Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 5, Episode 5 - Mike Pence - full transcript

[HBO] HD. Main story: John Oliver creates his own children's book about a bunny to compete with Mike Pence's .

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Welcome to Last Week Tonight.
I'm John Oliver.

Thank you for joining us.
A quick recap of the week.

Trump White House. Rated #1 place
to work by "Subpoena Magazine !"

Almost everyone in the White House
was about to get fired

and it started with
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Reports said he found out from
a Trump tweet, which is embarrassing.

But the White House claimed
he'd actually gotten a headsup,

in an even
more humiliating manner.

Rex Tillerson was on the toilet when
he learned he was getting canned.

It's true: apparently,
Tillerson had a stomach bug

when John Kelly informed him.

Rex, deep down, when
you took this job,

you knew
it would end like this.

Maybe not "specifically" like this,
but in terms of dignity, frustration

and a general sense of nausea:
this was where it was heading.

Instead of getting sucked
down a White House rabbit hole,

let's instead focus on Russia.

Where the movie
"The Revenant"

was marketed as
"lucky man has fun time."

Russia has been the center
of allegations

regarding former agent, Sergei Skripal
who, along with his daughter,

was found poisoned
on a park bench in Britain.

It seemed there was a
consensus on who was responsible.

The US joined European leaders
in blaming Russia for poisoning

a former spy, Sergei Skripal.

In a joint statement, the U.S.,
Britain, France and Germany

all said that there is
"no plausible alternative explanation"

for the nerve agent attack.

Every country agrees that Russia
did this. Which is incredible.

We can't get the world to agree on
a single shape for electrical outlets.

What is that one by the way ?

Looks like I'm plugging my laptop
into the killer from "Scream".

The Russian government hasn't gone
out of its way to not look suspicious.

The Kremlin-controlled media have
been making fun of Britain.

"If you're a professional traitor,"
he says,

"my advice, don't move to England."

Something's not right there,
the climate, perhaps.

But too many bad things go on
there, people are hanged, poisoned,

helicopter crashes,
or they fall out of windows.

It's not every day that you hear
a news anchor sound like a mob boss.

Breaking news: it would be
real shame if wise guy

who thinks he can make fool of us
has terrible thing happen to him.

Maybe he fall out of poisoned
window into helicopter blade.

Or maybe he keep
his fucking mouth shut here.

Here's Linda with the weather.

Now, for his part, Putin was
interviewed by Russian state TV

and he used one phrase
that was a little jarring.

Those who serve us with poison

will eventually swallow it
and poison themselves.

"Those who serve us poison
will poison themselves."

Who would have thought
that Putin's approach to his enemies

would be the same as the employee
meal policy at Denny's ?

You told the "moon over my hammy"
sandwich was delicious ?

You prove it. You eat it
in front of everyone right now.

Russia's been gearing
up for its presidential election,

which took place this morning.

We can now reveal that
the winner was Hillary Clinton !

How fab ! No, I'm kidding !

I'm kidding !

People don't like her. At all.
Not even a little bit.

The winner was the poison guy.

And Putin's win
isn't really much of a surprise,

given that three potential candidates
didn't make it onto the ballot.

Alexei Navalny was barred
from running,

thanks to politically
motivated embezzlement charges,

Garry Kasparov fled,
he fears political persecution

and Boris Nemtsov was shot
in the back in 2015.

They were fucked, harried,
and killed. Respectively.

Putin actually bothered to do
campaigning in the past few months.

He even went to Crimea,
peninsula he illegally seized

and turned on the charm.

He gave the home crowd a rare
glimpse of his warm and fuzzy side.

"I", he told them,
"would like to hug you all."

Going on to say: "to death.
I would like to hug you all to death."

"I am Putin." And I am willing to bet
that a hug from him feels

like hugging a frozen
telephone pole with eyes.

The girl group Fabrika
released a song called "Vova Vova",

referring to Putin's nickname.

They put out a music video,
gyrating to pictures

of a shirtless Putin
and pretending to marry him.

Vova, our boss, beloved Vova.

Vova, handsome
guy, our beloved Vova.

Vova, the boss, beloved Vova.

Vova. Only him.

