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John Oliver: Last Week Tonight's DefinitelyRealQuotes.com satirizes political quotations

‘They’re real, and they’re spectacular’

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Emily Shur/HBO

In the immortal words of John Oliver, “Politicians, what’s good?”

He didn’t say that. But Oliver knows as well as anyone that misattributed quotes are bound to be a problem in the upcoming election cycle. On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, the host called out Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson for misquoting Thomas Jefferson after the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College — using the incident to make the point that politicians have been misremembering the words of other politicians for decades. 

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To that end, Oliver announced, he’s created the website DefinitelyRealQuotes.com, which generates “definitely real historical quotes” and attributes them to well-known figures. The next time someone quotes Amelia Earhart’s famous declaration, “They’re real, and they’re spectacular,” you’ll know who to thank.

“Because if quotes no longer have to be real, they should at least be fun,” says Oliver. Or possibly William Shakespeare.