Film and TV

John Oliver Twitter Contest: Pick a Lobster to Play Supreme Court Nom Neil Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch, the Colorado-born nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, and Cindy Clawford, one of the crusty candidates to portray him on "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver."
Neil Gorsuch, the Colorado-born nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, and Cindy Clawford, one of the crusty candidates to portray him on "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver." ABC via YouTube/Last Week Tonight Twitter
#ClawAndOrder, a hot, hot, hot Twitter hashtag created by HBO's John Oliver and his staff at Last Week Tonight, is connected to a contest involving Neil Gorsuch, the Colorado-born judge nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump, and three lobsters named Cindy Clawford, Pinchers Von Shellington III and Mike. Yes, just Mike.


Here's how Oliver laid out the competition's concept on the February 26 episode of the show. After describing Gorsuch as "a man so blandly handsome it feels like you saw him on page fourteen of any J.C. Penney's catalogue or as second lead in an erectile-dysfunction ad," he noted, "There's a lot for Democrats to be annoyed at here. Not only is Gorsuch extremely conservative, but Republicans basically stole this seat — because Merrick Garland, who Obama nominated eleven months ago, wasn't even given a hearing. So the debate now is whether to filibuster Gorsuch or confirm a man whose place on the Supreme Court will always have an asterisk on it — which actually puts our show in a tricky position as well."

How so? "As you may know," Oliver continued, "we have an all-dog Supreme Court to re-enact oral arguments, since cameras aren't allowed in the courtroom.... Technically, we should be finding a dog for Gorsuch now, but we're not going to do that. Instead, to reflect the fact that Gorsuch's nomination is a historical aberration, he will be getting an animal that will constantly remind us that it has no place in that spot on a dog court. What I'm saying is, Gorsuch is getting a lobster. That's right: We're going paws and claws up in this piece!"

The nominees to become "Lobster Gorsuch" are the aforementioned Clawford, Shellington and Mike, and viewers were invited to vote for their favorite using the #ClawAndOrder hashtag — and they have, in the thousands. Some folks used simple text to make their voices heard, as in these examples:
My vote goes to Pinchers. He obviously has the gravitas needed for @LastWeekTonight's SCOTUS #clawandorder

@LastWeekTonight Cindy Clawford seems like a Justice you could grab a beer with, or at the very least, beer batter #clawandorder

#clawandorder You can't pass on Mike.

My vote is for Cindy Clawford but only because Jude Claw was not an option #clawandorder @LastWeekTonight

@LastWeekTonight I'm voting for Pinchers Von Shellington III to make the Supreme Court "great" again! #clawandorder

#clawandorder @LastWeekTonight Mike is the obvious choice. He clearly wants it. He waved AND played with the gavel.

@LastWeekTonight Come on, obviously Cindy Clawford #clawandorder #clawsandpaws

#pinchersvonshellington111 for the win! #clawandorder @LastWeekTonight

Mike: Whose teeth are a gastric mill located in his stomach and who's actually just a fucking lobster @LastWeekTonight #clawandorder 
But others took the graphic route, including this voter....

...and this one....

...and this one....

...and this one.

There was even a woman who tweeted during President Trump's February 28 joint address to Congress after a reference to Gorsuch.

The Twitter polls are still open; vote early and vote often for your favorite using the #ClawAndOrder hashtag.

Finally, an election every American can support.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts