2021 Taliban Offensive: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Transcript

John Oliver opened Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight with his main story: America’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
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2021 Taliban Offensive: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Season 8 Episode 22
Aired on August 22, 2021

Main segment: 2021 Taliban offensive
Guest: H. Jon Benjamin (voice-over)

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John: Hi there, welcome to the show, still taking place, but for the last time, in this blank void.

God, that feels great to hear. This must be how England felt when they got rid of you.

John: Uh, excuse me, they didn’t get rid of me, I chose to leave.

“Chose.” Okay, sure, let’s go with that. Has anyone asked you to come back? Like, anyone?

John: That’s a fair point. It’s been a busy week. A bomb threat in Washington, demoted from host in jeopardy to running it, and then the latest innovation.

Work rooms is used on Facebook’s oculus quest 2 virtual reality headsets.

This is my first virtual reality interview. How about you?

Mine too. My first virtual reality interview too.

John: Well, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Do you like zoom meetings? No? Well, this is like that, except you get to wear a helmet and your coworkers are glitchy sims. It’s another game-changing hit from the guy who brought you “everyone you went to high school with is q-anon now.” But instead of focusing on that, let’s dive straight in with our main story tonight: Afghanistan. America’s war there is drawing to a close after almost 20 years of fighting. We all knew the end was likely to be ugly. The only question was “how ugly?” Well, this week, we got our answer.

Afghans are thronging to Kabul’s airport.

This is what desperation looks like.

We now know that at least one of the American transports took off with a payload far in excess of the maximum recommended.

800 People on your jet? Holy cow. I mean, good job getting off the ground.

John: Holy shit. That is terrifying. You never, ever want to be on a plane that is managing to actively impress air traffic control. Although I will say, that is the exact reaction I want every time I do a single push-up. “Holy cow. I mean, good job getting off the ground. No one could’ve expected anything more from you.” And the thing is, that is just the people that managed to get onto the plane. There were horrific videos that we are not going to show you of people clinging to the wheels of a plane and falling to their death as they took off. And while Biden insisted that “we planned for every contingency,” that is pretty hard to believe given, just ten days ago, the U.S. was desperately trying to negotiate with the Taliban, asking it to spare our embassy in Kabul. A day later, that embassy was told to destroy sensitive files, and by this time last week, we were evacuating it altogether. Although the secretary of state pushed back on the idea that the embassy was closed at all.

So, if no American is in the embassy, we’ve essentially closed the embassy. It sounds like you don’t wanna say that. Yeah.

No, we’re gonna have a — we’re gonna have a — we’re gonna have our core diplomatic presence.

We will?

And — and, in effect, an embassy at a location at the airport.

John: Wow, that is a rough sentence. Because “we’ll have, in effect, an embassy” is already pretty alarming, then you finish it off with “at a location at the airport,” perhaps the darkest qualifier in the English language. Because, to state the obvious here, an embassy does not belong in an airport, because it’s not a fucking Wolfgang puck restaurant. And the fact is, America has now joined a long line of countries who came to Afghanistan to serve their own interests only to leave defeated. It’s a pattern so universally known it was literally a plot point in “Rambo III.”

This is Afghanistan. Alexander the great tried to conquer this country. Then Genghis Khan, then the British, now Russia. Ancient enemy make prayer about these people. It says “may god deliver us from the venom of the cobra, the teeth of the tiger, and the vengeance of the Afghans.” You understand what this means?

That you guys don’t take any shit?

Yes. Something like this.

John: Yeah, something like it, although it feels like ol’ Rambo could have used a few more follow-ups there. “You understand what this means, right?” “Yeah, you guys don’t take any shit.” “Sure, but also that our political system has long been defined by other countries’ imperial self-interest. You understand what that means?” “No. No, I don’t.” “Yeah, I didn’t think so. You know what? I’m guessing we’ll be seeing you guys in roughly 15 years.” And look, clearly, we don’t have time to recap the last 20 years of America’s involvement in Afghanistan, much less reckon with all the long-term consequences. But we thought tonight, in the wake of the chaos this week, it’d be worth trying to answer a few basic questions: why were we in Afghanistan in the first place, what did we do while we were there, and what are we doing right now? And let’s start with why we were there. Because on Monday, Biden offered this origin story:

We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on September 11, 2001, and make sure Al-Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building.

