For many months now – going back to that ripe old point in history before the pandemic started – Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has utilized a very particular pattern when referencing Star Wars vet Adam Driver. Namely, Oliver has requested for the actor to perform highly violent acts to his body, usually with more than a tinge of sexual ribaldry swirling around. This whole time, it's been mostly unclear what Driver himself thought of the strange running gag, but it all became hilariously clear when he popped up for a surprise cameo in Last Week Tonight's Season 7 finale.
Though he waited for months without making any public declarations about the Last Week Tonight host's delightfully awful hopes for shared physical confrontations, Adam Driver capped it all off in a magnificent way by "calling into" the HBO news-comedy series in order to give John Oliver a piece of his mind. (And only his mind, unfortunately, given social distancing restrictions.) As balanced by some interruptive fawning from Oliver, here's how Driver hilariously put the host in his place.
Listen to me. What the fuck are you doing? This bit, this bit. This thing you’ve been doing that’s either sexual or violent. This strange, strange bit that, for some reason, you’ve pulled me into, what is it? When you first doing it, it was easy for me to shrug it off. But then it kept going on and on and on and on and on and on. Do you realize, over this past year, what you’ve asked me to do to you? Collapse on your chest. Tie your fingers in a square knot. Step on your throat. Shatter your knees. Pull your heart out through your ear. What’s wrong with you? You realize we’re strangers, right? I don’t know you. And now random people on the internet stan us, claiming that you thirsting over me is a ‘mood.’ I’m sick of people stopping me on the street and asking me if I’m going to punch a hole in you like a Marriage Story wall.
Power to Adam Driver for staying completely in character with his small-scale performance here, all while John Oliver is reacting like a puppy dog trying to keep his master's attention, albeit a puppy dog that is also fully into its master choke-slamming it into hell. The comedian and Daily Show vet truly is hilarious to watch during the exchange as he smiles through the various references made in the past and humorously stammers his way through all of Driver's accusations.
In the midst of the exchange, Adam Driver showcases his acceptance and understanding from one human being to another, and got John Oliver to admit he was only having some "weird fun" with all the sexually violent imagery. But then, rather than saying he's sorry, Oliver first claims to instead be "America's naughtiest bitch" and "six feet of nasty spankable bird-meat crammed into a suit." Alas, the two men come to an understanding (of sorts), with Driver saying:
Okay, it’s fine. Look, it’s been a rough year for everyone, and I can tell it’s really gotten to you, sitting alone in your void. But I think, maybe, it might be time for you to step out of it for a bit. Get out of your chair, see what the world has to offer. Explore the space, man. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even discover some surprises along the way.
If any of those surprises happen to be Adam Driver-shaped entities putting John Oliver in a sweaty headlock, I'm sure the Last Week Tonight host would be Kylo Ren-to it. More so than he'd be into that pun, in any case.
Of the many moments worth celebrating from John Oliver's career, Adam Driver's appearance on Last Week Tonight is definitely one of the most memorable, considering all the sordid references that have been made. Oliver's passion for Driver's work in Marriage Story and beyond had taken ridiculously violent turns even before he used a WWE-related story to reflect on his obsession back in May. He says the bit is done for now, but will that hold true when Last Week Tonight returns for Season 8? We shall see.
Check out the excellence below.
Last Week Tonight may be over for now, but fans can catch up with recent episodes via HBO Max, and no one should be able to escape this wonky year without watching John Oliver blowing the whole shebang up to close out Season 7. While waiting for new episodes to start up again in February, which is currently the plan, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 rundown to see all the big shows hitting the small screen in the coming months.