Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The case for Washington D.C. statehood
August 3, 2015 3:47 PM - Season 2, Episode 23 - Subscribe

This week.... Afghanistan reports Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar has died; it's been revealed that he actually died in 2013 and the Taliban has been lying about it ever since, and has even been releasing statements in his name. Three teenage girls in Chechnya bilked ISIL fighters, who thought they were securing themselves brides, out of thousands of dollars. A member of British Parliament, Lord Sewel resigns as deputy speaker of the House of Lords in the wake of a scandal after a video surfaced purportedly showing him taking cocaine with prostitutes. John Oliver supplies some context on the House of Lords. And Now: Ten Actual Titles of Current Members of the British House of Lords, Paired With Photos of Pets Who Look Like They Would Have That Name. Main story: On statehood for Washington D.C. (YouTube, 17m) John Oliver presents a rewrite of the song that names the fifty states alphabetically to cover the plight of Washington D.C., and sings it with 19 kids.

Afghanistan: "the 'just the tip' of international conflicts."
Chechnya: "And now, for some good news out of Chechnya, a sentence uttered almost as infrequently as 'Man, I hope I get seated next to a baby.'"
The United Kingdom: "America's before photo."
Lord Sewel: "Seen here dressed as Jeffrey Dahmer dressed as Santa Claus."
Cocaine: "is like ISIS or Insane Clown Posse. It's not for everyone, but people who like it like it to a life-destroying extent."
America: "Land of the free, home of the brave, inventor of Chinese food."

Lyrics to the song:
Alabama and Alaska
Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Colorado,
Connecticut and more,
There are fifty states in total
And we'll sing their names with glee
But there's one place that gets shafted
And it's Washington D.C.

All the rest of us can choose a path
That we think is best
But any choice that D.C. makes
Is easily suppressed
'Cause some asshole with a rider
Who might live in Tennessee
Can destroy a needle program
For preventing HIV.

Let them have gun laws!
Let them have weed!
Let them decide
The things that they need!
And if you're totally convinced
That there should be just fifty states,
Well then let's all kick out Flordia
'Cause no one thinks they're great.
Oh yes let's all kick out Florida
Cause no one thinks they're great.
No one thinks they're great!
posted by JHarris (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was unreasonably proud of knowing that Anthony Foxx is Secretary of Transportation. Mostly because of this FPP.
posted by asperity at 8:03 PM on August 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

And now, to finish the show, HOEDOWN, with Laura Hall on the piano. Someone from the audience give us a politics topic... Donald Trump no... yeah we can do the Washington DC hoedown, Laura Hall take it away!
posted by lmfsilva at 4:38 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

While I didn't know the Secretary of Transpowhatsits, I noticed right away that the US flag was different, and paused it and counted the stars, and was all I see what they're doing there.
posted by JHarris at 8:04 AM on August 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I caught the stars were wrong, and was ridiculously proud at the moment he said the thing that none of us noticed. Probably a bit too excited by that, actually.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:06 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

i 100 percent did not catch the stars were wrong but i knew who the secretary of transportation is. and the previous one. my job makes me cool.

i actually live in DC and throughout this whole segment i was basically wrapped in a blanket like ET and eating ice cream and yelling PREACH, BABY, YOU TELL THEM WHAT IS WHAT at the tv. john oliver can get it.
posted by kerning at 5:49 PM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

I feel like you all need to know that Tim "I should have beat EHN" Krepp has organized an event for Sunday to have a bunch of kids perform the song on the actual capitol steps. We have guests from out of town so I don't know if we'll make it else I'd create an IRL event for it.
posted by phearlez at 9:10 AM on August 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ooo I might show up there on Sunday just to take photos!
posted by numaner at 1:02 PM on August 6, 2015

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