John Oliver rips into Australia's marriage postal vote

John Oliver has taken aim at Australia's same-sex marriage postal vote, calling the campaign "dispiriting" and a "waste of money" in a viral segment on his US late-night show.

The British comedian, who hosts HBO's Last Week Tonight, slammed the Turnbull government's decision to spend $122 million on the non-binding vote, when polls already showed two-thirds of the population support marriage equality.

"[It's] the weirdest waste of Australian money since every Baz Luhrmann movie ever made," he joked to viewers.

He singled out key proponents of the No campaign for mockery, including Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, and his infamous equation of same-sex relationships to his "affectionate relationship" with his cycling mates.

Late night host John Oliver has unleashed on Australia's same-sex marriage postal vote. Photo: HBO

Late night host John Oliver has unleashed on Australia's same-sex marriage postal vote. Photo: HBO

"Yeah, we f---, but that's not marriage, that's just f---ing your cycling mates," Oliver joked, in a biting Aussie backwoods drawl.

He also took aim at 7.30's controversial report on a gay couple opposed to marriage equality, the furore surrounding Macklemore's NRL grand final performance, and No campaigner Sophie York of the Marriage Alliance, who suggested gay marriage be referred to as "garriage".

"Garriage? That is a stupid word. Except in the very rare case of a wedding between two men named Gary," he said.

Oliver, who has previously turned his attention to the sideshow of Australian politics, also reserved a special dig for an old foe, former PM Tony Abbott, who he'd last lampooned in 2014 ahead of a meeting with then US president Barack Obama.

The host aired comments from Hobart anarchist Astro Labe, who last month was charged with headbutting Tony Abbott, in what Abbott described as the "ugliness" of Yes campaigners.

"I am in no way condoning Tony Abbott being attacked... [But] Thinking to yourself, 'There's Tony Abbott, I'm going to headbutt him, is entirely natural," Oliver joked.

The host ended the segment on a more sober note, saying he hoped local parliament legalised gay marriage at the "earliest opportunity".

"This has been a dispiriting, and ultimately pointless process," he told viewers.

The video was trending on YouTube on Tuesday, with a fan upload attracting over 120,000 views.

‚Äč

This story John Oliver rips into Australia's marriage postal vote first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.