Over the course of its run on HBO, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has developed an arsenal of running gags that have become fan favorites. From the accusations that there’s only one Olsen twin (it’s a speed mirage) to the fact that Janice in Accounting doesn’t give a fuck, Last Week Tonight combines biting political satire with some tremendous absurdist humor. Now the show has gone next level loony, as last night’s season finale pulled out the big guns when Tom Hanks dropped by for a surprise appearance, with the help of some mannequin presidents. Check it out in the post-credits sequence below.
Tom Hanks is such a phenomenal dramatic actor that it’s easy to forget he’s a genuinely fantastic comedian as well. Luckily, between this Last Week Tonight with John Oliver sketch and his turn as David S. Pumpkins, he seems to be intent on reminding TV fans what he can do when he cuts loose, thus resulting in a “clip” from a deadpanned, White House melodrama. We’ve been waiting to see how John Oliver and his crew would eventually get to use the rest of the wax presidential statues that they recently purchased, and this fake trailer is damn-near perfect. Hell, it’s so intense that I could even see this idea getting turned into a Ron Howard or Michael Bay movie at some point. (Conversely, Smiling Wax Jimmy Carter could be the next great horror movie icon.)
Fans of Last Week Tonight likely already know that this is actually a callback to a previous bit. This segment was crafted as a follow-up to a similar Last Week Tonight sketch that aired earlier this year, in which the HBO series created a fake trailer for a biopic starring a wax Warren G. Harding and Laura “Fucking” Linney.
Of course, while John Oliver’s series has managed to deliver the laughs this year, that doesn’t change the fact that the show has hit notable rough patches. Chief among these was the recent lawsuit (one even predicted by the host during a particularly biting segment) leveled at the show by coal magnate Robert E. Murray. (Tom Hanks probably wouldn’t play Murray in a biopic.) The Daily Show alum has no problem rattling cages while combining in-depth, thoroughly researched segments with such oddly absurd humor for a combination that we just don’t see on TV very often. But nobody’s going to get mad about Hanks and a bunch of wax presidents, right?
Now that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has officially ended its fourth season, we can rest easy knowing that the show’s writing staff has plenty of time to come up with new bits and gags for Season 5. Until the HBO-based satire series returns, you can take a look at our fall premiere guide to see what’s still on the horizon for premieres this season and listen to The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear our thoughts on anything and everything in the world of streaming content.