John Oliver Fought the Urge to Panic About Coronavirus Appearing in New York City

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-And obviously,
we have a lot going on, as well, because they’re balancing
Super Tuesday, rightfully so,
with coronavirus. -Yes.
-You did a coronavirus piece. You turned it around
very quickly. Personally, there was
more information in that than I’ve been getting
a lot of other places. -Okay.
-When did you make the decision to do a coronavirus deep dive? Because you didn’t
have a lot of plans. -I guess the answer
to that is, like, it was — it was atypical for us,
’cause we decided relatively early in our week, and we have
something else planned, but, occasionally,
there are weeks when, if we have something
very timeless and maybe dry, that we’ve been working on,
like, something like — we’ve done mobile-home financing
in the past. There are certain weeks, like —
I don’t know — this week where
it’s a little harder to say, “I know that coronavirus
is spreading across the world in borderline pandemic fashion, but I really need to talk about
mobile-home financing.” [ Laughter ] It’s a really hard sell
to be like, “You need to? You need to or you want to?” in a needlessly
contrarian manner. So, yeah.
So, we decided at the start of our working week, and so
we crashed it pretty quickly. -And how do you feel right now? Do you think that we are
suitably panicked? Do you think
we’re over-panicked? -As people?
-Yes. -It’s on
a person-to-person basis. -Yeah, okay.
-It depends. On a scale of 1 to 10,
it depends what your regular level of panic is
on a good day. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -Me, I’m at
a regular 6 or 7. -Yeah.
-So — So this, you probably have to go up a notch
from wherever you were. -Gotcha.
-But not too much. That’s the thing.
You got to try and balance. Basically, just don’t be
an idiot either way. -Yeah.
-Yeah. -My wife is a very germ-averse
to begin with. -In general, right?
Before this happened. -Right, whereas I’m not.
-Yeah. -So, I think
most of her stress — -You love germs.
-I can’t get enough of them. [ Laughter ] -Just looking
for super immunity. -Yeah.
-Licking poles on the subway. [ Laughter ]
-That’s the way I feel. -“I’ll never die.”
[ Laughter ] -I feel pretty strong
about that. I feel like my —
But that’s the thing. She’s always calling, and she’s
like, “Where are you?” And I’m like, “I’m at dinner.”
She’s like, “No, you’re not. I can see you outside.
You’re in the gutters,” yeah. [ Laughter ] -“Are you in Times Square again
inhaling around Elmo?” [ Laughter ] -So, yeah.
I think her bigger concern is, like, what I’m gonna bring home
as opposed to her. -Yes, that’s fair.
-Yeah. -I think that everyone’s gonna
have to wrestle with their darkest, stupidest instincts.
-Yeah. -When my phone went off with
that news alert yesterday of someone — now there’s a case
in Manhattan — A woman has got coronavirus,
and she’s self-isolating. There was that initial
split second of, “Where is she?” [ Laughter ] -Yeah. -I’ve never kind of reached
for a flaming torch that wasn’t there.
And then I shut that down. I shut that down
like a human being. But there was that split second
of, “Burn her.” [ Laughter ] -I also feel —
I’ve always felt this way — -I hope you’re fine.
-Yeah, yeah, of course. [ Laughter ]
-I hope you’re fine. -I think that goes
without saying. -I realize,
in self-quarantine. -Yeah.
-And we shouldn’t burn her. -Yeah.
[ Applause ] We actually do —
Our ratings are almost best — The demographic
we do the best with are people who self-isolating.
-Shut-ins. That’s right. That’s right.
So far, the emotional shut-ins. That’s why I like this show.
