Climbing Mt. Everest was once considered an extraordinary feat but now thousands do it every year, and John Oliver has a problem with that.
On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” the host called out all the rich people paying for more experienced climbers and sherpas to take them up the mountain, comparing them to Simon & Garfunkel.
“There is someone along for the ride to the top, and there’s someone pulling all the weight… I’m not saying who’s who,” Oliver joked, “and neither is Art Garfunkel unless Paul Simon writes it for him.”
There’s also the problem of low standards which allow most wannabe climbers to scale the world’s tallest peak.
“Even the least physically fit person on Earth can get a glowing doctor’s note,” Oliver explained., “and I know this for a fact because he recently did.”
A Nepalese official said in an interview that only 50 to 55 per cent of the people allowed up the mountain are qualified to climb.
“Why on earth are you letting the other half climb?!” Oliver said. “If Cirque du Soleil had half its trapeze artists be trained acrobats and the other half enthusiasts with $11,000 and their own tiger bodysuits, you would shut that sh** down before someone got badly hurt.”
Oliver also noted the intense traffic jams caused by the number of people climbing Everest at the same time.
“Think about the violent rage you felt last time you couldn’t walk down an escalator because a bunch of a**holes were standing still,” Oliver said. “Now imagine doing that for hours in freezing temperatures as your brain leaks slowly down your spinal cord. You’d be pretty f**king angry, too.”