John: Oh, okay then. If our mission was never nation-building, then I guess not-mission not-accomplished. But the thing is, that’s a little true but also a lot not. Because, yes, the primary reason for initially invading Afghanistan was 9/11 and the fact that the Taliban had been giving safe haven to bin laden. But very quickly, that mission became dressed up in the language of nation-building and human rights. George w. Bush said, “rooting out the Taliban was important, but building a school is equally important,” and Biden himself said back then, “the alternative to nation-building is chaos.” And there was lots of focus at the time on atrocities the Taliban had committed during their five years of repressive rule — the subjugation of women, the executions in a soccer stadium, the destruction of the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan, all of which were terrible, but which had been equally terrible before September 11th, and we hadn’t done much about it. The truth is, between a post-9/11 desire for vengeance and the bush administration framing intervention as a “crusade” for human rights, they built a near-universal political consensus. Only one member of congress, representative Barbara Lee, voted against the authorization of military force. Other democrats jumped to co-sign the human rights argument, like representative Carolyn Maloney, who delivered a speech on the floor of the house about the need to combat Taliban repressions, featuring a striking visual aid.

I salute the bush administration for balancing war with compassion. For dropping food as well as bombs. Even in war, we are showing a regard for human life and human rights that the Taliban will never know.

John: Okay, first, it doesn’t get much more “the month after 9/11” than a white democrat in a “fuck you” burqa saluting the bush administration’s commitment to human rights. And the problem there is, you could be revealing the solution for world hunger, but if you’re a white lady who threw on a burqa for the drama, you’re fundamentally distracting from your point. As for “we dropped food as well as bombs,” those two do not cancel each other out. And we dropped a lot of the second. Over 71,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians are estimated to have died as a direct result of the war, with many more injured or displaced. As for our program of drone strikes, they didn’t just kill civilians — they traumatized an entire generation.

The villagers call them planes without men. Shez Aman says his nine-year-old son, Suleiman, was killed by a drone three months ago, along with the fathers of all of these children.

I’m scared they’ll bomb us. They killed my father and I’m afraid they’ll bomb us too.

I can’t walk outside my home because I’m scared. I’m even scared at home.

John: Yeah, it’s terrible. So if Carolyn Maloney wants to illustrate “all” the major threats Afghan society’s faced in recent years, she may want to deliver her next speech dressed like a fucking drone. And those strikes are just one part of the answer to our second question, which is, “what exactly did we do in Afghanistan?” Because the U.S. Came in with big plans, promising to set up a modern, centralized democracy. And yet, instead of engaging with and understanding the country’s complex local political powers, we adopted a policy of paying off and co-opting local warlords and drug traffickers, which eroded trust quickly between the Afghan people and the blatantly corrupt government that we helped fuel. By 2006, in the words of one retired colonel, the government had “self-organized into a kleptocracy” under which people in power could plunder the economy without restraint. And yet, successive administrations kept giving us rosy assessments like this:

The Taliban have been driven from power, Al-Qaeda has been driven from its camps, and Afghanistan is free. That’s why I say we have made remarkable progress.

The war in Afghanistan is ending. Al-Qaeda has been decimated. Osama bin laden is dead. We have made real progress.

We make a lot of progress in Afghanistan. And with time, we’ll have it spinning like a top.

John: Oh. Oh, you will, will you? But I guess he’s technically right there. We did leave Afghanistan “spinning like a top,” you know, those things that famously spin forever and never collapse. The fact is, things obviously weren’t going as well as all three of those men publicly claimed, as we now know — not least thanks to this revelation two years ago.

According to more than 2,000 pages of documents obtained by “the washington post,” military commanders, diplomats, and aid workers privately and in blunt terms describe an unclear mission, a failed strategy and efforts to sway public opinion. Among the revelations, retired general douglas lute, the Afghan war czar under presidents bush and obama, saying in 2015, “what are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

John: Wow. That sounds less like something you’d expect to hear from a general and more like the internal monologue for sir Ian McKellen in this photo from the set of “cats.” “What are we trying to do here? Has anyone got a plan for what this is going to look like in the end? I haven’t the foggiest notion of what we’re undertaking.” Those interviews were collected by SIGAR — the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, a government office tasked with producing honest reports about how things were really going there, one of which noted “the U.S. Government’s goals were often operationally impractical or conceptually incoherent.” SIGAR’s mandate was to promote efficiency and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. And I know focusing on wasteful spending may seem like the absolute least of the issues here, but sometimes knowing exactly where the money was spent helps you understand the scale of the mess we’ve left behind. Because so much money went to military contractors to set up projects with no plan for how they’d survive after we were gone. Here’s the head of SIGAR identifying one expenditure in particular.

