Not to be confused with the piñatas they sell at the local adult toys store.

John Oliver is fed up with going online on Monday mornings to read how he and his new HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, smashed, destroyed, "verbally pantsed," or ruthlessly murdered the various people or topics he mocks on his show. He's not the first person to complain about absurd Internet headlines that claim that everything that ever happens is the "best ever" or "will restore your faith in humanity" or worst, "is everything"—but this is one of the few times someone who regularly gets showered in this over-enthusiastic praise has complained about it. Now, in this web-only video, he's doing something about it.

Ostensibly, he's doing this so that when websites say he "literally destroyed" something, they'll be accurate. He does makes a good point, though: piñatas are the embodiment of absolute evil.

Now, this trend isn't new, it's borrowed from political writing, which has been reflexively describing every offhand comment by politicians as "ripping," "slamming," "destroying," or some other extremely-violent verb-ing a rival politician for years. Indeed, that's how the transition started, by those same headline writers applying this rubric to Daily Show or Colbert segments. With the extended, vicious rants that Oliver is allowed to do on HBO, however, he's now monopolizing headlines using annihilation-based exaggerated clickbait.

Not that we would ever do something like that.


(bJohnny McNulty)

Sources: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver