HBO funnyman John Oliver roasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo during Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” going after the scandal-scarred governor’s manipulation of facts on coronavirus nursing home deaths and “glee in his public adulation” amid the pandemic.
The “Daily Show” alum lit up Cuomo as fallout mounted from not only the nursing home cover-up — a top aide’s admission of which was first reported by The Post — but also sexual harassment allegations lodged by two former staffers in less than a week.
“Even before the current scandals, there was something gross about Cuomo’s glee in his public adulation last year,” said Oliver, citing the governor’s regular appearances on the CNN show hosted by brother Chris Cuomo, his embrace of the term “Cuomosexuals” to describe his most hardcore fans and his self-congratulatory memoir, published with the pandemic still raging.
The lessons Cuomo laid out in the book “were, presumably, #1: Do press conferences; #2: The end,” cracked Oliver.
Oliver juxtaposed a concerted effort by the Cuomo administration to downplay the number of coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents with the governor’s trite advice in press conferences that New Yorkers “follow the facts.”
“The thing is, it’s hard to follow the facts if the people in charge of those facts are actively withholding them from you,” said Oliver. “As far as advice goes, it’s basically as useful as a bully saying, ‘Stop hitting yourself!’
“In both cases, yeah, I’d actually really like to. The thing is, some a–hole won’t let me.”
Oliver then went after Cuomo’s practice of attributing the “follow the facts” quote — and several others — to A.J. Parkinson, a fictitious character first invented by his father, the late three-term Gov. Mario Cuomo, as an inside joke with the Albany press corps.
“Although that may have been charming at the time, the current Cuomo doing it during a pandemic when virtually no one gets that it’s a joke is a pretty weird move,” said Oliver. “Circulating fake quotes is obviously not the worst thing Cuomo has done — that is becoming increasingly clear — but it does feel like a pretty apt metaphor for an administration that has aggressively managed facts to fit its chosen reality.”
In the segment, which aired Sunday night, Oliver did not discuss at length the sexual harassment allegations recently lodged against the 63-year-old governor by two former staffers: Lindsey Boylan, 36, and Charlotte Bennett, 25.
Cuomo has apologized for workplace “jokes” that he said could have been construed as “unwanted flirtation,” while maintaining that he did not intend to hurt anyone and never touched anyone inappropriately, as Boylan has alleged.
Oliver closed by saying that Cuomo’s run of scandals has reminded him of “another insightful saying.”
“‘Andrew Cuomo is a colossal ‘a–hole,’” relayed Oliver. “It’s from an excellent writer named T.J. Pimpernickle.
“I can tell you two things about T.J. Pimpernickle,” continued Oliver. “One, he is a person I totally made up, and two, he’s also completely right about Andrew Cuomo.”