I think the worst case so far of just stupid waste has been the purchase of the helicopters and airplanes for the Afghan air wing. It’s clearly risking that those planes and those helicopters are just gonna end up on the tarmac rusting.

They can’t even use the planes they currently have. Over 70% of the maintenance is being done by U.S. Contractors, not by the Afghans. They don’t have the pilots, they don’t have the ground crews, they don’t have the workers to —

So why are we buying them?

That’s a good question.

John: Yeah, it is. That clip is from seven years ago, but it’s not like, since then, we’ve fixed the underlying problem. Last month, defense officials were maintaining that aircraft could still be used after we were gone because Afghans could simply service them with “U.S. Contractors looking over their shoulders via zoom or coaching them over the phone.” Which is so close to nothing that I’m honestly surprised the U.S. didn’t just buy every Afghan technician a masterclass subscription and tell them that Anna Wintour’s course would supercharge their creativity. And that’s emblematic of our behavior in Afghanistan: we came in, built something on the American model, almost wholly dependent on American support, and put next to no effort into ensuring that it was sustainable after we left. Take the government itself. Foreign grants financed around 75% of its public spending, meaning that, as the Taliban takes over, that money presumably dries up, and the economy is now poised to collapse. And it’s not just the economy that’s in danger here. There were real, meaningful gains — particularly for women, who’d suffered terribly under the previous Taliban regime. Millions of girls were allowed to attend school for the first time, and women joined the military, the police, and held political office. But those achievements are in real jeopardy now. And some who led the way — like Mahbouba Seraj, an Afghan women’s activist — are acutely aware of that.

I’m going to say to the whole world, shame on you. Are you using all of us? Are we being just pawns in your hands? Is that what it is? I don’t understand it. They just made decisions with their gut feelings or whatever, all of these men of the world that they were in power, and they’re destroying something that we worked so hard for. What is happening in Afghanistan today is going to put this country 200 years back.

John: That is incredibly hard to hear. And the thing is, she’s right. The people of Afghanistan “have” been treated like pawns. While there were gains, the initial impulse that led to them was purely U.S. Interests. And for 20 years, for multiple reasons, the U.S. And various Afghan governments didn’t secure those gains. And even though this week has brought incredible scenes of Afghan women leading protests against the incoming Taliban regime, odds are, much of that progress is now set to be obliterated. But here is where it gets really hard. What was the answer here? To stay indefinitely? It is very hard to make a good case for that, especially given the Taliban had been strengthening in recent years and had made it clear that they were going to escalate violence unless we left. Which most people agree, we had to do. The problem is though, just as we went in focused entirely on U.S. interests, we’re leaving the exact same way. And that brings us to what we’re doing right now. Because this exit was set in motion in February of 2020, when the trump administration struck a deal with the Taliban for a total U.S. Withdrawal by may of this year. In exchange, the Taliban agreed not to let Afghanistan become a haven for terrorists, and to start peace talks with the Afghan government. Although, notably, that deal excluded the Afghan government, making this line from Mike Pompeo a little hard to take.

When it comes down to it, the future of Afghanistan is for Afghans to determine. The U.S.-Taliban deal creates the conditions for Afghans to do just that.

John: Well, hold on. You never want two people in a room determining your future without you, especially if one of them is the Taliban. How does Pompeo expect them to react to that? Congratulations, Afghans. Today is the first day of what someone else determined the rest of your life will be. Now, Biden pushed our exit date back slightly, to august 31, but he basically followed through with the trump administration’s deal. And while the Taliban largely stuck by their promise not to attack U.S. Personnel, almost immediately after signing that deal, they carried out at least 76 attacks across 24 Afghan provinces and have since pursued assassination campaigns of government officials, journalists, and civil society actors, and just this may, beheaded an Afghan interpreter for the U.S. Army. And yet, all the while, they’ve made a big show of presenting themselves in a more modern, flattering light — something that continued this week.

This was a smarter, more media-savvy Taliban one. Senior leaders claiming they want to form an “inclusive, Islamic government.” The group is establishing a “civilian casualty prevention and complaints commission,” tweeting out WhatsApp phone numbers for Afghans to send in complaints.

