Back in September, John Oliver made a joke about the recently departed Queen Elizabeth II. It wasn’t mean-spirited or even particularly edgy. All he did was point out that it’s not shocking that a 96-year-old woman passed away. Still, it was too much for Sky, the British broadcaster, who cut the bit when they aired that episode of Last Week Tonight. Oliver was scared that they’d go even further with his most recent episode, whose main segment was dedicated to the monarchy. He needn’t have worried.
As per Deadline, the episode aired on Sky in full, despite Oliver taking a predictably critical view of the British monarchy. Oliver was so sure they’d axe it that he and his team provided an alternative: a 25-minute loop of a brief video featuring Winston Churchill going down a wasterslide backwards, set to the theme from The Benny Hill Show. As such, viewers abroad were spared — and educated about some of the darker aspects of a tradition some (but by no means all) find outdated.
The episode did not hold back. Oliver even made another joke about Elizabeth II’s passing, saying he felt the same way about her death as he did about Mr. Big eating it while on a Peloton on And Just Like That… “It’s like I care, but I don’t,” Oliver cracked, adding that “she ain’t done nothing for us” before moving onto the nation’s poisonous history of colonialism.