John Oliver burns ‘Jeopardy!’ host Mike Richards while bashing anti-mask crowd

A man seated at a desk in front of a backdrop of the New York City skyline
Comedian John Oliver in an episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.”
(Eric Liebowitz / HBO)

I’ll take “Sick Burns” for 1,000.

During Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took a witty dig at newly appointed “Jeopardy!” host Mike Richards while breaking down the ongoing pandemic-era debate over mandatory mask requirements in schools.

The segment included a video of an anti-mask mob harassing pro-mask advocates outside a Tennessee school board meeting. “We will find you,” one disgruntled anti-masker threatens in the clip, “and we know who you are.”

“Holy s—,” Oliver said in response to the video. “It is genuinely hard to imagine a five-word phrase less welcome than, ‘We know who you are.’ Aside from, obviously, ‘new “Jeopardy!” host Mike Richards.’”


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The pointed quip refers to the longtime executive game show producer’s relative anonymity and unpopularity compared with fan-favorite guest hosts such as Emmy-winning actor LeVar Burton and repeat “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings.

After months of rampant speculation, last week Richards and “Big Bang Theory” alum Mayim Bialik were tapped to succeed the late longtime host Alex Trebek. The controversial decision disappointed many viewers and critics of Richards, whose history of wrongful-termination and sexual-harassment lawsuits came back to haunt him in the weeks leading up to his new role.

Throughout the remainder of this weekend’s “Last Week Tonight” installment, Oliver continued to rain sharp criticism on the anti-mask crowd as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus ravages the unvaccinated community.

English TV host John Oliver of ‘Last Week Tonight’ talked to Stephen Colbert on about voting for the first time as a U.S. citizen in the 2020 election.

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“We are only fighting about masks in schools right now because there are a bunch of foolish adults who have decided not to get the vaccine,” Oliver said.

“To all of them, I can only say — to quote a bunch of upsettingly loud idiots — ‘We know who you are,’ and you’re the f— problem.”

To further prove his point, the British American comedian took aim at one anti-mask parent who — while ranting about American values and people who “died for our freedom” — admitted that his child actually “thinks it’s cool” to wear a mask to class.


“Do you realize how rare it is for a child to voluntarily do something that is a net positive for public health?” Oliver said. “Kids are normally just moving snot dispensaries that run around coughing on doorknobs and sneezing directly into people’s mouths.

“Look, the key thing to remember is that the absolute best thing we can do to keep COVID from spreading in schools isn’t simply putting masks on children. It’s for the whole community surrounding that school to be vaccinated.”