Last Week Tonight is still on hiatus, but host John Oliver couldn’t wait until next month (or whenever the Emmy-winning show returns) to get something off his chest. It’s consumed him for the last 19 years. The gripe has to do with The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s 2003 mystery-thriller that sold over 80 million copies worldwide and was adapted into a hit movie — and less tolerated sequels — starring Tom Hanks as renowned symbologist (“not a job,” Oliver noted) Robert Langdom, Audrey Tautou, and Paul Bettany’s butt. Specifically, a puzzle in the “stupid, stupid book.”
In London lies a knight a Pope interred
His labor’s fruit a Holy wrath incurred
“We quickly find out the knight in question is Sir Isaac Newton,” Oliver explained. “So Isaac Newton, ‘labors fruit,’ you’re thinking apple, right? Apple. It’s your first guess and it’s also your only guess and you’re right cause it’s f*cking apple. No one should need Robert Langdon, a Harvard-educated puzzle solver who f*cks, to get to the bottom of this. A child could solve that puzzle.” And yet, it continues:
You seek the orb that ought be on his tomb
It speaks of Rosy flesh and seeded womb.
“Guess how many pages there are between that poem and the solution?” the Last Week Tonight host angrily asked. “I’ll give you a clue: it’s a lot more than one!” After playing the scene from the movie where Langdon slowly solves the riddle (and spells out the word “apple” for some inexplicable reason), an enraged Oliver threw his papers off his desk. “I hate that he spells it out so much,” he said. And don’t even get me started on the haircut.
You can watch the clip above (and The Da Vinci Code on Peacock, if you insist).