[ Laughter ] -I also —
you know that thing where — And whenever someone
gives you a stock tip? By the time it gets to me,
it’s too late. -When does anyone
give you a stock tip? [ Laughter ] Seth,
I know you’re a busy guy… -I always have lunch
at steakhouses. [ Laughter ] Exclusively. I take a full three-hour
steakhouse lunch. No, but, like,
even when you see — Like, I can’t believe
when people watch like CNBC or, you know, that —
-Yes, right. -If you’re watching the news
at a guy saying, “Buy this stock,” it’s too late.
-Yes. That’s right. -I feel the same way about when
people say, “Stock up on rice.” -Yes.
-Like, by the time I hear it, the rice is gone.
-That’s right. [ Laughter ]
No question. -Yeah.
-No question. If ever advice is going out,
you know you’re walking into the Duane Reade
that has empty shelves. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -Like, if I went now,
I’d come back with, like, one orange Gatorade.
-Yeah. -It’d be like, “It’s all
they had left, honey.” -Yeah, that’s right.
I don’t think — yeah. For the stock-market offer,
you know, basic human hygiene, I’ve never moved fast enough.
-Yeah. [ Laughter ] No one has ever given me
a stock tip. -You know, I really now —
I shouldn’t have told you ’cause when they give me
the tips, they’re like, “Obviously, don’t tell people.”
[ Laughter ] “Don’t tell
the other talk show hosts that we’re giving you
these sweet, sweet tips.” -I just don’t know how I’d react
if a stranger came up and said, “Do you want a stock tip?”
No! [ Laughter ] Leave — no. And if a friend told me,
“Would you like a stock tip?” I would say, “We’re finished.”
-Yeah. [ Laughter ] -A stock tip.
-I give people John tips, where I go,
“Don’t tell him about stocks.” -“He doesn’t
want to hear about it.” -Obviously, before your show,
you were on “The Daily Show.” -Yes.
-You were — You came — You famously came from England. [ Laughter ] You had a show.
-Was this a big give-away? -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-I’m an American citizen now. -No, congratulations.
-Thank you. -Yeah.
[ Cheers and applause ] You were on a show — You were on a show
called “Mock the Week.” -I was, yes.
-And this — [ Cheers ] People know it.
-Right. Really?
[ Laughter ] -There you go.
It doesn’t seem like you get a lot of positive feedback
on “Mock the Week.” -No.
[ Laughter ] I don’t remember
any at the time. [ Laughter ] Where the [bleep] were you
a decade and a half ago? [ Laughter and applause ] I was — I was — I was driven to this country by
complete national indifference. [ Laughter ] -But here’s a photo. You had a different look
and a different style. We found a screen grab
for “Mock the Week.” There you are.
-Yes. -That is a different
John Oliver. [ Cheers and applause ] -Sure.
You can — You can turn that sound
into applause eventually all you like,
but we all heard the collective, “Ohh!”
[ Laughter ] We all heard the
instinctive response there. -Yeah.
-That is a lot of look. -Yeah.
-It feels inconsistent. -It is really —
That was a style of shirt that was on racks for a very
short period of time. [ Laughter ] -It’s almost like one of those
Olympic sprint cycling helmets. There’s so much depth to it.
-[ Laughs ] -And, yes, I don’t know
what material that is. It looks like a kind of
leather curtain. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] Did you enjoy doing that show? -Can you —
What does my face suggest? [ Laughter ] Not my happiest.
-Yeah. -Not my happiest time. -Well, you’ve turned it around
in both show and fashion. -Oh, what a lovely way to
tie a bow on this conversation. [ Laughter ]
Well… -There you go. No one wraps it up
like this guy. John Oliver, everybody.


