Before he makes his long-awaited return to HBO this coming Sunday, John Oliver kicked off the week on Monday with a sit-down with his old Daily Show colleague Stephen Colbert.
Asked if he’s “feeling good” with high confidence heading into the new season, Oliver laughed and replied, “Confidence high? No. My confidence is never high. Self-loathing high, concern astronomic.” When Colbert noted that Oliver is returning just after what could be the halfway point of Donald Trump’s presidency—saying, “the end is in sight”—he elaborated on those feelings.
“I definitely don’t have that kind of optimism. To say we’re halfway through his presidency I think is to ignore the concept of second term possibility. We are two to six years away from the end his presidency,” Oliver said. As audience members began to boo, he added, “Oh, wow. Are there some big Trump 2024 fans in here?”
“We all have something to aim at,” he said of the eventual end of Trump’s one or two terms in office. “We all have a finish line like in a marathon that we can all try to stumble over, be covered in a silver cape and have someone say, you really shouldn’t have done that.”
As Colbert said all we really need to do is “stay alive” until January 2025, Oliver replied, “I think that’s what we all have to do, all of us, especially Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” That line got a huge ovation from the crowd, but again Oliver did not seem particularly optimistic. “I mean, listen, if she can function Tinkerbell-style, that we can just keep her alive by clapping our hands, then at that point Pelosi needs to go full alligator clap. Just believe, children, believe!”
After a break, Colbert surprised Oliver by announcing that with this appearance he had officially overtaken Sen. Bernie Sanders as the most frequent guest to date on his Late Show.
“Fuck you, Bernie!” Oliver joked as the host presented him with a sash, tiara and bouquet of roses. “Number one! Number one!”