By the time you’ve read this, John Oliver will have returned for his Season 10 premiere episode. The disappointed Sexiest Man Alive candidate and The White Lotus followup guy led up to his big evening with some vigor. That is to say, the Last Week Tonight Twitter account posted a “hosting announcement” in the style of SNL, but of course, the announced host is who we’re used to seeing: “John (Oliver).” Would he perhaps have a musical guest in tow? Maybe, but that would be “a horse.”
Still working on the horse part. But John and the desk will definitely be back this Sunday at 11:02pm! pic.twitter.com/tYDBl9kjQo
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) February 16, 2023
A quick followup happened on Sunday night for anyone who counted on the promise of a horse, which was “cut from the show after dress rehearsal.”
To answer your question, the horse got cut from the show after dress rehearsal.
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) February 20, 2023
As Deadline points out, the swing towards SNL arrives about six weeks before the two shows go head to head at the Primetime Emmys. However, Oliver can rest assured that he’ll probably win this thing. No judgment call there, it’s simply how it works: Last Week Tonight has won the Variety Talk Series category since 2015, and the streak probably won’t be ending. Heck, Oliver even wore a fancy hoodie to deliver his 2020 acceptance speech.
However, one wonders if the “horse” joke would have been better as a “centaur” mention. Then Adam Driver (he of that infamous shirtless ad campaign) could have caused Oliver to lose his mind all over again. Imagine Oliver’s reaction if he would have seen this arriving onstage beside him: