Bolivia reacts to John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight zebras memes


La Paz, Bolivia has invited John Oliver to the South American city to dress as a zebra after he highlighted their traffic program on “Last Week Tonight.”

John Oliver ended a recent Last Week Tonight episode by encouraging viewers to add dancing zebras to depressing footage as a way to inject some levity into an otherwise depressing news cycle. The idea came about thanks to a traffic program in Bolivia where young people in zebra costumes dance in crosswalks as a way to direct cars and encourage traffic safety, not only helping to bring down the number of traffic accidents in La Paz, the nation’s capital, but also providing more jobs for people in the community.

Last night, Oliver gave an update on the idea where he detailed the city’s welcome reception to the segment, which has spurred fans to add zebras to everything from Sharon Stone’s infamous Basic Instinct scene to Mariah Carey’s disastrous New Year’s Eve performance. However, Oliver pointed out that the best example of a viewer making a painful moment easier to swallow was adding a dancing zebra to Donald Trump riding the escalator to announce his candidacy for president, after the show added a zebra to Trump’s inauguration.

But the host also noted that “adding zebras turns out to make great moments even greater,” such as the addition of a zebra dancing behind Obama when he announced that they had killed Osama bin Laden. Oliver then showed footage from a Bolivian program where they discussed his Last Week Tonight piece as they were surrounded by several zebras by saying, “Suddenly, he starts talking about the zebras, and I thought he was only going to comment, and suddenly he keeps talking and talking. He keeps talking.”

More from Last Week Tonight

“That is an entirely fair description of the show,” joked Oliver. He then revealed that the “zebritas” also had an important message for him, inviting him to the Wonder City to be a zebra for a day, even earning the backing of their city’s mayor, Luis Revilla.

“Now I know that it is a friendly invitation, but honestly there is no world in which the phrase, ‘265 zebras are waiting for you in La Paz,’ does not sound like a genuine threat,” said Oliver, citing the number of zebras patrolling the city’s street, up from just 24 in 2010.

Sadly, Oliver had to decline the invitation due to his commitments to Last Week Tonight, so instead he opted to improve the disappointing moment by dancing alongside a zebra to end the episode.

Watch the entire clip below:

Next: John Oliver tackles marijuana and drug laws on Last Week Tonight

During Sunday’s installment, Oliver also provided the latest updates on what he’s dubbed “Stupid Watergate” aka the Russian election interference probe, this time going after Devin Nunes for claiming that there was some evidence to back up Trump’s wiretapping accusations against Obama, which it was later revealed came from sources inside the White House, and turned out to be “unimportant news” and “a bunch of smoke and mirrors.” He also took GOP Rep. Ted Yoho to task for his claim that members of Congress such as Nunes work for the president instead of their constituents.

The British comedian also briefly touched on the latest developments on Brexit. On Wednesday, the UK set in motion the two-year process by which they will leave the EU in 2019, which has some Brits feeling either happy, worried or unhappy as seen in a BBC segment where they asked participants to express their feelings on the measure using emojis, “the best way to get a coherent sentiment out of us,” quipped Oliver.

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