After months sitting on the 2016 election sidelines, John Oliver finally got into it with a brilliant 22-minute takedown of crumpled Cheez-It bag Donald Trump. Since then, his segment has gone viral—as of this writing it has 19,375,207 YouTube views, at least six times more than most of his videos. Oliver followed it up last night with a segment on an issue that no one is talking about: Special taxing districts. This bold strategy—hook 'em with the viral story, then teach 'em with the exposé—ensures that an often-ignored subject gets more attention. Oliver even hinted at it: "Hello people watching for the first time because of our Trump piece, and also, I presume, goodbye."
For anyone who stuck around, Oliver provides a pointed explainer on these little-discussed units of government responsible for spending $100 billion of taxpayer dollars each year and that are "like a cult, they could take your money and you may not even be aware that you are in one," Oliver says. "It's a little weird in a country that talks so much about government accountability that a huge amount of our tax dollars go to fund entities that most of us know absolutely nothing about." He outlines corruption, lack of oversight, and general incompetence across the country. The problem is, as Oliver points out, voter turnout for special-district elections can be as low as 1.8 percent. But a few states, like California, are making an effort to make them more transparent. The whole 15 minutes is fascinating.
Before he gets to the main event, Oliver isn't yet done with Trump. In his news recap to kick off the show, the host has a few jokes about the election (or "Clowntown F**k-The-World Sh*tshow 2016," as he called it) to deliver. Because this is a country where respectable candidates engage in intelligent political discourse, plenty of last week's election conversations revolved around the size of Trump's, um, private parts. This gave Oliver the opportunity to make the greatest Trump-related penis joke so far (and, we imagine, of all time). Behold: Trump has "a dick which I presume looks like a Cheeto with the cheese dust rubbed off."
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