The comedian, who has been critical of Cuomo in the past, dedicated the first part of his show to unpacking the recent scandals that came out this month regarding the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and sexual harassment allegations.
Two women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo that he denies. Meanwhile, he is also facing criticism for allegedly underreporting nursing home coronavirus deaths by as much as 50% to avoid federal scrutiny.
Oliver noted that, even prior to the scandals, there was “something gross” about the way Cuomo presented himself to the public while New York was the epicenter of the deadly virus at the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
“Even before the current scandals, there was something gross about Cuomo’s glee in his public adulation last year,” Oliver said. “From his constant appearance with his brother on CNN to him cosigning on the term ‘Cuomosexuals’ — the only sexual orientation, by the way, it is completely acceptable to discriminate against.”
The host also took aim at Cuomo’s book “American Crisis,” which was released in October and covers his own leadership during what Oliver noted is the “still ongoing pandemic.” The host joked that “presumably” the book reads “#1 Do press conferences. #2 The End.”
Given that Cuomo has allegedly lied about some key facts regarding the virus’ spread in New York, Oliver noted that some of the press conferences for which he received high praise now “play a little differently after everything we’ve learned,” particularly his insistence on following facts.
“OK, the thing is, it’s hard to follow the facts if the people in charge of those facts are actively withholding them from you,” he said. “As far as advice goes, it’s basically as useful as a bully saying, ‘stop hitting yourself’ in that in both cases, yeah, I’d really like to, the thing is some a—–e won’t let me!”
Oliver went on to lambaste the governor for leaning heavily on quotes from a man named “A.J. Parkinson” in his public addresses and played a brief video montage of the numerous times Cuomo invoked his name.
The host revealed that Parkinson is not actually a real person. He is a fictional character invented by Cuomo’s father, “Kevin Spacey cosplayer” Mario Cuomo, as a sort of inside joke with the press.
“While that may have been charming at the time, the current Cuomo doing it during a pandemic when virtually no one gets that it’s a joke is a pretty weird move,” Oliver said.
He concluded: “Circulating fake quotes is obviously not the worst thing Cuomo has done, that is becoming increasingly clear, but it does feel like a pretty apt metaphor for an administration that has aggressively managed facts to fit its chosen reality. It actually brings to mind another insightful saying, ‘Andrew Cuomo is a colossal a—–e.’ It’s from an excellent writer named T.J. Pumpernickel and I’ll tell you exactly two things about T.J. Pumpernickel. One, he’s a person I just made up and two, he’s completely right about Andrew Cuomo.”