John Oliver Reveals What Really Happens To Those 'Last Week Tonight' Mascots

The ninth season of “Last Week Tonight” premieres Sunday on HBO, and host John Oliver has learned a valuable lesson over the show’s run: Everything’s better with a good mascot.

“That’s a pretty good rule for comedy shows and sports events alike,” Oliver told HuffPost.

Over the years, the show has used cute and cuddly mascots to comically raise awareness about very serious issues.

Some of the most memorable mascots have included NASA’s Horny Space Gecko, who was created after Russia lost contact with a space pod containing geckos; Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat, who Oliver suggested Philip Morris International adopt as a mascot during a story on plain package advertising in the tobacco industry; and most famously, Mr. Nutterbutter, a giant talking squirrel who mocked coal baron Robert Murray of Murray Energy in 2017.

Oliver plans to include more mascots in the future when appropriate, but admits keeping the costumes has caused some issues.

“Back at the time when we had an office, we used to keep them all in one room,” Oliver said. “They were hung up lifeless like in a meat locker. And it was one of those situations where you get so callused to the sight that you don’t see it anymore.”

That is, until somebody brought their kids into work.

“They opened the door [and] immediately started crying as they were literally walking into a child’s nightmare,” Oliver admitted. “After that, we took them to a storage locker, thinking, ‘Humans can’t walk past this. This doesn’t look fun.’”

But the locker doesn’t have to be a permanent solution.

Oliver said he’s “more than open” to featuring the “Last Week Tonight” mascots “at a theme park that would be, I’m guessing, shut down in three months.”

“Last Week Tonight” airs Sundays on HBO. You can see Oliver with Mr. Nutterbutter in the clip below.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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