- Oliver took on televangelists on his show
- He started his own church: Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption
(CNN)John Oliver has blessed his audience.
On Sunday night, the "Last Week Tonight" host took on televangelists who he says are raking in donations to fund lavish lifestyles. He then eviscerated those he says are taking advantage of donors and the tax exemptions offered to churches.
Oliver made it clear that he was not attacking all houses of worship, as he said, "Churches are a cornerstone of American life."
"There are roughly 350,000 congregations in the United States, and many of them do great work, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor," the British comedian said. "But this is not a story about them."
Oliver discussed ministers like the Atlanta area's Creflo Dollar, who made news this spring by asking for donations to buy a $65 million Gulfstream jet. The host then took it one step further by forming his own church: Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.
Appearing with "Sister Wanda Jo Oliver" (Rachel Dratch of "SNL" fame), Oliver asked viewers to chip in for his new church.
The mission statement on the church's website says, "When John Oliver found out that Robert Tilton, Kenneth Copeland, and other pastors of their ilk have been taking advantage of the open-ended IRS definition of 'church' and procuring a litany of tax breaks, he founded the Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption Church, a tax-exempt organization you certainly can't say is not a church."
It's just the latest of Oliver's bits to go viral since his show premiered on HBO last year (HBO is owned by CNN's parent company).
Here are a few others: