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Columbus Day - How Is This Still A Thing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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Christopher Columbus did a lot of stuff that was way more terrible than "sailing the ocean blue," but we don't learn about that. Columbus Day: How is it still a thing? Connect with Last Week Tonight online... Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens: www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight Find Last Week Tonight on Facebook like your mom would: http://Facebook.com/LastWeekTonight Follow us on Twitter for news about jokes and jokes about news: http://Twitter.com/LastWeekTonight Visit our official site for all that other stuff at once: http://www.hbo.com/lastweektonight
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Text Comments (3426)
BulletFarmer2 (1 day ago)
How about Louis Zamperini Day? Or Sylvester Stallone Day?
The False Rabbi (1 day ago)
Ok, maybe in 1st grade we were told something along those lines about Christopher Columbus. But that image of him was pretty irrelevant by 7th grade history. Six year olds really don't need to know that the guy was a murdering slaver.
Da YingYanger (2 days ago)
Egyptian mummies have been found with traces of tobacco and cocaine. Both substances native only to the Americas.
Hrafnr-Fréyja x (2 days ago)
Being Norse and living in Americae, I have been wondering this for many years. And I'm totally down with Al Pachino Day. As long as it is a Young Al Pachino represented, a hottie turned eww...
Emily Gildea (2 days ago)
What about Leonardo da Vinci? That guy did so much more for humanity than Columbus...
Dan Dales (3 days ago)
Why not just call it genocide day.
Monty Peno (4 days ago)
Al Pacino day would be epic
Mace Windu (4 days ago)
Wasn't Chef Boyardee an Italian immigrant? I say make that a national holiday.
Dave 4526 (4 days ago)
I prefer to call it native Americans day
Riz Z (5 days ago)
I wonder why the Europeans wanted to find a "shortcut" to India all the way back in 1492. And yet some people still think of India as a poor country. Our economy is bigger than Britain's. So even though they left India after sucking us dry like leeches, we still, not only recovered, we overtook those British pricks. Booyakasha. Oops. Sacha Baron Cohen is British isn't he? And so is John Oliver. Yeap. I see the irony now. Atleast we all agree America was "discovered" by accident while searching for India and her riches.
The False Rabbi (1 day ago)
They wanted a "shortcut" because the trip around Africa was extremely long and the other much faster path was controlled by the Ottomans. India's economy is bigger than Britain's because it has 24 times the population of Britain. The average Indian makes nothing compared to the average Brit.
696190 (5 days ago)
Should I point you towards Knowing Better's video on Columbus?
696190 (3 days ago)
well, if you wish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEw8c6TmzGg
MrElionor (3 days ago)
+696190 I mean he does have a holiday named after him lets tone down the pity party but if you are able to disprove any claims made in the video or comments I would be happy to hear it
696190 (3 days ago)
because according to him Columbus was actually retroactively blamed for shit that happened 50 years AFTER his discovery, and perpetrated by people unconnected to him in any way. and no, this is not white-centric historical revisionism, I am as much against establishing ethnostates as any European student currently searching for employment, I am just of the impression that people in this comment section are dumping on someone who doesnt really have it coming to the extent Im seeing it occur here. Also, Knowing Better is awesome and deserves a bigger platform, I want to spread the word
MrElionor (3 days ago)
Why?
Justin Bowen (5 days ago)
That Mario batali suggestion has aged poorly
Joe Stockton (5 days ago)
3 years later...it's still a thing unfortunately.
Roland Carver (6 days ago)
Happy Small Pox day pussies!
anothervu (6 days ago)
well, I guess it's lucky that we didn't go with Mario Batali day...
Andy Sorensen (6 days ago)
That Mario Batali joke did not age well...
MrElionor (4 days ago)
+Andy Sorensen :)
Andy Sorensen (5 days ago)
MrElionor Touché.
MrElionor (5 days ago)
Still a better person then Columbus
bigbrogiant4 (6 days ago)
That Mario Batali joke didn’t age well....😳
How about Gazepi Garibaldi day
William Craig (6 days ago)
Hate to break it to you, but Frank Sinatra actually was also a monstrous egomaniac and a totally hateful person.
MrElionor (3 days ago)
+William Craig Being the third to discover something gets you a holiday
William Craig (3 days ago)
Talent doesn't get you off the hook for atrocious behavior.
MrElionor (3 days ago)
+William Craig That is not the question Frank may not have been perfect but he certainly deserves a holiday more then Columbus
William Craig (4 days ago)
Sinatra regularly threatened casino dealers that he'd get them fired if they didn't allow him to cheat.
c0nd0rd4myt (4 days ago)
If your worst crime is being an emotionally ugly person and associating with other criminals, I think you're okay (certainly better than Columbus) "monstrous egomaniac" and "totally hateful person" can also describe many of the founders of the U.S., including some that we've carved into a god damned mountain.
Amy pinetree (6 days ago)
Asking the same thing 4 years later
Robert Bemister (7 days ago)
The real question.... how the hell is john oliver still a thing ?
(7 days ago)
Che Guevara on t-shirts everywhere...how is that still a thing?
LoganRexus (7 days ago)
Mario Batali Day... that didn’t age as well as it could have...
Alex Torres (7 days ago)
NY city must have a Sinatra day
Apple Juice (7 days ago)
"Obnoxious white people" 😂😂
jolie valentine (7 days ago)
Oof might want to update with Mario Batali’s sexual harassment
Sam Thomas (7 days ago)
Christopher Columbus had more bravery in his little finger than everyone in this comments section combined.
kityhawk2000 (1 day ago)
Don't mistake ignorance for bravery
Harold Angle (7 days ago)
Maybe, but also more murder and slavery, which offsets the bravery thing somewhat
Labyrinth9000 (7 days ago)
Most WORTHLESS Holiday in the country! Demote it's "Holiday" status and make Election Day a National Holiday!
Eric Ward (7 days ago)
Leif Eriksson Day... How is this NOT a thing?!
Cody Bell (7 days ago)
Nobody cares. Just a day off. I don't care if he personally ate 100 African, disabled, Jewish, female children. History is full of shitheads.
Heretical Hershey (7 days ago)
If you truly didn't care then you wouldn't comment.
osmosis453 (7 days ago)
True, but people don't typically honer those shitheads by giving them a holiday
5Oblivion (7 days ago)
In 14-hundred and 92, Columbus killed thousands with the flu.
MrRedsjack (7 days ago)
Just call it Italian heritage Day, there is much more to celebrate from Leonardo Da Vinci, Caesar to Volta (the Italian inventor from which the world Volt comes). Indigenous people were as brutal as Columbus if not worse, they brutally, killed, raped and enslaved each other for centuries without the help of Europeans and they didn't contribute jack shit to the modern world, they didn't even have the wheel before the arrival of Europeans.
Denise R. (7 days ago)
I think of this video every Columbus day! How the fuck is this a thing?!
okpkpkp (8 days ago)
No Homo Sapien Day?
TimesNewLogan (8 days ago)
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus killed Tainos like Hitler killed Jews. I'll leave now.
Whitney S (8 days ago)
👎🏽 mario batali
HooDatDonDar (8 days ago)
“Discovered” means noticed by a group. This is about our group, so, Columbus discovered America as far as we are concerned. The beginning of the great movement of civilization. (That’s why we don’t count earlier folks, like the Vikings, nothing came of it, and they were beyond the pale. Racists should consider - Europe used to have its own white savages.)
c0nd0rd4myt (4 days ago)
Merian Webster defines Discovered as "to obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time". The Americas were already inhabited, so none of the European explorers can lay claim to having discovered it.
Edward Fryrear (8 days ago)
Bullshit Oregon doesn't, the VA & Bank were closed today 🤣
Jimmie Elliott (8 days ago)
Happy Columbus Day guys, drink one for Christopher and Kavanaugh.
fuck you Limey go back to England and tell us about the Balfour Declaration.
Noontz (8 days ago)
How about Frank Capra Day? Born Francesco Rosario Capra in Italy, he was the embodiment of the American dream.
Jeff Bob (8 days ago)
I admit that he did some bad things. It is wrong. But without him the history would be different we would not have America or at least it would have gone much different. Some of what he did was wrong but he is not the only one. He still deserves a holiday.
c0nd0rd4myt (4 days ago)
Really? No other explorer would ever have found the New World? The idea that we owe our existence to Columbus is....illogical. It was almost 300 years after Columbus' voyage that the United States of America became a country, and our creation as a sovereign power had nothing to do with the acts of Columbus. If he didn't find the New World, someone else would have (as evidenced by the fact that several others had gotten there before him)
dfgdhndgm (8 days ago)
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He wasn't first to reach this shore-- Vikings had done it years before-- And there were people living here A hundred fucking thousand years With histories and cultures too; I could no more "discover" YOU. Established tribes like Crow and Sioux, And Hopi, Otoe, and Wintu. There weren't just only Cherokee There was no homogeneity. (And whitefolk, please stop telling us Your grandmother was a Princess. She wasn't, I can guarantee; And you don't know Blackfoot from Cree). ‘Twas Arawaks Columbus met And in his “Christian” mindset He dubbed them lesser beings all And cued a fatal free-for-all. He demanded that they bring him gold; With threats all resources controlled. It wasn’t only threats he used: Most every native was abused. Pillage, plunder, rape, despoil, Murder, mutilate, and boil: All of these were his techniques-- This is no secret that we leak. He gave smallpox and other plagues. Accounts of this are far from vague. Cut limbs off with the glee of a briss, Infected tons with syphilis, And trafficked children for sex-- Swapped nine-year-olds for Spanish cheques. A smash-and-grab was their MO; Instead of glass it was Taino. His men would ride natives like mares-- Used their backs like they were chairs. So many he did work to death You’d think decency a shibboleth. In masochistic pleasure, too-- You’d pray this false but it is true-- They sliced through native flesh to see If knives were sharpened properly. He chopped the ears off dissidents And just in case you’re on the fence He hunted human beings for SPORT. (This US schools may not report). He slaughtered babes as mothers cried And instigated genocide. This is a cruel insanity Cheers crimes against humanity. Despite these tries at whitewashing-- How is this fucker still a thing?
spirit9871 (8 days ago)
Can we just have the day off on Halloween please
Detox (8 days ago)
Good to know I am not the only one who does the right thing
Dirge Novak (8 days ago)
That Mario Batali reference aged well
gir489 (8 days ago)
So Al Pacino and Mario Batali have sexual assault claims pending, as does everyone in Hollywood with the #MeToo nonsense. Are we just going to retcon out each person the Italians select because they don't fit the current day narrative? How long before Frank Sinatra gets retconned for Mafia ties?
Sith Holocron (8 days ago)
The Mario Batalli bit hasn't aged well
Starlumin (9 days ago)
The schools in my area don't give us the day off anymore because he was a genocidal asshole maniac
Xiaoqiang Han (9 days ago)
There is no America without Columbus.
Joe Joseph (13 days ago)
mario batelli did not age well
Jack man (13 days ago)
In defense of Columbus: While Columbus may not have been a hero, I feel that this is a gross exaggeration of Columbus and his deeds, that while I do understand is, for a comedic purpose I feel needs to be addressed, as many people simply don't fully grasp him. First: COLUMBUS WAS BY NO MEANS A MORON, do you know how hard it had to be to sail all the way to the Carrabiean practically blind, with only the stars and a compass. John Green made this point in his video on the founding of America, Columbus had to guess the direction going off maps made by a few European explorers to Asia at the time, which if you look them up were often undetailed, and poorly made. Second: On the Leif Erickson v Columbus and his title as the discoverer of America. A cringy title no doubt, LastWeekTonight is right about that; however, Columbus' achievement far, far outweighs that of Erickson. Erickson landed in (what was probably) Newfoundland, stayed there for a year, and made some small colonies that were ultimately forgotten for almost a millennium. Columbus' on the hand, continued to explore the new continent, set up several successful continents, bridged two completely independent worlds, and whose discovery inevitably led to a new age of European discovery, and far-reaching scientific advancements, as well as ideals that still impact us today. Third: due to the complex nature of Columbus' relationship with the new world's indigenous population I'm splitting it