John Oliver - Purple Dinner Incident of 1981

  • Season 1 , Ep 5
  • 02/05/2010
  • Views: 16,921

Everyone's first experience of civil disobedience comes at exactly the same point in life. (3:19)

I WAS THEREFOR THE G-20 SUMMIT

AND ASSOCIATED RIOTS.

AND I HAVE A SOFT SPOTFOR PROTEST.

I LOVE--PROTESTIS INHERENTLY CHILDISH.

I THINK THAT'S WHYI LIKE IT.

EVERYONE'S FIRST EXPERIENCEOF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

COMES AT EXACTLYTHE SAME POINT IN OUR LIVES.

I THINK IT'S WHEN WE ALLLOOK OUR PARENTS

STRAIGHT IN THE EYESFOR THE FIRST TIME AND SAY,

"I'M NOT EATING THAT...

(laughter)

MAKE ME SOMETHING ELSE."

(cheers and applause)

YOU--YOU WILL EACH HAVEYOUR OWN MEAL AND DATE

WHICH LED YOUTO YOUR FIRST PROTEST.

FOR ME IT WAS THE PURPLEDINNER INCIDENT OF 1981.

NOW YOU'RE PROBABLY AWARETHAT BRITAIN

STOPPED EVOLVING GASTRONOMICALLYAROUND THE YEAR 1242.

(laughter)

AND PURPLE DINNERWAS AN INVENTION OF MY MOM'S,

AND IT WAS A RED-CABBAGE-BASEDMEATLOAF.

NOW--EXACTLY, EXACTLY.

IT WAS SERVED TWICE INMY HOUSEHOLD.

THE FIRST TIME,I BURST INTO TEARS.

AND THE SECOND TIME,I DECIDED, NO! NO!

NOT AGAIN! NOT HERE!NOT TODAY!

NO!

AND I SAID--I SAID TO MY MOM,

"NO WAY WAS THAT GOINGINTO MY LITTLE FACE."

AND I WAS SENT TO THE FRONTROOM TO CRY,

SULK AND PLAY CONNECT FOURAGAINST MYSELF.

(laughter)

I'M NOT SURE THE THIRD ONEWAS TECHNICALLY ALLOWED,

BUT I'D BECOME A POLITICALOUTLAW AT THAT STAGE.

AND THE RULE BOOKMEANT NOTHING TO ME ANYMORE.

BUT WHILE I WAS THEREI STARTED FANTASIZING

THAT MAYBE OUTSIDETHE WINDOW

THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD'SCHILDREN WOULD GATHER OUTSIDE

TO HOLD A CANDLELIT VIGILTO FREE THE PURPLE DINNER ONE.

THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

WHAT DID HAPPENWAS PURPLE DINNER

WAS NEVER SERVEDIN MY HOUSEHOLD EVER AGAIN.

(cheers and applause)

PROTESTS ARE INSPIRATIONAL.

BUT THE MOST INSPIRATIONALPROTEST I'VE EVER HEARD OF

ACTUALLY HAPPENEDIN BRITAIN AS WELL.

A 13-YEAR-OLD BOYSOMEHOW--NO ONE KNOWS HOW--

MANAGED TO PAINT THE OUTLINEOF A 60-FOOT PENIS

ON THE ROOFOF HIS PARENTS' HOUSE.

(laughter)

IT LAY THERE UNDETECTEDFOR EIGHT YEARS...

(laughter)

UNTIL THE INVENTIONOF GOOGLE MAPS.

(laughter)

MY FAVORITE PART OF THIS STORYOTHER THAN

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHINGABOUT IT--(laughter)

EVERYTHING.EVERYTHING.

IS--I LIKE TO THINK THATHELPED HIM GET THROUGH

HIS AWKWARD TEENAGE YEARS.

HE DIDN'T NEED HIS PARENTSTO KNOW IT WAS THERE.

HE JUST NEEDED TO KNOWIT WAS THERE.

SO IN THE MIDDLEOF A DISTRESSING ARGUMENT

AS HIS DAD SCREAMED AT HIM,"YOU'VE DISAPPOINTED ME!

"YOU'VE DISAPPOINTEDYOUR MOTHER!

"YOU'LL NEVER AMOUNTTO ANYTHING,

AND I WANT YOU INBY 10:00 OR ELSE!"

HE COULD JUST LOOK BACK AT HIMAND GO, "OKAY.

"I UNDERSTAND.

(laughter)

(sighs)ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR EVENING."

(laughter)

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