John Oliver likens Chipotle to ’emotionally abusive boyfriend’


John Oliver slams Chipotle and its loyal customers over the recent E. coli outbreak on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver returned Sunday night to his HBO show Last Week Tonight to cover such topics as voter ID laws, the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Chipotle’s less than stellar food safety record.

Oliver began his Chipotle segment by describing the rough few months that the Mexican fast food chain (or “America’s preferred over the counter laxatives”) has had, including six food safety failures involving norovirus, salmonella and E. coli since July, resulting in a federal criminal investigation. In response to the health concerns, Chipotle recently closed all of their restaurants for four hours to hold a company-wide meeting on the topic of food safety.

“That is bad news for Chipotle, but on the bright side it’s the best day Subway has had since Jared went to prison,” joked Oliver.

However, as the comedian pointed out, the restaurant chain will likely need to do more than temporarily close their stores to fix some of their systemic problems, pointing to a recent story in Florida which reported that inspectors had found a live wild bird flying around a local Chipotle restaurant, which the manager was well aware of, simply describing it as “a regular nuisance.” The bird was still there the next day in a follow-up visit.

“Oh yeah, I know that bird. He bought a soda about a year ago and just keeps filling it up,” imitated Oliver. “That bird’s a dick!”

He added: “‘Live bird, still there’ is the second lowest grade you can actually get from a health inspection. The lowest one, of course, being ‘a Fieri.'”

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Despite the recent food-related controversies, Chipotle may not have much to worry about since their customers seemed more angry about the fact that their stores were closed for a short time as seen in a news report that interviewed regular patrons who admitted that the events won’t deter them from eating at the establishment, with one woman describing Chipotle as her “dirty little secret.”

“So they know it’s bad, and they want it even more. Chipotle is now officially America’s emotionally abusive boyfriend,” explained Oliver.

He then threw to a fake commercial for Chipotle starring comedian Andy Daly (Review) that demonstrates that the restaurant knows that they have us in the palm of their hand.

“Welcome to Chipotle. Thank you for your bravery,” a worker says to a customer in the clip.

Daly as a Chipotle employee openly questions whether customers would stop eating there if they learned that penguin meat was used in their barbacoa, or that they used Easter basket grass instead of lettuce for five full days. He also admits that their meat is thawed by a large man breathing on it, and their wild bird issue actually exists to deal with their massive rodent problem.

“I’m still pretty sure you’d come back,” he concludes. “Because if Chipotle can persuade America that 1,000 calorie burritos are healthy – and we actually did that – then we could do anything we damn well please. What are you going to do, go to Taco Bell? I don’t think so.”

Watch the full Last Week Tonight clip below:

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.