US late-night TV host John Oliver has finally reacted to the pūteketeke’s victory in this year’s Bird of the Century competition.
The comedian surprised New Zealanders earlier this month when he announced he was leading a campaign in Forest and Bird’s annual competition.
He launched an “alarmingly aggressive” marketing campaign — putting billboards up around the world, even getting a plane to fly over Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema beach to get international eyes on the pūteketeke.
When it was announced the bird had won last week, nobody was really surprised.
On his show Last Week Tonight, Oliver reacted to the win overnight.
“Yes, I am thrilled about it.
“You guys clearly aren’t,” he said, while referencing some Kiwis’ cynicism about the foreign interference.
The pūteketeke received 290,374 votes, 277,470 more than the North Island brown kiwi in second place. Reacting to his favourite bird’s victory, Oliver made sure this fact was known.
“Yes, it’s true, 290,000 votes itself,” he said.
“For context, the pūteketeke got over three times as many votes by itself as all the other top 10 birds combined.
“When you talk about historic, all-time levels of dominance, the conversation now begins and ends with Michael Jordan, Lionel Messi, Serena Williams and the pūteketeke.”
He said that “those are now the GOAT’s (greatest of all time), the best to ever do it”.
“No one else even comes close.”
Since Oliver announced his interest in Aotearoa’s wildlife, Forest and Bird has seen an influx on donations, which will hep go towards some of the country’s most at-risk species.