"Klassna." Who can blame them
for the fantasy of marrying Putin ?

What young woman wouldn't want
to settle down with a 65-year-old

whose ex-wife once said of him:
"Unfortunately, he is a vampire."

It's a fairy tale !
Of all the pro-Putin propaganda,

my favorite involved a group
called "Infrastructure of Charity".

They sponsored a contest
in which children

draw pictures of Putin
and the results were sensational.

Let me just show you. Putin wearing
a wolf skin and feathers,

playing in a hockey game
with zero fans in attendance,

Putin dressed
as Lucille Ball going fishing,

talking to his doctor about
why his head keeps shrinking,

a terrifying
six-armed spider-Putin,

Putin dressed as The Joker
suckling a camel,

Putin frolicking with two
extremely "DTF" furries,

rolling on ecstasy he thinks his tie
is a grey and purple croissant,

and this one, which I would
argue is not of Putin at all,

but rather a picture of David Caruso
teaching a fat dog to swim.

I'm not saying those pictures
tipped the balance here.

This election was never in doubt.
But all Putin is famous for,

oppression, threats
and meddling in elections,

will likely continue
for the foreseeable future.

That is why my
favorite child's drawing was this one,

which shows Putin astride
the world, showering it with love,

but which could just as easily be
the disemboweled organs

of anyone who dares
to cross him.

And now this.

Local news cannot be trusted
with St. Patrick's Day.

Top o' the morning to ya now.

Top o' the morning to ya.

Top of the morning for ya.
Did I get it now ?

Where are my Lucky Charms ?

They're always stealing
me Lucky Charms.

That, British ?

Luck of the Irish. Is that
a good accent ? Luck of the Irish.

- Top o' the morning to ya, Kurt.
- Same to ya.

- Doing a little jig are ya ?
- My pants are falling down.

It's Leaping Larry,
the largest leprechaun.

He really did fall. Are you ok ?
I got your glasses.

Moving on: our main story
concerns Mike Pence.

Vice President of the US and
the opposite of a "silver fox" is.

I'll go with "ashen weasel".

If you're wondering:
why talk about Pence ?

With the focus on
who Trump is firing,

it is worth remembering the one
person that cannot actually happen to.

Trump cannot but see Pence as
the indispensible man in his circle.

He is the one person to whom
Donald Trump cannot say "you're fired".

While, in many ways, Pence is like
any other Trump employee,

ethically compromised,
creeped out by Jared

and subjected
to unwanted physical contact,

Pence is the only official in
the White House Trump can't fire.

He is synonymous
with some extreme positions,

like his opposition to abortion
and gay rights.

Listen to Omarosa, who had
firsthand experience working with him.

We would be begging for days of
Trump back if Pence became president.

He's extreme. I'm Christian,
I love Jesus,

but he thinks Jesus tells him
to say things that are like,

I'm like Jesus ain't say that.

Omarosa is right there.

I'm pretty sure the original title of
the New and Old Testaments were

"Jesus said this"
and "Jesus ain't say that".

If Pence is that terrifying,
let's take a look at him.

If there are any Mike Pence
supporters watching this:

I cannot promise that he is
going to come out looking great,

but I will say something nice
about him before this piece is over.

You have my word on that.
So let's begin.

Pence's reputation is as the old,
boring, principled contrast to Trump.

He's been more than willing
to defend the indefensible.

Pence is exceptionally good
at dodging tough questions.

Look at this interview from just
after Trump tweeted, falsely, he had

"won the popular vote if you deducted
the millions who voted illegally."

Watch how many times Pence
refuses to engage in the premise.

That statement is false.
Why is it responsible to make it ?

I think the president-elect
just wants to call to attention

the fact that that there has been
evidence over many years of...

That's not what he said.

Expressing that reality, Pew Research
Center found evidence of that.

- It's certainly his right.
- To make false statements ?

It's his right to express his
opinion as the president-elect.

One of the things that's
refreshing about our president-elect,

and why I think he made such
an incredible connection with people

is because he tells you
what's on his mind.

Why is it refreshing
to make false statements ?

I don't know that that is a false
statement and neither do you.

Yes, you do, because everyone
knows that statement was bullshit !