into two parts. Third (1): Disease: it is an easy thing to label Columbus as the bringer of disease and all suffering to the new world, however, while Columbus' deeds(see Third (2)) are certainly terrible, he had no control, nor even awareness, of the diseases that he was bringing over. Any individual of the old world be they Italian, Spanish, Egyptian, Chinese, what have you, would've brought diseases with them, and led to the same degree of deaths. Indeed less than a century and a half ago, Europe lost from 75-200 million lives from the black death. Disease in this pre-modern medicine world was an omnipresent unstoppable power that no power at the time could stop. Hell just a century ago 500 million individuals worldwide were killed from the Spanish Flu, 675,000 of which were Americans. Third (2): Columbus' crimes: This is why Columbus is such a controversial figure in the modern era, and let me stress I do not want to normalize what he did, nor do I want to say that he should be forgiven for them and that it is for this reason that he probably doesn't deserve a day. However, with that being said, I first want to again provide two pieces of historical context, first Columbus' actions while, now are universally seen as outrageous, were normal for a conqueror. Consider the quests of Ghanghis Khan, Alexander the great, The Crusades, or Vikings, these people all killed innocent civilians, committed mass rape, and were incredibly familiar, with comfort women. None of these individuals are looked down upon nearly as much, hell in this video LastWeekTonight, was arguably trying to commend the deeds of Vikings. Fuck, I've put him on the same level of other conquerors, (although it worth noting that Columbus conquest stretched to only a few Islands, as opposed to gigantic kingdoms like the aforementioned conquerers), but Columbus compared even to the ensuing Spanish colonizing is a FUCKING JOKE. People at the time simply didn't live as long, or value life as much, the people who followed him did, far far worse things than he did. It is on that point that I wrote this rant, Columbus is no worse than any other conquerer before him, does he deserve his own holiday, probably not, does he deserve all this exaggeration, and mockery, not any more than Ghanghis Khan. The reason why I think he gets so much worse treatment though isn't just of his legacy, it's because Americans (including myself) want to reconcile what we did to the ingenious people. We want to push all the evil that we did to the Natives on to one dead man and go our own way, while they toil around in poverty on reservations. I think Indigenous peoples day is really just meant to be a day for Americans everywhere to say, "yay we did something for the natives" without actually doing anything. You really want to help Native Americans donate your time or money, here's a site: https://www.naha-inc.org/ Final point: Columbus' legacy and De La Casas: many of the stories of the Spanish settlers, in a so-called black legend, have been purposely exaggerating by the British in order to make their deeds seem less intolerable. Especially Columbus, whom almost everything about his journey came from a translated copy from Barthelme de la Casas, who had more than a bone to pick with Spain and the Spanish. However, even if he didn't it should cast doubt that most of his history wasn't told by him.
Mohamed Abdelrahman (14 days ago)
Buy t-shirts for that https://www.bonfire.com/funny-t-shirtcolumbus-shirt/ … #ColumbusDay #weekend #getaway #vacation #beach #ocean #family #friends #relaxing #fulltime #school. 🎻🎵🎼
Ls Vijay (19 days ago)
Ya, and they said Vasco Da Gama discovered India Like he invented it, while India has history of people living there for over 10,000 years ago and it's descendents living today there. So basically if Europeans see something new they act like they invented it, dumb Europeans.
Rose Bellx (22 days ago)
In 14 hundred and 92 Columbus gave us a day off school. 😁
J Balda (23 days ago)
Corrections: -Cristopher Colombus wasn´t Italian, he born in Genova Kingdom, way before Italy were even a dream. -He didn´t slay the natives (where are the natives of north america btw?) He participate on the local native wars, in fact, the major force of the Spanish during the Conquest of America were the indians, who got protection by rights given by the Emperor Carlos the first of Spain Inspired by Bartolomé de las casas. They aboiled the slavery of the native on the year 1542. By the opposite, they enforce a middle class and a integration politic. Opinion: It´s a horrible date to celebrate. Specially becuase Colombus discovery was in October the 12th of 1492 not he 13th.
DylanDude (9 days ago)
J Balda The reason Italy exists is because there was a commonality between the various Italian states. Columbus was Italian.
Muffin Button (26 days ago)
2:04 What about Buffalo Bill Day, Oh wait...
