Last week, Leno stopped by NBC’s Today show and said he did not miss hosting a late-night show because “everything now is, if people don’t like your politics… everyone has to know your politics…But when people see you are one-sided, it just makes it tough.”
“I’d just like to see a bit of civility come back to it, you know?” Leno added.
During a segment on public shaming, Oliver said Monica Lewinsky had been put through “hell” after her Oval Office sex encounters with then President Bill Clinton.
Among the things she endured: endless late-night TV jokes, Oliver said. The most relentless: Jay Leno.
Oliver treated viewers to some from the Tonight show library:
-Leno joking it was so humid outside people’s clothes were “stickier than Monica Lewinsky”;
-Leno snickering over a headline reading “Lewinsky Gets Back On Her Feet”;
-Leno doing a bit with a fake Dr. Seuss-ian book about Lewinsky, titled The Slut in the Hat;
“And, if that’s what he means by civility, may I offer my new book: Oh the Places You Can Go F*ck Yourself, Jay Leno! Oliver snarked.
Not all public shaming is bad, Oliver acknowledged. It can “increase accountability” if a powerful person is behaving badly, he noted.
“In fact it emerged just this week that Tucker Carlson – the answer to the question, ‘What if the sound “thud” grew a face’ – had said some awful things on a radio show a few years prior.”
Among them, the Fox News Channel primetime star publicly called Iraqis “semi-literate primitive monkeys,” compared women to dogs, and said Warren Jeffs, who is serving a life sentence for the sexual assault of his underage brides, “wasn’t that bad,” Oliver told viewers.
Carlson refused to apologize and, all week long, there have been trending hashtags “like #boycotttuckercarlson, #fIretuckercarlson, and #tuckercarlsonfuckshisroomba,” Oliver quipped, admitting the last one “technically” was not trending, “but I have this weird feeling it will be in 20 minutes or so.”
“I would argue that Tucker is actually a good example of an internet pile-on being merited,” Oliver argued. “He’s a public figure, he made his comments publicly, they are appalling and he’s standing by them.”