Which is why it's alarming
that Pence would be willing

to defend a complete lie
by calling it "refreshing".

If that's the standard, you
can say all sorts of things.

Mike Pence spent $400 000 having his
penis replaced with marshmallow peep.

Is that true ? Who knows ?

But try telling me you're
not refreshed hearing about it.

Pence is well liked
among evangelical voters,

eight out of ten of whom
voted for the Trump-Pence ticket.

And he does have impeccable
credentials as a social conservative.

Pence used to have a local radio
show, "The Mike Pence Show",

where he sounded off
on hot button issues.

While current Pence is controlled
and polished, back then,

he was surprisingly animated.

Listen to him address one topic,
with some contempt in his voice.

Early in the week we talked
about whether or not it was time

to rethink this whole business
of women in the military.

What the fuck is that tone ?
He's saying "women in the military"

with the same skepticism you'd use
to describe this whole business

of "dinosaurs in medical school"

or "Cher in the starting lineup
for the Cavaliers".

She's a bench player at best
you restrict her minutes.

He wasn't just being provocative
there, he means it.

Pence wrote an editorial attacking
the Disney film "Mulan"

for showing a woman in combat:
"women in military, bad idea".

And if you're thinking:
"He grew up in the 1950s,"

"it's just a generational thing",
no, he didn't.

He's 58 years old.

Pence is three months "younger"
than Flavor fucking Flav.

He has no excuse there.

That is one of many ludicrous opinions
Pence has expressed over the years.

He also argued for the teaching
of intelligent design in schools,

he expressed a hope to consign
Roe v. Wade to the ash-heap of history

and responded to an HIV outbreak
among drug users

by dragging his feet on
allowing needle-exchange programs,

"he was going to go home
and pray on it."

I realize this isn't
the most relevant criticism here,

but can't you do that
from the office ?

The issue Pence is most associated
with is his hostility to LGBT rights.

It is not just me,
his boss seems to think so, too.

The New Yorker reports that behind
closed doors Trump had a habit

of mocking
Mike Pence's religiosity.

When the conversation
turned to gay rights,

Trump joked: "Don't ask that
guy, he wants to hang them all."

Trump is clearly joking about that.
But it is also the kind of punch line

that only works if we all know
the premise behind it to be true.

Like jokes about terrible
airline food, or bad break-ups,

or how people from Toronto
are terrified of hard-boiled eggs.

They're jokes based on universal
knowledge we all agree on.

Pence is not, and has never been,
a friend of the gay community.

He's fought anti-discrimination laws,
opposed allowing gays in the military,

with his campaign's website saying:

"Homosexuality is incompatible
with military service"

and he once defended
the "sanctity of marriage"

in another passionate speech.

Marriage was ordained by God,
is the glue of the American family

and the safest harbor to raise
children and it must be defended

against the onslaught
of the Left in the Congress,

in the courts, and if need be in
the Constitution of the USA.

Holy shit. If I may quote one
of America's greatest philosophers.

Jesus ain't say that.

She's absolutely right.
He didn't say it.

Pence made national news signing
a "Religious Freedom Restoration Act",

which enabled businesses to
discriminate on the basis of sexuality.

Angie and her wife Cynthia believe
it's an invitation to discriminate.

We don't know what restaurants
or stores we can go into

and not be turned away
and have to suffer.

That's degrading.

People were afraid of being
turned away from restaurants.

It is bad for someone to privately
dislike you for your sexuality,

but it's worse to be publicly
told you are too gay for waffles.

When this possibility was raised
to Pence by George Stephanopoulos,

he refused
to engage in the question.

So yes or no. If a florist in Indiana
refuses to serve a gay couple

at their wedding,
is that legal now in Indiana ?

This is where this debate has gone
with misinformation...

It's just a question, sir.
Yes or no ?

There's been shameless rhetoric
about my state and about this law

all over the Internet.

It should be legal in Indiana
to discriminate against gays ?

It's a yes or no question !

Hoosiers don't believe
in discrimination.

But that's neither the word "yes"
nor the word "no."

It's the word "Hoosier,"

which isn't an answer
to "any" question besides:

"what's a good derogatory slang term
for an owl with a drinking problem ?"