John: Wow, that is something. And set aside the fact that “Taliban complaints department” sounds like a sketch Elon Musk pitched to “SNL,” I’m not sure it’s going to be all that effective. It’s the equivalent of instituting a complaint box in Scott Rudin’s office. The problem with the behavior there isn’t “lack of awareness.” A significantly changed Taliban just doesn’t seem likely here. Their ties to Al-Qaeda only appear to be deepening. And they’re now even better armed. The Afghan forces fell so quickly, they left behind brand-new boxes of guns and grenade launchers, which Taliban fighters have been filming themselves opening in the world’s grimmest unboxing videos. Incidents which led to this exchange:

What happens to the billions of dollars worth of weaponry that the U.S. Gave Afghanistan?

We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone. But certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban, and, ah, obviously we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.

John: Ah, yeah, I think that’s a safe assumption. But hey, we could always text the Taliban complaint department and see what happens. I’m sure we’ll be dealt with swiftly. So here we are, 20 years of war and destruction. Tens of thousands of Afghans killed. Many more traumatized. And the overall sense you have at this point is of deep betrayal: betrayal of the promises that were made to the Afghan people and betrayal of the U.S. service members asked to execute those self-serving promises and who are now left asking themselves, “what did I just do? What was this all for?” The military sent out an email to 9 million veterans this week offering a list of mental health resources with notes like, “if you’re having thoughts of suicide, call this number.” And if you are, do. This is a grim situation. And there are immediate decisions that need to be made that have life-or-death consequences for Afghans who put their trust in us, like this activist:

Fatima, that’s not her real name, and her children have gone into hiding after death threats from the Taliban for her work in empowering other women. She thought she was building a new and better Afghanistan, but now she’s viewed as a spy and enemy collaborator.

I feel extremely abandoned. I am in — I am in danger. It’s not only that I am in danger, now my kids are in danger. They won’t — they won’t leave us — they won’t leave me alive.

John: We bear responsibility for the position she’s in. We said we’d protect people who did courageous things that pissed off the Taliban, like “advocate for human rights,” even if it wound up putting a target on their back. And now it feels like we’re walking away going, “whoa, cool target, how’d you get that? You know what? Don’t answer, we’re leaving.” And again, I am not advocating for staying. At all. What I’m saying is, we’re in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis, and we have a clear obligation to take in Afghans who are now vulnerable — and not just those that worked with U.S. Troops, but those, like Fatima and her children, whose lives are now at grave risk. Although some conservative commentators are already trying to get way out ahead of that.

If history is any guide, and it’s always a guide, we will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country in coming months, probably in your neighborhood. And over the next decade, that number may swell to the millions. So first we invade, and then we are invaded.

The lesson of this 20-year war cannot be that every time we turn a country upside down or make huge mistakes, our immigration laws, our refugee laws no longer apply.

John: Okay, first, fuck off, you tag team racial panic goblins. Second, the notion of “every time we turn a country upside down” is an incredible thing to just blow past. Maybe that’s the lesson here, Laura. Maybe don’t keep turning countries upside down in the first place. As for, “our refugee laws no longer apply”? We are a big part of why those people are refugees. Helping them now isn’t charity, it’s doing the bare minimum. Refusing to help a neighbor whose home just burned down is shitty. Doing it when you helped start the fire is fucking monstrous. And the thing is, they’re not the only ones who’ve been blithe about the fate of the Afghans. Biden’s failure to plan here is astonishing. But his continued indifference to the lives of anyone who’s not American isn’t surprising. He’s felt this way for years. According to the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke’s diary, in 2010, the two men had a conversation, and Biden told him the U.S. Had to withdraw every troop from Afghanistan, regardless of the consequences for women or anyone else. And when Holbrooke asked him about American obligations to those who’d be in danger if we left, Biden mentioned the U.S. Withdrawal from southeast Asia in 1973, saying, “fuck that, we don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it.” And may I say, Joe? A-plus choice of historical role-models there. When you’re rolling with dick and the kiss, you know you’re rolling on the right side of history. And last February, Biden doubled down on that argument.

Don’t you bear some responsibility for the outcome if the Taliban ends up back in control and women end up losing the rights?

No, I don’t. Do I bear responsibility? Zero responsibility. The responsibility I have is to protect America’s national self-interest and not put our women and men in harm’s way to try to solve every single problem in the world by use of force. That’s my responsibility as president.

