President Nicolás Maduro claims to have spoken to his predecessor as a tiny bird, so Oliver tried to get his attention
John Oliver spent the main part of this week’s Last Week Tonight episode talking about Venezuela. Although the country is most famous for, as Oliver put it, “giving the world oil, seven Miss Universes, six Miss Worlds, and of course, most importantly, one Wilmer Valderrama, who I like to think of as the Miss Universe of That ’70s Show,” it is currently in the midst of a prolonged political crisis.
As Oliver explained, the roots of Venezuela’s problems lay with President Nicolás Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez. Chávez became hugely popular in Venezuela through both his outsize personality and social welfare programs that he paid for using the country’s booming oil economy. Twin disasters struck when Chávez died and oil prices fell to $50-per-barrel, but Maduro has nevertheless tried to retain his predecessor’s policies. He has even claimed to have encountered Chávez’s spirit in the form of a tiny bird.
“What I like the most about that, other than the whistling which I like very much, is the idea that when powerful leaders die, they become birds,” Oliver said. “That is a pretty humiliating second act. ‘I led my people to greatness, and now I will barf my lunch into my child’s mouth and fly into a glass window.'”
To turn Maduro’s conventions on him, Oliver summoned none other than the “Miss Universe of That ’70s Show,” Valderrama himself, to dress up in a bird costume and plead directly to Maduro.
“Maduro, the whole world can see what mess you are making, even TV hosts here in America like that idiot,” Valderrama said, referring to Oliver as “Zazu” after his upcoming role in Disney’s The Lion King remake. “The point is, Maduro, you need to accept humanitarian aid and cool it with the dictator stuff.”
Watch the full clip above.