March 6, 2017

John Oliver Interviews his “Demon Friend,” the Dalai Lama.

Of all people, late night celebrity John Oliver has challenged our knowledge of the Dalai Lama.

When random people on the street were asked about him by the show, they absolutely know a thing or two. A change washes over their faces from a goofy, “Hey, I’m on TV” smile to a reverence while describing the Dalai Lama as a person of peace who has great quotes. Yet when asked a simple follow up question, those faces became blank.

What does the Dalai Lama actually do?

After hearing this question, they are completely stumped.

Oliver proceeds to teach viewers about the Dalai Lama’s 81 years of life in an entertaining bit for late night TV. From his Holiness’ childhood, exile, and life’s work, to a history lesson on Tibet, Oliver covers it all.

Yet, Oliver does not stop there. He actually makes a journey to India. After making the arduous trek, he interviews the Dalai Lama himself. They discuss topics like the Dalai Lama’s awareness of his demon reputation in China, to solving alcoholism in Mongolia using horse milk.

Plus, the Dalai Lama used this late night platform to send his own mindful message in a political zinger to communist China. He calmly added, “Our brain usually, you see, has the ability to create common sense. The Chinese hardliners in their brain, that part is missing.”

I will be watching this entertaining, educational bit again and again just to hear the Dalai Lama’s laugh at marker 17:10. It is not only contagious, but a beautiful reminder that regardless of what life throws at us, we are able to laugh together.

Oliver humbly closes the video, “Thank you my demon, friend,” And I thank you, John Oliver for this quick and witty, yet beautiful look at an amazing man.




Author: Kate Fleming
Image: YouTube Still
Editor: Travis May

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Judith Smith Mar 9, 2017 3:50am

With much appreciation.

Judith Smith Mar 9, 2017 3:50am

Hi Kate! I live in Canada (Nova Scotia to be precise). I've tried numerous, maybe 10 by now, links to this interview, and none of them are available here. Sure would love to see it. Can you or Waylon or Travis find a compatible link, or should we just wait another few weeks? Very frustrating, these border issues! Thanks for your help.

Judy Reeve Underwood Mar 9, 2017 1:21am

Wonderful exchange! Have just started enjoying John Oliver through the presidential election..enjoy his entertaining take on that. And here he is talking with a life long favorite human being, the most loving and giggling Dalai Lama, just watching him smiling and laughing brings instant joy. Thanks for this clip!

Margie Raines Mar 7, 2017 3:17pm

What a great article and an even better interview!!! Thank You so much for sharing! Peace and Love To You....

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Kate Fleming

Kate Fleming is an artsy, toe tappin’, dog snuggling, linguistics lovin’ liberal (but sometimes conservative) mom, a trusted friend, and a servant to the greater good. By sharing personal and professional experiences from chapters in her life, readers get a glimpse of raw lessons from real experiences. Find Kate somewhere outside, read her articles here on elephant journal, or connect with her on Instagram or Facebook.