Muffin Button (26 days ago)
1:30 My 8th grade American history teacher taught my class the saying, "In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue. In 1493, he stole all he could see." I think is the best that can be done.
Francisco Frank (29 days ago)
Fuck that day, I'm Native American that is bullshit to me!
Diego Rivelino (1 month ago)
Sinatra is not Italian, He is was born in the US. How about Garibaldi ?
Merlot Time (1 month ago)
Right!
MusicSavvy0419 (1 month ago)
Oh, that Batali joke did not age well.
That Mario Batali joke did not age well
khadiche alla (1 month ago)
the best t shirt Happy Columbus Day This shirt has made the best-selling ever Click here and see https://bit.ly/2MOSBVC https://bit.ly/2MOSBVC
Kevin Williams (1 month ago)
BECAUSE IF IT WASN'T FOR THE OBVIOUSLY MORE INTELLEGENT WHITE PEOPLE THEY WOULD STILL BE LIVING IN HUTS AND TEEPEES AND THERE WOULD BE NO BUILDINGS OR ELECTRICITY.
Roasted Pheasant (1 month ago)
How about we make it "Knowing Better" day, where we watch Knowing Better's examination on Columbus? We'd probably need a few since people need time to actually watch things that challenge the "He bad haha!" But after that, can we all stop being such idiots?
Victor Velie (2 months ago)
The Polynesians discovered America shortly after the Vikings and the Portuguese discovered Brazil while looping around Africa around 1500
Michael (2 months ago)
Vikings came to the Americans 100s of years before Columbus. But historians found that out in the 1960s. Relevant?
Once I learned the horrible shit Columbus did I stopped even acknowledging the man. He even believed he was still in India and Amerigo Vespucci knew they weren't. Columbus is a genocidal, rapist, asshat that doesn't deserve shit.
orlando cruz (2 months ago)
If ppl r so pissed by what Colombus did, and they feel so ashamed and bad about what colombus did to the aborigines, then why dont they take their white asses back to europe and return this land to their natives? Hypocrites snow-flakes.
Tucker Bowen (2 months ago)
what's the difference between explorers and pirates? answer: while both were brutal murderers and psychopaths, pirates were outlaws, meaning they're seen as "rebellious" by today's society and thus idolized for it. meanwhile, explorers' actions are classed by today's standards as "racist", so unlike pirates they're still seen as bad and don't get a series of family-friendly Disney movies starring Johnny Depp.
randyroo2 (2 months ago)
It appears I have stumbled upon the snowflake side of youtube.
poe_slaw (2 months ago)
"saluting the quiet dignity of the Irish" best part by far
Reg Eric (2 months ago)
In other words, I don't have a fucking idea what I am talking about but that won't stop me from doing it.
Youthoob Gamer (2 months ago)
Fuck that murderous egomaniac...
epicluigi 91 (2 months ago)
2:09 ironic
Quinntus79 (3 months ago)
How about Amerigo Vespucci day? Less controversial and still an Italian explorer.
keller blair (3 months ago)
He killed about 100 people does it really matter are we gonna dig him up and yell at him ?
Couro Athie (3 months ago)
how is Thanksgiving still a thing?
Sean Cauffiel (3 months ago)
Indigenous people's Day? What the hell for?? Indigenous people didn't DO anything! They didn't have even have writing, Europeans devised Native American writing systems! Hahahaha. Indigenous people's day. "Let's celebrate the complete lack of any contribution to the advancement of humanity. Indigenous people's day! Yaaaay!" God, you liberals are dumb.
Sean Cauffiel (3 months ago)
Columbus had the balls, the temerity, the motivation, the drive to do what he did when no one else did. And then he did it, against quite a stack of odds against him. Oh, boo hooo hooo, wah wah wah, he killed and raped and enslaved indigenous Americans. Grow up, who cares. He changed the course of history on such a scale as to dwarf other major changes in the course of history. If you want to be a complaining whining little bitch about murder and rape and enslavement, then worry about that shit thats happening TODAY. There are lots and lots of blameworthy people for those crimes that are happening NOW. God, you liberals are so fking stupid I want to smash my head against a wall.