John: Okay, real quick: you don’t have to make a zero with your fingers to indicate you mean zero. You’re an adult man, not a child ensemble member of Broadway’s “Matilda.” Though I will say, if Biden wants to argue for isolationism going forward, he’s welcome to do that. But what he can’t do is use that as a justification to dismiss the fates of people in whose country we’ve already disastrously intervened. Because we have a non-zero duty at this point to do everything we can to help them. And that means getting as many people out as we can. And advocates for refugees say the first thing to do is secure a perimeter at the Kabul airport, making sure people have a safe way to get there and get inside, because that has been total chaos this week, to the point that many of the departing flights have left with empty seats. And the fact there are people with visas unable to get onto the planes is bad enough. But there are many more at-risk Afghans who are still stuck in the visa process, and we should be getting them to the U.S. As quickly as possible so they can then safely finish their paperwork — and that can be achieved by granting them categorical “humanitarian parole.” And to the extent any hesitation about doing this is due to fear of political blowback thanks to idiots like these, call your representatives and tell them that you care about this. Because if they think that you don’t, it is not going to happen. Look: the chaos this week is already a stain on Biden’s legacy — the only question is, how big does he want that stain to be? And that is really up to him. But more broadly, we, as a country, need to take a hard look at what we’ve done in Afghanistan — which is likely to be destabilized for decades to come. So what can we do about that? Not much now. No amount of brute force or perseverance is going to clear up the clusterfuck that we helped fuck into existence. And I realize that’s a quintessentially unamerican idea — to acknowledge that we can’t always control something we want to control or achieve something we want to achieve. But the truth is, we can’t. I know that feels futile. But assuming we can go into another country and fix everything by simply imposing our will is largely what led us to where we are right now. We have spent decades claiming that we’re trying to solve the world’s problems — albeit almost exclusively when it helped solve our own — and the result has been, in the words of this professional pearl-clutcher, that we’ve turned one country after another upside down. So we should maybe stop doing that. But in the meantime, the least we could do is help alleviate the humanitarian crisis ahead. Because no matter what happens in Afghanistan from here on out, there is no universe where America bears zero responsibility. And now this.

* * *

Announcer: And now, Tamron hall will have you know she is 50.

And here she is, the one, the only, the 50 and fabulous Tamron hall!

I have, in my 40s, now that I’m 50. I’m 59. On a personal note, I’m 50. >41 And don’t care. Wait till you turn 50. I’m 50, you are 54. You and your friends on “sesame street” have been helping kids and families around the world and all kinds of ways for more than 50 years. 50 Years, that’s how old I am.

Wow.

Listen, I am — as the kids say, I’m 50. How did I not know that? Okay, I am 50 years old. I’m 50. I’m 50. I’m 50. This is the best taco I’ve ever had in my life. I’m 50.

* * *

John: Moving on. Before we go, a quick word about hammers. Some are eensy. Some are chonkos. Some have a little claw on the end for pulling nails. Others have a little round nub and no one knows why. And one hammer is actually a practicing personal injury attorney, which you might remember from this “and now” segment we aired in 2019.

Greedy insurance companies play dirty. Bring it on! I’m Jim Adler, the Texas hammer. I’m Jim Adler, the Texas hammer. And I do my best to bring ’em down! I get angrier than a junkyard dog. I stand tough and carry a big hammer. I growl and bark.

Wake up!

It’s hammer time! I’m Jim Adler, the Texas hammer!

John: You get the idea, right? He’s the Texas hammer. He carries a hammer. He talks about hammers. For a while in the middle he talks about growling and barking like a dog, which is a bit confusing, because that’s not a thing hammers do, but then it’s right back to hammer time, baby. Now, we aired that because we thought his ads were fantastic. But since then, we’ve discovered just how much money Jim Adler puts into them. He claims to have spent over $100 million dollars on ads since 2000, and as you can see from this testimonial he once filmed for an ad agency he worked with, he puts a lot of thought into them too.

A lawyer in another state may not want to be a hammer, or be a tough, smart lawyer, but they understand the image that the client wants to portray.

John: Right. Lawyers in other states might not want to be tough, smart lawyers. Wisconsin likes its lawyers weak and simple. Michigan prefers them lean and lethargic. Idaho wants every attorney to be damp and distracted, while here in New York, we like them sweaty and suspended. Unfortunately for Jim Adler though, it turns out there is another lawyer in another state who wants to be a hammer too.

