When John Oliver decided to campaign for the birds taking part in the New Zealand Bird of the Century competition on his show last week, he had a feeling it would cause some buzz and have an impact on the vote. Turns out, he was absolutely right.
on sunday last week tonight with john oliverthe host updated viewers on a point he indulged in last week’s episode, when He fully supports a bird – pūteketeke – New Zealand’s annual competition country. Not only did he win the support he sought, including people vandalizing voting sites, he also faced some unexpected critics this week.
Here’s how the story of John Oliver and pūteketeke has unfolded so far.
During last week’s episode, Oliver explained his motivations for entering the competition and why he chose the bird. He then detailed his campaign strategy, which included billboards, movie parody posters, car ads and airplane banners. In addition to New Zealand, there are India, Japan, France, Brazil and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
“This is what democracy is all about: U.S. interference in foreign elections,” he said.
Oliver also donned a bird costume, apparently a pūteketeke, appearance period exist The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon This week furthered his cause.
Positive response (so far)
Oliver reported last week that the winning pigeon in last year’s competition received less than 3,000 votes and he believes they will soon surpass that number and mainly.
Sure enough, Forest & Bird, the conservation group running the competition, posted on !Verifying emails is a huge ongoing job – as you can imagine!!”
Jon Oliver’s campaign to win Bird of the Century for Pūteketeke has kicked off with over 10,000 votes received overnight! Verifying emails is a huge ongoing job – as you can imagine!https://t.co/674rl8IyT8
— Forest and Bird (@Forest_and_Bird) November 6, 2023
But Oliver said Forest & Bird had to postpone the results until Wednesday due to a system crash.
Not very positive reaction
Oliver said not everyone in New Zealand had accepted his pranks with open arms since the episode aired. He included various media reports and a montage of other social media figures taking issue with him, mainly because they preferred the bird of their choice.
The pūteketeke event manager also noted the response and some love from other bird events, which “gracefully” accepted Oliver’s presence. Like supporters of kakariki karaka, they put up multiple billboards with messages like: “Dear John, don’t break the pecking order.”
Oliver said he respected their aggressiveness with the advertising billboard, but was not at all impressed with their bird selection, calling it a “bright green cat toy.”
Many also mentioned that Oliver voiced a bird named Zazu on the 2019 show. lion kingwhich included a billboard that read “The only bird worse than a Putke Teck is a Zazu” and a photoshopped photo showing Oliver with Zazu’s beak and feathers.
“I admit, it’s nice,” Oliver said.
Oliver’s response to the response
One thing Oliver wanted to clear up was the accusation that he was making New Zealand a joke because he didn’t like New Zealand. While he did admit to making the country the butt of many jokes, he said: “It’s not because I don’t like New Zealand. “I don’t like you, that’s because I love you.” He went on to list his favorite things about New Zealand. of many things in New Zealand, and ended up with a serious message to his fellow bird contestants. That’s right.
“For the record, all your pigeons are great. When the results come out on Wednesday, I would have been honored to have lost to any of them,” said Oliver. “The reason it’s so easy for me to say it is, we won’t Lose? We will win, and win a lot. When we do that, Putkotko will be your bird of the century and there is nothing any of you can do to stop it now. Maybe New Zealand will have better luck next century. “
last week tonight with john oliver It airs Sundays at 11pm on HBO.