John Oliver Mocks Nancy Pelosi’s “Tic-Tac-Toe” Reference Following House Passage of TikTok Bill

Nancy Pelosi made a widely derided TikTok pun last week, and John Oliver delighted in joining in chorus of those mocking the former House speaker on HBO’s Last Week Tonight.

Sunday’s episode of the late-night show aired a few days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would lead to a ban of TikTok if its China-based owner doesn’t sell its stake. The bill passed on concerns that the app poses a national security threat under the ownership of Chinese technology firm ByteDance Ltd. Lawmakers say the company has ties to the Chinese government, which they fear could demand the company share information that puts the U.S. at risk. (The bill next goes to the Senate.)

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Describing TikTok as “the wildly popular app some of you are using to watch this very content in three-minute chunks,” Oliver introduced a clip of Pelosi explaining the motivation behind the bill.

“This is not an attempt to ban TikTok. It’s an attempt to make TikTok better. Tic-tac-toe, a winner. A winner,” she said, adding hand gestures showing a diagonal win in the Xs and Os game.

Mused Oliver: “I’m curious. Is it a rule that, to be in Congress, you have to be one of the weirdest motherfuckers to ever live?”

He also posited a theory as to how the line in Pelosi’s speech got written.

“I would ask how that happened, but I think we all know she went to her speechwriter and said, ‘I have the perfect line for the “TicTac” vote, and they said, ‘Hey, did you just say “TicTac?’ And she said, ‘You’re gonna love it,’ and they said, ‘Again, did you say TicTac? She said, ‘It’s a winner. It’s a winner.'”

And then, Oliver concluded, Pelosi “marched to the floor and alienated every American under the age of 35.”

Meanwhile, Oliver, who is known to take shots at Britain’s royal family seemingly every chance he gets, did make a quick reference to the controversy surrounding Kate Middleton’s digitally manipulated image that has spawned numerous conspiracy theories. (Oliver himself has talked about the scandal, saying on an episode of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that he believes “there is a non-zero chance she died 18 months ago. They might be Weekend at Bernie’s-ing this situation.”)

But on Sunday night, he kept his thoughts brief, saying only that “a certain someone’s Adobe free trial expired in a pretty public manner” at the top of the show.

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