  1. The Costco in rural N. Georgia was sold out of toilet paper & paper towels. People have lost their collective minds.

  2. Italian here… I just realized I stocked up more stuff for my cats than for me.
    And I already finished all the chocolate.

  3. Thank God for Britain's indifference to the glorious John "I look like Harry Potter's reflection in a doorknob" Oliver.

    Praised be to all!

  4. People are overreacting to this. We still have the flu, measles, mumps and mono to deal with. The flu has killed FAR more people than the coronavirus has, an estimation between 32,000-21 million people

    The people stocking up with masks don’t need them. Those masks are for those who are sick with tuberculosis. Also people who think hand sanitizer will kill the coronavirus and are stocking up needs to stop also. Hand sanitizer kills 99% of bacteria; coronavirus is a virus. Bacteria and viruses are two completely different things

    Run your hands under warm water, apply hand soap of your choosing, scrub your hands with the soap for 20-30 seconds (equivalent to singing “Happy Birthday” twice), rinse with warm water and dry your hands with a towel

    Thank you for coming to my TED Talk

  5. He was terrible on Mock the Week. But that show's pretty terrible, just improv as fast as possible. I'm glad we have him now.

  6. In Germany sanitizers are sold out… people are starting to steal them from hospitals.. humans are worse than sheep

  7. four days ago, i told people not to panic over the coronavirus. i was like… 'well, even if you catch it, youre probably gonna live.'
    three days ago, i developed full-blown coronavirus. its in idaho now, if anybody really had any doubt. we border washington state, ya know.
    this morning… after 3 days of fever, coughing up blood (small amounts), my entire body cramping up in pain, and not being able to eat a thing… i figure i'll probably live. 85% chance now.
    if i was over… fifty or so… i'd go ahead and panic. theres a good chance this thing will kill you when you catch it.
    things you will not need when you catch the coronavirus:
    toilet paper
    food (ok, youre gonna want some extremely mild soups. probably. about 4 days in a bowl of chowder might sound edible.)
    somebody around you feeling sorry for you and trying to talk to you. that person will die quickly.
    things you will need:
    towels. one million towels.
    a space heater or two or three.
    a big, preferably cool, surface you can flop around on as you struggle to stop your muscles from cramping up.
    orange juice, grape juice, pomegranate juice, ice water, crushed ice or whatever you think can keep you alive long enough to pull through.

    this is way worse than you think. if it hits you hard, it hits you really really hard.

  8. i just realised, kids in the future will have to write analytical essays about trumps rise to power, in school. oh boy

  9. I love how normally hosts are like: "So this is your new book/a picture of you in … new film", but Seth's just like: "so I was scrolling through my youtube recommended yesterday…"

  10. I chew on my nails constantly, chronically. It’s going to cause my death. 😭 I’ve done it since I was 2 and nothing helps me stop. But at the same time, I feel like my body has a stronger immunity from all of the bullshit it’s had to endure. 😂

  11. John Oliver is one of my favs … he always manages to say the right things about any subject that he investigates on his show

  12. What they didn’t mention is that when John was on that episode of Mock the week, they were talking about the Bird Flu and how the media were over playing it.

  13. John Oliver is still not well known in Britain. Fortunately for him he meet Jon Stewart, because he is still classed as a failed comic in Britain.

  14. Dr. John Oliver's advice: Just don't be an idiot 🤦🏾‍♀️😂
    Maybe you can build super immunity by going around and licking things. Since trump is a stable genius, maybe he should go around and test that theory out, maybe the Republicans will follow and maybe trump supporters will take his advice and do the same. 🤔😏

  15. It's a little freaky that the episode of Mock the Week that that picture of John Oliver was taken from had a bird flu joke in the monologue O.o

  16. I'm just shocked that Dumb Donny isn't mocking the vaccine and suggesting children's Coronavirus sleepovers to "get it over with".

  17. When I see Mock the Week John Oliver, in my head I hear him saying just how great the M4 is, all the way.

  18. You two, together? Okay spring just got to me.

    Can someone please teach auto correct the difference between two, to, and too?

  19. I have just searched Youtube for Mock the Week, and a compilation has come up from years ago with John's contribution. What kind of magic is this?

  20. At 2:45, in john's defense we're the descedants of the ones who /survived/ all the plagues and terrors, so that ingrained instinct's gotta come from somewhere XD

  21. disgusting racist pig. he makes fun of himself back when he used to be human being. does he honestly think that this deplorable mess he's now, is in any way better than honest version of himself back then? what a pig. at least he didn't go on slavophobic tirade, I guess he can go 6 minutes w/o it

  22. Its so funny because they really are burning and intensely fumigating alive PEOPLE! This is why i think these MUPPET$ ARE SIMPLY PACIFIERS PACIFING THEIR SPECTATOR AUDIENCE!

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