In a highly memorable moment a few weeks ago, Adam Driver stopped by the Last Week Tonight season finale, and he proceeded to “berate” John Oliver for spending the better part of 2020 basically begging the Kylo Ren actor to physically destroy him. The whole thing became an obsessive, if not downright outrageous, gag where Oliver referred to Driver as a “f*ckable redwood,” an “unwashed buffalo,” a “forlorn block,” and other oddly sexual names with menacing connotations. In short, it was all very weird, and Oliver will be the first to admit that.
While stopping by Late Night with Seth Meyers, Oliver revealed that the joke was initially just a weird idea from one of the writers, so they gave it a shot back in March, and the audience hated it. “It felt like only 40 percent enjoyed it,” Oliver said, and that’s when the obsession started forming. The writers doubled down on the gag, and once again, the audience wasn’t thrilled, which only fueled Oliver and the writers to push the joke even further. Finally, they realized they had to “put a ribbon” on the whole thing, and that’s when they hesitatingly reached out to Driver. As they feared, he was aware of the gag and found it “strange,” but he was also in.
As both Meyers and Oliver noted, Driver’s performance was incredible, and Oliver says it’s even more impressive because the two couldn’t even see each other. They were just using audio, and Oliver readily admits that “I was giving him nothing.” That’s how good Driver is at acting, and Oliver still can’t get over how jarring it is to see their separate sides of the screen in the final product.
You can watch Oliver describe the life and death of his Adam Driver obsession in the opening minutes above.