‘Last Week Tonight’ Bought Warren G. Harding’s Wax Statue And Gave Him The Biopic He Deserves

Senior Pop Culture Editor

Season six of Game of Thrones had a production budget of about $10 million per episode, or $100 million for all 10 episodes. Dragons, particularly when they’re the size of 747s, aren’t cheap. Meanwhile, Last Week Tonight, which also airs on HBO, just dropped $13,500 on five wax statues that vaguely look like former U.S. presidents. In both instances, it’s money well spent.

Earlier this year, John Oliver & Co. visited the recently closed Hall of Presidents in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where they came away with the horrifying wax figures of Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, William Henry Harrison (who was, oddly, the most expensive of the quintet), and Warren Harding. Why five, and not one like Stephen Colbert? “Because we are five times stupider than any other TV show,” Oliver said. He especially wanted Harding, the nation’s 29th president, because “he had an incredible life story. And it’s a shame that someone hasn’t already made a major motion picture of it. The problem is, who would do it? It would have to be someone with way too much time on their hands, way too many resources, and unfettered access to a life-sized replica of former president Warren G. Harding.”

Expect Harding, with a star-studded cast of Anna Kendrick, Laura Linney, Campbell Scott, James Cromwell, and Michael McKean, to win all the Oscars next year. Steven Spielberg is furious he’s not involved.

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