Hoots the NSA Owl keeps an eye on you from Twitter, space, and a van outside your house. Taryn the Tinder chicken has been swiped right more times than Britney Spears. LWT puppets explain what’s wrong with America’s prison system through song.

Which of the Last Week Tonight characters are the most compelling, hilarious, and on point? Upvote the best and don’t forget to pick up your Justice Department Scales the Blind Iguana plush toy in the gift shop after you're done. You can also head on over to our list of more shows like Last Week Tonight.


  • 1
    25 VOTES

    Real Animals Fake Paws Supreme Court

    Real Animals Fake Paws Supreme Court
    Video: YouTube
    Because cameras aren’t allowed in the Supreme Court, Oliver makes the argument that using real animals with fake paws to recreate arguments heard in the Court would be both adorable and educational and actually make the American public care about real Supreme Court cases (jump to 2:50).
  • 2
    17 VOTES

    Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat

    Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat
    Video: YouTube

    When John Oliver suggested this mascot for Philip Morris International as part of a story on plain package advertising in the tobacco industry and promoting the hashtag #jeffwecan along with its mascot, he had no idea just how far Jeff would go, despite his limited lung capacity.  

    LWT created billboards in Uruguary (a nation fighting off the tobacco industry), sent Jeff T-shirts to Togo (another targeted country), and someone even made a full scale Jeff costume, appearing at the White House and showing up to anti-tobacco protests.
  • 3
    16 VOTES

    NASA’s Horny Space Gecko

    NASA’s Horny Space Gecko
    Video: YouTube
    When Russia lost contact with a space pod containing geckos. One of the things scientists were observing was the gecko’s sexual activity. Oliver insisted that humanity #gogetthosegeckos and then introduced NASA’s Horny Space Gecko to go get his buddies.
  • 4
    15 VOTES

    Red-Tailed Hawk, Official Raptor of Last Week Tonight

    Red-Tailed Hawk, Official Raptor of Last Week Tonight
    Video: YouTube
    When the red-tailed hawk was rejected by the New Hampshire state legislature as the State Bird, Last Week Tonight gladly made the predator the official raptor of the show. Oliver seems terrified of the bird, which can grab its prey in mid air and rip it apart, but the animal seems quite appropriate for a show that isn’t having anyone’s bulls*t.