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.
Real Animals Fake Paws Supreme CourtVideo: YouTubeBecause 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).Agree or disagree?
Marshmallow the Polar Bear with a Broken PenisPhoto: flickr / CC0
Because pollution could potentially cause polar bears to break their penis bones, threatening the species with extinction, Last Week Tonight created a special mascot to raise awareness about this real threat.Meet Marshmallow the Polar Bear with a Broken Penis at 2:50.Agree or disagree?
The Scottish Independence UnicornVideo: YouTubeDuring an episode about the Scottish independent vote, many people learned from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that the official animal of Scotland is the unicorn. The Scots definitely do what they want.Agree or disagree?
Taryn the Tinder ChickenPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
When Russia decided to ban food imports from the U.S., chicken wasted no time getting back out there and playing the field. John Oliver introduced the world to Taryn the Tinder chicken. She’s 29 and not letting her break up with the Russian market hold her back.Taryn showed off her pole dancing skills alongside Dancing Soybean, also rejected by Russia. Oliver also created a Tinder account for Taryn and let everyone know she was DTC. ("down to cluck").Agree or disagree?