Speed Reads

last night on late night

John Oliver and Stephen Colbert discuss President Trump, America's decline, James Bond

If you've missed John Oliver, with Last Week Tonight on hiatus since November, well, he hasn't really missed you. With everything that's happened since Election Day, Stephen Colbert asked him on Tuesday's Late Show, "has the feeling been more like 'Oh, I wish I could be talking about this,' or 'Thank God I don't have to talk about this right now'?" "I would say B, an emphatic capital B," Oliver said. "Until Inauguration Day, you know, nothing was really happening. It was just being tied to a train track, watching the train coming, and then of course Inauguration Day is the train hitting you, and you're thinking, 'Yup, that felt pretty much how I thought it was going to feel.'"

After two weeks of President Trump, "I think people are still feeling viscerally repelled by things," Oliver said. "I think the problem really arises when you start not — when you get punch drunk.... If you hear of a Betsy DeVos confirmation and you go, 'Well, that's the way the world is now.'" Colbert said that's probably Trump's plan — swamping and exhausting people with frenetic activity. Oliver agreed. "You know, it feels like his Inauguration Day was 114 years ago," he said. "It's easy to be angry on adrenaline, right? But it is much, much harder when you are just tired. And this is going to be exhausting."

Still, Oliver found a silver lining in Trump's putting up walls (metaphorically) and shooting holes in alliances. Speaking as a Briton, "look, if you're at the tipping point of an empire, then, you know, enjoy the descent — that's the key thing," he said. "Nothing's our fault anymore, other than historically everything is still fundamentally our fault.... Almost every global flashpoint can be traced back to a mustachioed British man drawing a straight line on a map, going, 'There we go, learn to live with it.'" Colbert said Britain still has James Bond, leading to a delightful chat about 007 — and who the new Bond definitely won't be.

Oliver has a green card, and Colbert asked if he's nervous Trump will kick him out. "The crazy thing, it's probably not going to happen, but there is a non-zero chance of it happening now," Oliver said. Green cards are supposed to confer permanent residence, but with Trump's executive order throwing out all the old rules, nothing feels safe. Watch below. Peter Weber