Stephen Colbert vs. John Oliver in a Wax Presidents Roast Battle

For his Friday “Best of the Week” show, Stephen Colbert taped an extra segment with who was a guest on the show earlier in the week. The segment shown last night involved a disagreement that Oliver started the Sunday before on his HBO series, Last Week Tonight.

Here’s some backstory leading to the Late Show confrontation. In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a favorite local attraction closed its doors. The Hall of Presidents and First Ladies had been in operation for nearly 60 years, but now was closing and auctioning off its prestigious Presidential wax tenants. Both John Oliver and Stephen Colbert, being history buffs and political comedians, wanted their very own wax President to take home. Colbert wanted Martin Van Buren, but was outbid by his executive producer , so he ended up with our 12th President Zachary Taylor who died about a year into his term after eating a bowl of cherries with a pitcher of cold milk. John Oliver, not to be outdone by any late night host, bought 5 wax Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, William Henry Harrison and Warren G. Harding. The last of those also died while serving in the Oval Office.

In this Late Show bonus edition which you can watch below from the Late Show YouTube channel, Colbert and Oliver talked about their love for their personal wax Presidents. As John Oliver put it, “We’re both attracted to things that are objectively ridiculous.” He also said that he got five Presidents himself, saying, “of which, my favorite was indeed the ultimate Warren G.” Colbert took a dig at John Oliver’s parent network HBO, saying Oliver’s Presidents were bought with more of that “dragon money”, referring to the cash cow that is HBO’s “Game of Thrones“.

Colbert however did not care for John Oliver insulting his choice of President Zachary Taylor, which Oliver made fun of on Last Week Tonight. Stephen Colbert demanded an apology given to Zach Taylor’s face. President Taylor was then brought out on stage. Oliver matched him by having his President Harding brought on stage as well. Colbert said, “Alright John, let’s settle this like men, with insults.” And from their the Presidential roasting was on. You can only imagine that this is how a White House Correspondents’ Dinner would go if they had those events back in Taylor’s and Harding’s days.

Oliver attacked Zachary Taylor’s death by cherries and milk, his hair style and his nickname, “Ol’ Rough & Ready,” while Colbert zinged Warren G. Harding on his philandering, corruption and gambling. It went too far when the current President was brought into the battle. The two wax Presidents apologized to each other through their surrogates and unlike most roasts, this one was settled with a chief executive kiss.

On a side note: Colbert, Oliver and Stewart weren’t the only celebrity bidders at the wax Presidents auction. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow went home with a wax President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The perfect wax President to have at home when you get scared late at night.

You can watch the Presidential insults fly in the clip below, plus watch the Wax Presidents segment and special movie trailer John Oliver premiered on Last Week Tonight featuring his wax Warren G. Harding and co-starring Anna Kendrick, James Cromwell, Michael McKean and Laura ‘Fucking’ Linney. Watch the clip and you’ll get it.

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