Look at yourself,
you Hoosier.

You gonna go fly into a fucking tree.
Get your life together !

Fucking Hoosier.

But while Hoosiers may
not believe in discrimination,

Mike Pence clearly does.

One specific allegation
he's pushed back on

concerns whether or not
he supported gay conversion therapy.

A question that
didn't come out of nowhere.

When Pence ran for Congress
in Indiana in the 1990s,

his campaign agenda included this:

"resources should be directed
towards those institutions"

"which provide assistance to those
seeking to change sexual behavior."

Mr. Pence did not and does
not support gay conversion therapy.

While I personally
find that denial horseshit,

I will acknowledge
the language on his website

was very carefully worded,
it does give him an escape.

His denial is an effort to reverse
a decision made in the early 'aughts,

apart from Russell Crowe's
upcoming "divorce auction",

to settle his 2003 marriage.

It is called "Russell Crowe:
The Art Of Divorce."

It's real, and it's amazing,
and you can buy items

such as this leather jockstrap used
during the filming of "Cinderella Man".

Will we be stupid enough
to bid on that ? I don't know.

Why don't you ask one
of our five wax presidents ?

But the point here is: Pence denies
supporting conversion therapy.

Hard to take,

considering how much he praised
someone closely associated with it.

One of his mentors is the notorious
homophobe James Dobson.

I'll let him introduce himself
in a truly unsettling way.

I represent an organization
called Focus On The Family,

which a 3-year-old one time
called "poke us in the fanny".

That's not far off from what
we're trying to do in some ways.

We're thrusting ourselves into
the hole of American spiritual life

and reaching around to grab
the tent poles of secular decadence.

That's what Focus On The Family
is all about: having gay sex.

Reducing the rate of gay sex
by at least half !

The organization Dobson founded,

has a history of promoting
conversion therapy.

For a decade, it sponsored

a "conference addressing, understanding
and preventing homosexuality"

called "Love Won Out",

which could not sound any more
like a euphemism for masturbating.

This talk of being poked in the fanny
makes me want to go and love won out.

Dobson also wrote a book
titled "Marriage Under Fire",

in which he stated:
"Focus On The Family promotes"

"the truth that homosexuality
is preventable and treatable."

And he produced a video series
in which he elaborated.

We wanna talk about the prevention
and treatment of homosexuality in boys.

There are more than a thousand
who are being treated

at any given time for homosexuality.

They don't all change,
it's not easy to change,

I don't want to imply that
it's just a simple thing,

you just decide you're not gonna
be homosexual anymore.

There are deeply rooted factors
that account for this

and they are tough to whip.

There is no such thing
as the "homosexual agenda",

but if there were "whipping bad
boys by the thousands"

wouldn't "not" be on it.

Dobson left Focus On The Family
in 2010

and they have since claimed
they softened their message.

If you go to their website now,
you will find articles like

"When A Loved One Says I'm Gay:
The Stages Of Grief"

and why we support
"sexual orientation change efforts".

Their logo still features a child
who dismembered her parents

and is holding their severed arms
aloft in some impish victory dance.

And I think that's just sick !

While Pence may claim he did not
and does not support gay conversion,

he supports those who support it.

Last year,
he was in Colorado saying this.

It is great to be here on the 40th
Anniversary of Focus On The Family.

Allow me to acknowledge
the founder of this ministry,

a man who became the author
of an enormous body of work

that inspired millions, and he's been
a friend and a mentor to me...

Dr. James Dobson.

Saying you don't support therapy,
and then calling Dobson your mentor

is like saying you're a vegetarian
and a law abiding citizen

and by the way, "please meet my
friend and mentor 'The Hamburglar.'"

Pence is not saying that as a radio
host or an Indiana congressman.

He's saying it
as Vice President of the US.

In which role he also presented Dobson
with an award just last June.

All this makes it even more galling
that, at the start of this piece,

I promised that I would mention
one thing I liked about Pence.

A promise is a promise.
So, through gritted teeth, here it is:

I kind of like his rabbit.

I really genuinely do.
I'm not the only one.

Vice President and his wife
could kiss

their audience's attention goodbye
once Marlon Bundo was introduced.

