John Oliver has been beefing off-and-on with Geraldo Rivera’s mustache for years, and he felt that the time was right to reignite that feud with this week’s Last Week Tonight deep dive into armed police raids. In particular, the host wished to pinpoint the monstrous toll that these raids continue to have in the U.S. (including the horrible instance of cops killing a sleeping Breonna Taylor in her own home); and when Oliver dug back into the history of these raids, which became “supercharged” during the 1980s heyday of the War On Drugs, he noted that Rivera was a key figure in popularizing them.
With that said, this segment was obviously a very serious one, but in true John Oliver fashion, he couldn’t resist including some biting humor. Oliver showed footage (at around the 12:00 minute mark above) from a Rivera-hosted-and-produced special (American Vice: The Doping Of A Nation from 1986) that showed raids happening in real-time. After witnessing officers running by Geraldo, who was showing off his own “guns” while narrating about apparent crack houses in San Diego, Oliver delighted in firing some shots about Geraldo’s undercover look and his current one:
“Wow! They all seem to be having a lot of fun there. From officers’ mad dash like it’s Walmart Black Friday, and there’s a sale on marijuana to Geraldo’s ridiculous disguise, which is like the Pringles Guy auditioned for Miami Vice, although I will say that it’s still better than his current look, which is ‘What if every single Batman Joker were rolled into one?'”
Here’s that undercover look, which is pretty bad.
Here’s the fantastic gathering of all of the Jokers.
And here’s the comparison shot of Geraldo’s current look. Brutal.
Oliver also look a few swipes at the short-lived 1990s musical cop series, Cop Rock (from Hill Street Blues‘ Steven Bochco), during the deep dive segment, which you can watch in full above. The host described the show as being like “if Pitch Perfect crashed into The Wire, and there were absolutely no survivors.”