John Oliver Tries To Sell Americans On The ‘Weird Kind Of Heroism’ In The IRS

April 13, 2015 1:46 p.m.

John Oliver tackled the issue of the Internal Revenue Service during Sunday night’s “Last Week Tonight” and appealed to Americans to give the agency a chance because the work is “unbelievably boring.”

“Blaming the IRS because you hate paying your taxes is a bit like slapping your checkout clerk because the price of eggs has gone up,” Oliver said. “The IRS does a difficult, thankless, almost dangerously boring job.”

Oliver then pointed out that because of cuts to the IRS budget, the agency lost nearly 20 percent of its operations. He also noted that “most IRS employees are over 50 and less than 1 percent are under 25.”

“That does not bode well for the IRS,” Oliver said, “because a government agency should not have the same age ratio as an Eric Clapton concert.”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Oliver also addressed the fact that the IRS uses a tax storage system that was developed in the 1960s.

“That is terrifying!” Oliver said. “We should at least be using technology invented after an era when it was okay to call a female coworker ‘toots.'”

Oliver maintained that Americans should give the IRS a chance.

“Think of our government as a body,” Oliver said. “The IRS is the anus. It’s nobody’s favorite part but you need that thing working properly or everything goes to shit real quick.”

The show closed with a stirring performance by Michael Bolton paying tribute to the IRS in song.

Watch the video below, courtesy of “Last Week Tonight.”

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: