John Oliver, beloved former fake news correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” was at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall Monday night to host the 7th Annual Crunchies Awards. You know — the annual event hosted by tech sector news sites TechCrunch, Gigaom and VentureBeat to celebrate success and innovation in the technology world.
Some of Oliver’s commentary in his introductory standup got a little attention: He cast a comically critical eye on gentrification and the Google bus issue. But the audience, at least, seemed to take the critique in stride, if its laughter is anything to judge by.
Here’s a partial transcript of his introduction:
I don’t get what is happening here. Why do you need an awards ceremony in the tech industry? What more adulation — you already have almost all the money in the world. Why do you need awards as well after that? It is absolutely ridiculous!
You’re no longer the underdogs. It’s very important that you realize that. You’re not the scrappy people that people get behind. It used to be people in the tech industry were emotional shut-ins who you could root for. Now those days are gone. You’re pissing off an entire city. Not just with what you do at work, but how you get to work. [Lots of laughter and some cheers.] It’s not easy to do that.
I heard the latest design for your buses was to use tinted windows but reverse, with the tint on the inside, the reason being, ‘Look, I don’t mind if the peasants see me. I would rather not see them.’
You’re being accused of over-gentrifying a city that was already the most expensive city to live in in America — that’s not mathematically possible! You’re gentrifying something that was already gentrified three times before you. You can’t gentrify it any more without going full circle and turning this into a shithole.
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