Culture

Jokes about the Queen’s death cut from UK version of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Sky has edited the UK broadcast of the satirical news show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to remove jokes about the Queen’s death. The latest episode, which aired on HBO in the US on Monday night, featured a number of attempts to wring comedy from the monarch dying.

The material cut from the broadcast saw the comic poking fun at tonally odd tributes to Queen Elizabeth II from companies such as Domino’s Pizza and the likes of the cartoon character Crazy Frog. He referred to the UK as “reeling from the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman of natural causes” and mocked the pizza chain for its inconsistent response between UK and US Twitter accounts by saying: “Get your house in order Domino’s, a lady is dead!”

In the UK, the broadcast cut to the show’s logo before returning to more material about the Queen, in which Oliver mocked Liz Truss’s appointment as prime minister.

“The Queen’s death is sadly not the only traumatic event that Britain has had to deal with this week, because on Tuesday, Liz Truss – basically Margaret Thatcher if she were high on glue – became its new prime minister,” said Oliver in the broadcast.

He then went on to talk about the energy crisis facing the UK, and to show footage of Liz Truss stating that she didn’t believe in windfall taxes that would cut the profits of energy companies. “You may not like this, but I’m going to say it because it’s true: the nicest thing the Queen of England ever did for anyone was die the week that woman became prime minister,” said Oliver. “Because for at least a week she’s not going to be getting justifiably destroyed for answers like that.”

Viewers reacted angrily on social media to the edits, with a number of users complaining that “I am a monarchist and I can take a joke” or referring to Sky as “cowards”. Sky have been contacted for a comment.

The move comes after the show won its seventh consecutive Emmy win for Best Variety Talk Series, giving it an overall 17 Emmy wins. Oliver kneeled before Steve Martin and Martin Short as he collected his Emmy award.

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