Comedic pundit John Oliver has got a battle of the billboards on his hands in North Dakota.
The British funny man declared his love of the state’s happy roadside art, but hatred of their oil pollution, on the latest episode of his HBO show Last Week Tonight.
Whatever results the show might achieve in the state, citizens seem determined to keep their spirits high. A new billboard appeared in North Dakota a couple days later, this time reading, “Hey John Oliver, don’t ‘be angry’, be ‘North Dakota’ nice (it really works).”
It all started when Oliver launched into his recent extended segment on North Dakota’s oil industry with a compliment.
“People from North Dakota are so kind and so wholesome that, a few years back, they actually had billboards by the roadside reading, ‘Be kind’ and, ‘Be polite.’”
The comedian intended to used this joke on citizens’ overall kindness as a way to bring attention to the state’s oil industry pulling the wool over their eyes. The industry is largely unregulated, and does not have enough safety inspectors, putting many workers at risk. At the end of his segment, the show revealed that it had actually purchased billboards in the state that read, “Be angry,” followed shortly by, “(Please).”
No word on whether the late night host has actually seen the state’s billboard reaction to his segment and billboard, which appeared statewide on Sky Digital Marketing’s electronic billboards on Tuesday. But, given his monologue during the show’s most recent episode, we do have some idea how he would respond.
“That says something wonderful about them,” he said reacting to the first two kind billboards during Sunday’s show, “just as it says something awful about me as a citizen of New York City, that my first reaction to seeing a billboard reading, ‘Be polite,’ is ‘F*** you! Don’t tell me what to do!”