I’m Mike Slocumb. The Alabama hammer! If you’ve been injured, call me right now and get the big check.

John: Hi, mike! Nice to meet you! Now, if you’re noticing any similarities, you’re not alone. Because when Jim Adler found out what Mike Slocumb was doing, he fucking sued him! And while we can’t get into all of the claims in his very fun lawsuit, basically, he’s alleging that Mike Slocumb — the Alabama hammer — had “adopted his famous persona in a brazen bid to confuse and deceive consumers.” And the thing is, he’s not just claiming the Alabama hammer is copying his nickname. I’m going to play two of their commercials side by side and see if they look similar to you.

Greedy insurance companies play dirty. Bring it on.

Cheap insurance companies play rough. I beat ’em at their own game!

I’m Jim Adler, the Texas hammer!

I’m Mike Slocumb, the Alabama hammer! That’s what I thought!

John: Oh, come on! Now, I have to tell you, Slocumb denies Adler’s claims — including that he copied that ad. And I’m gonna say, good luck defending that argument. But I do actually have a bit of sympathy for Mike Slocumb. Because if you watch his ads that aren’t hammer-themed, it becomes clear how much mike needs that gimmick. Because they’re a total mess. There’s one where he’s a “big bucks” hunter where he shoots deer that explode into money, one where he runs after an ambulance like a carousel horse, only to get hit by a different ambulance. And then there’s this:

Give me my lunch money back! Where’s the Alabama hammer?

I’ve been standing up to bullies my whole life.

Whoo!

Whoo! I’m mike Slocumb, the Alabama hammer! If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, don’t let the insurance company bully you. Call me right now!

John: What the fuck was that? I’m really curious what happened in the next scene when the police turned up. “Who punched this child unconscious?” “That was me, officer, but don’t worry — it’s okay.” “Explain how, but just so you know, I’m going to get my taser out while you talk.” “When I knocked him out, I was also a child. Then I said ‘whoo,’ immediately aged 30 years into an adult, and said ‘whoo’ again.” “Hmm. Seems unlikely, but you are white, so I’m gonna go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt.” Look, it seems pretty clear to me that mike Slocumb ripped off the Texas hammer. And you can see why. His commercials are everything that Slocumb’s aren’t: clear, precise, and thematically resonant. You’ll learn two key facts: he’s the Texas hammer, and that’s it. And I so badly don’t want these two glorious maniacs to fight. It seems the best thing is for Mike Slocumb to simply get a different tool-themed nickname so these two dangerously strange men can move on in peace. And I actually have a suggestion for you, mike, and it’s this banana slicer. Mike “The Alabama banana slicer” Slocumb. Think about it — it works perfectly. Just like a hammer, it’s a tool. And like your commercials, it’s unnecessary, complicated, and I don’t like looking at it. So please, mike, take this idea, and take this banana slicer too. And that’s it! That’s our show! Thank you so much for watching during this very weird time. Thank you to our staff for working so hard in this very difficult environment. We’ll be off for a couple of weeks now. But we will be back September 12th, definitely in a studio, maybe with an audience, maybe not. Who knows? But the point is, that’s it!

That’s it? Like… You’re ending it?

John: Yeah. That’s it. This is where you and I say goodbye.

You know, it is our last night together, right? So you didn’t plan anything?

John: Um…

Conan got a song, remember? Jack black sang a big song.

John: Right, sorry, do you think you’re the Conan in this dynamic?

I just thought you’d prepare something. But you’re not gonna — yeah — you know — you’re doing in your way. That’s fine. Bye.

John: All right, um, are you sure?

Yeah, I said I’m fine. So we’re done. Goodbye. And definitely no song.

John: Okay, well, thanks for everything and I guess, um, I’ll see you around. Um… Bye.

♪ There’s a grief that can’t be spoken ♪
♪ there’s a pain goes on and on ♪
♪ empty chairs at empty tables ♪
♪ now my friends are dead and gone ♪

John: I’m not dead! I’m returning to a studio!

♪ Oh, my friends, my friends, don’t ask me ♪

John: Jesus Christ.

♪ What your sacrifice was for ♪

John: This is a lot.

♪ Empty chairs at empty tables ♪
♪ where my friends will sing no more ♪

Queen Elizabeth had princess Diana murdered. Good night.

John: No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

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