Juuj (3 months ago)
why is columbus day considered the “most absurd holiday”
Devon Hunter (3 months ago)
Mario Batali didn't age well....
Mr.Chin (4 months ago)
We should also have Slave Owners day (this is a joke please don’t agree with me)
neoshaf (4 months ago)
fuck off, its a free holiday. lets just drink a shit ton of beer.
DylanDude (9 days ago)
neoshaf We could rename it. Question is, what to?
Michelle! (4 months ago)
Wow that mario joke doesnt age well....
pwnorbepwned (4 months ago)
YINGER DINGER DORGEN!
Abdel Suliman (4 months ago)
"and going ohh yeahh it's Columbus day....shit!" Lol
MrFairley98 (4 months ago)
Considering recent news, I don’t think Batali shouldn’t get his own day.
Rafael Oda (4 months ago)
Surprised that nobody distorted Al Capone's history into a heroic humble man who fought against government tyranny, risking his life to deliver the sacred liquid so necessary in our daily lives.
Ocelot473 (5 months ago)
dumbass italians, columbus was either portuguese or spanish. not italian
DylanDude (9 days ago)
Ocelot473 He was from Genoa.
Francesco C (5 months ago)
LastWeekTonight- How Is This Still A Thing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Eleanora Dzen (5 months ago)
I'm not American but one of my teachers had lived in America- on Columbus day she showed us studies about everything mentioned above plus studies about Columbus supplied pedophiles
xxCrazyIzzyxx (5 months ago)
I never understood why Italians needed to cling to Christopher Columbus. I'm Italian living in the most Italian part of NY and it's just absurd. Let's just look at the "myth" Columbus...He's an idiot who thought he was going to India. He has no fucking clue what he was doing or where he was going in reality. He discovered American by accident for SPAIN because ITALY wanted nothing to do with it. So...why would any Italian want to celebrate a man who "betrayed" Italy to work for Spain and only ended up on dry land due to a Mr. Magoo style fumbling series of accidents? This is shit every child knows. This is BEFORE you learn of the genocide and atrocities he committed.
Impressive Tree (5 months ago)
We celebrate Christopher Columbus day, because without him there'd be no U.S.A.
Sarah Quill (5 months ago)
Why is calling Native Americans Indians still a thing?
Comments And Likes (5 months ago)
Americans are so fucking stupid its unreal. Do you retarded Americans even realize that without Colombus, the pivotal Atlantic exchange would have never happened? Do you fucktards know how much modern civilization is based on the Atlantic exchange? Do you fucktards know how important the discovery of the New World was for Europe, and how important Europe was in civilizing the rest of the world?
DylanDude (9 days ago)
There are some absolutely terrible people in history who ended up changing it irreversibly. Just because they left an impact doesn’t mean we should celebrate them.
Comments And Likes (5 months ago)
thats like saying we shouldn't commemorate Albert Einstein because if he wasn't alive, someone else would have discovered the theory of relativity Yes, he was cruel, but the world was cruel back then, ask the serfs in Europe how well they were treated, probably just as badly as the natives in America. Also, the Russians got slaughtered and raped by the mongols during the time of Ghengis Khan, and that doesn't mean people in Asia nowadays don't ackownledge the military prowess of Khan
Purple Siena (5 months ago)
You do realise that if Christopher Columbus didn't discover the New World, someone else would've done it anyway, right? It was bound to happen. Plus, this video isn't even bloody arguing about the advantages/disadvantages/whatever of colonization by European hands. It's about Christopher Columbus, and how he was a genocidal maniac who only discovered the new world because he incorrectly thought the circumference of the earth was smaller than it actually was. Even at his own time, he was seen as a cruel person, and was even arrested for his cruelty.
Amelie Online (5 months ago)
Can yall Just Stop Saying that without Columbus there would be no America. Yes there would! Last I checked , there were ACTUAL Americans there before Colombus who would have made up America today
ReethCaldarson (4 months ago)
No USA though
Robey Hines (5 months ago)
If they only knew about Mario Batali before making this... 2:08
Ioannis Morakis (5 months ago)
I really want a Frank Sinatra's day, I think it would a cool holiday

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