John Oliver and the writers of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, took home two Emmys last night and dedicated their win to Adam Driver. The dedication might be strange, but fans of the show know that this strange feud between the actor and the writers of the show has been going on for the past year.
During their acceptance speech, writer Chrissy Shackelford said, “And finally, we would like to dedicate this award to Adam Driver. He knows what he did, and we know what we’d like him to do.”
Over the last year, the writers of the show have created this running bit about Adam Driver and incorporated it into John’s monologues. John Oliver, host of the show, would make over-sexualized, somewhat unusual statements about Adam Driver.
During a monologue about former President Donald Trump and his border wall, John said that Adam was a “human wall,” and that he wanted the actor to “crush my ribcage, you load-bearing behemoth.” Other strange statements included “step on my throat you rudely large man,” and “snap off my toes you big unwashed buffalo.”
Compilation videos of these weird and outrageous statements have popped up all over YouTube and Adam Driver even got into the fun during the season finale of the show.
On the show’s Season 7 finale, Adam made an appearance and told John that the bit was over. He called John an “unbaked gingerbread boy,” and said, “Listen to me—what the f–k are you doing? This strange, strange bit that for some reason you’ve pulled me into—what is it?” Apparently the writers didn’t listen to the actor’s plea.
John went onto Seth Meyer’s talk show earlier this year and explained the original story around the strange fight. He said that the jokes about Adam Driver started in February 2020 after a joke about the actor didn’t land well with the audience. The writers continued to reference the actor later in the year and hoped that it would lead to some good laughs.
After the award show, John explained that they never intended the bit to continue after the Season 7 finale and said, “We had said that we wouldn’t do the joke again, and we have done it again. And if he’s mad about it, that’s what we’re really looking for.”
The Emmys also marked an important moment for the writers because it was the first time that they had seen each other in person for over a year because of the pandemic. John Oliver mentioned that he had been spending the last 18 months recording the show from his own basement.
He joked during the Emmys and said, “It’s not just writing the show. You don’t see me below the waist for a reason. I’ve been naked from the waist down for the last 18 months now, and I resent that that has to stop now. You know that Robert De Niro film ‘The King of Comedy’ where he’s recording a show on his own and having a nervous breakdown? It felt a little too close for comfort for that sometimes.”
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver won two Emmys during the award show, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. This marks the sixth year in a row that the TV show has taken home an award.