The Pences have a pet rabbit
and his name is Marlon Bundo.

Which again, is an objectively
good name for a bunny.

Marlon Bundo is a great rabbit.
He has his own Instagram account.

Here he is making an important
phone call,

here he is making another one,
this time using a landline.

Here he is posing next
to a strangely appropriate sign:

"if you met my family
you would understand."

Here's the thing, Marlon.
I haven't. Yet I still do.

Marlon Bundo is the most likable thing
about an otherwise unlikable man.

Like how George W. Bush
is a perfectly fine painter

or how Bill Cosby raised
awareness of pudding,

or how Roger Ailes is dead.

Sometimes you can't deny that there's
one thing you like about someone.

Bundo is about to get
even more attention.

The first tell-all book to come
out of the current White House...

Marlon Bundo is signing a deal
to publish

Marlon Bundo's "A Day In The Life
Of The Vice President."

Marlon Bundo has a children's
book coming out. This is it.

It's being released tomorrow.
There's even going to be a book tour !

I would love to say: "Fine,
it's a sweet book about a rabbit."

Who gives a shit ?

One of the stops on that book tour
is at Focus On The Family.

Congratulations, Pence: you even
managed to ruin Marlon Bundo.

Now none of us can enjoy
a book about your rabbit.

Or can we ?

Because it turns out,
in a complete coincidence,

we also wrote a book
about Mike Pence's rabbit

that has also been published.

While his is out tomorrow,

ours is released right now.

There are a few small differences
between the two books.

You'll notice right away
that our rabbit has a bow tie.

Our story is about Marlon Bundo
falling in love with other boy rabbit.

Because our Marlon Bundo is gay.
Just like the real Marlon Bundo.

You can buy this book,
starting right now at Amazon.

Which should be easy
enough to remember.

Do you want the regular Bundo book ?
Or the better Bundo book ?

All of our proceeds from this
are going to The Trevor Project,

which provides crisis intervention
and suicide prevention services

to LGBTQ youth and AIDS United,
which works to end the AIDS epidemic.

Selling more books than Pence
will piss him off.

That's three
great reasons right there.

featuring Jim Parsons,
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin,

Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow,
Jack McBrayer and RuPaul.

This is actually a book for children.
This is a real children's book.

This isn't some adult book telling
Mike Pence to go fuck himself,

although in buying it,
that's what you would be doing.

This is a sweet story about
Marlon Bundo falling in love.

And to prove it,
here is just a taste.

Hello, my name is
Marlon Bundo and I am a bunny.

This is the story
of my very special day.

As usual after breakfast, I hop
to the garden to look at the flowers.

That is when I saw him. The most
beautiful bunny I had ever seen.

"My name is Marlon," I said,
"but my family calls me BOTUS".

It's short for bunny of the US.
It's a long story.

My name is Wesley
and my family calls me Wesley.

Said Wesley.
We went on a long hop together.

We hopped through the garden,
right inside the old stuffy house.

We hopped through very boring
meets with boring people.

At the end of our hop I said:

"Wesley I don't want to hop
without you ever again."

And Wesley said...

That's funny because I never
want to hop without you, Marlon Bundo.

And we both said...

We will get married
and hop together forever.

- Wait !
- Said the Stink Bug.

You can't get married.

The stinkbug was in charge.

All the animals listened to him
even though he was very stinky.

Boy bunnies don't marry boy bunnies.
Boy bunnies have to marry girl bunnies.

But don't worry.
We had a plan.

A plan that involved
all the animals in the garden.

If you want to know how the story
turns out, buy the book.

Buy it for your children.
Buy it for any child you know.

Or just buy it because you know
it would annoy Mike Pence.

You'd be doing a nice thing
in a really dickish way.

at the website FocusOnTheFurmily,
which we also own now.

If you'd prefer to donate to The
Trevor Project or AIDS United,

if you make a donation
of $11.99 or more,

you can get a free copy
of the e-book.

We've actually bought copies for
every member of our audience.

That is our show ! Go online
or to bookstores next week.

I'll be talking about all of this
on Ellen and Seth Meyers.

Thank you for watching.
Please buy a book. Good night !