John Oliver Is Sounding Off About Andrew Cuomo. Here's Why

The early months of 2021 have marked an unexpected reversal for the reputation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose downfall is seemingly ever-accelerating as the days tick past. Cuomo, who was once hailed as one of the major figures in battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the state he serves — and, by extension, New York City, which was considered a major nexus of the disease during the earliest phases of its windfall — has come under scrutiny for two separate controversies.

Cuomo now not only has been accused of deliberately fudging the numbers when it comes to coronavirus-related deaths in New York nursing homes, but also allegations of sexual harassment by two of his former aides. And, in an unsurprising turn of events, comedian and commentator John Oliver sure was not going to let it slide.

As Deadline and others reported following Oliver's latest episode of his HBO show Last Week Tonight, which aired on Feb. 28, 2021, the social-political and satirical anchor used his platform to take the New York governor to task in what could only be interpreted as a heavyweight humorist slam. So what did Oliver have to say about Cuomo? Keep scrolling to find out.

John Oliver called Andrew Cuomo 'Business Frankenstein'...and a lot more

On his Feb. 28, 2021 episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver dedicated an entire segment to bashing Andrew Cuomo, who was once revered by Democrats and leftists for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the majority of 2020, for accepting a shower of accolades — and, by proxy, using them — while purposely undercounting coronavirus-related nursing home deaths in New York in an effort to, simply put, make the state, under his guidance, seem like a comeback narrative. 

As Deadline and other outlets noted, a report released in January 2021 by Attorney General Letitia James concluded that, after a thorough investigation, Cuomo and his administrative cohort had underreported COVID-19 nursing home deaths by nearly 50%, a discovery that the AG's office had uncovered after an earlier directive Cuomo made, in which hospitals were told to send COVID patients to nursing homes for bed vacancies. 

Referring to Cuomo as someone with a face that conjures the image of "Business Frankenstein" — take a moment to absorb that mental picture — Oliver railed against how Cuomo deliberately cooked the books in order to depict New York as more successful in flattening the COVID curve for the sake of continued adulation. "That would be bad enough, but since then, his administration has tried to downplay any consequences of that action," said Oliver of Cuomo's deception. But the comedian did not stop there.

Concealing data isn't the only thing Andrew Cuomo's in trouble for

After John Oliver started out the nearly four-minute Andrew Cuomo-centric segment of his Feb. 28, 2021 episode with a recap of the coronavirus nursing home deaths scandal, the comedian then quickly connected it with the possibility of it merely being a way to feed into the New York governor's bloated ego. (The implied impetus being, of course, that if those patients later died in those homes, their deaths would subsequently be brushed under the rug, and the mortality stats would continue to skewer lower and aid in boosting his public perception.)

In light of the discovery of Governor Cuomo's participation in underreporting nursing home deaths due to the virus, Oliver deemed the decision one more akin to a move the leader of an authoritarian regime like North Korea would make rather than that of a governor in a democratic country — and that was not even the half of it for Oliver.

John Oliver slammed Andrew Cuomo over the sexual harassment allegations against him

Far from stopping at lambasting Governor Andrew Cuomo for his COVID stats scandal, John Oliver then pivoted to the recent allegations of sexual harassment made by two of the governors former aides, the first of which was reported on in December 2020. Discussions were subsequently renewed in February 2021 after former Cuomo employee Lindsey Boylan published an essay on Medium. Oliver himself segued into the matter by first succinctly summarizing Cuomo's brutish, bullying nature — one so visibly apparent that it supposedly resulted in a "do-not-yell-at-list" for the governor in a bid to curb his aggressive outbursts. The effectiveness of this list is also seemingly dubious due to the fact that, as Oliver pointed out, it "is very small."

"Cuomo is famously unpleasant," Oliver said. "He reportedly has a 'do-not-yell-at list' which a former aide apparently admitted is very small and just this week, a different former aide accused him of sexual harassment, a claim he denies." 

John Oliver summarized his opinion of Andrew Cuomo in three words

In his final on-air crescendo, John Oliver then highlighted the irony of Andrew Cuomo issuing his formal denial of sexually explicit misconduct towards employees on the same day he made a comment during a press conference in which he joked about getting a COVID vaccine through an injection in his penis. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Rather than paraphrasing, Oliver played a direct clip of the quip, which featured Cuomo stating that he will get "to select the part of the anatomy" where the vaccine will be administered, and that those present would "be surprised, or maybe not" when they see "the part of the anatomy that I pick." 

Oliver then deadpanned: "Is it your penis, Andrew? Are you going to vaccinate him in the penis?" He then followed up with a tongue-in-cheek list of reasons why it wouldd be best to pick another body part, including that "the vein is hard to find." 

"Even before the current scandals, there was something gross about Cuomo's glee in his public adulation last year," Oliver went on to conclude, providing a catalog of evidence to support it — mostly related to his media appearances, some of which were with his brother, journalist Chris Cuomo, as well as a book the governor authored in October 2020 concerning his experience with leading the charge against COVID-19. Oliver's own final thought? In summation, per the comedian, Cuomo is "a colossal a**hole."