US-based comedian John Oliver has fired back after Prime Minister Bill English's verdict Oliver was not funny, describing English as the "very poorest man's Daniel Craig" and attacking his spaghetti pizza.
Oliver had mocked National (and the New Zealand accent) last week during the Eminem court case against the National Party for its use of the "Eminem-esque" soundtrack for its 2014 campaign ad.
In response, English said he had not seen it but "I hope for the sake of his audience it was funny. Some of the stuff I've seen he does isn't very funny."
In Last Week Tonight which has just screened in the US, Oliver got his right of reply. He raised the time he had done a skit on Steven Joyce getting hit in the face by a pink dildo, and said "careful Bill, because when it comes to Kiwis, Johnny don't play."
He then used a photo of English in a virtual reality headset, saying he looked like a "masturbating cyborg".
He moved on to English's recent social media "hits" - saying English's video of himself on a "walk-run" in Wellington's hills was "indescribably lame".
"I can't wait for Bill English to make a sex tape," he quipped.
But Oliver's harshest critique was of English's post of the spaghetti and pineapple pizza he made for his family, one that quickly went viral.
"That is not dinner. That is an actual hate crime. What is your problem, Bill? You made that to feed to your family, your children, Bill? How are you not in prison right now?"
Oliver said he would be appalled if his show appealed to someone with English's taste in pizza, and proposed other toppings English might like - including Skittles, baking soda and condoms, and a mix of altoids and horse laxatives.
English said he had not seen Oliver's response, but optimistically said such coverage might even be good for New Zealand.
"I'm not all concerned about it. It may assist New Zealand's international profile and help tourism and trade and even relationships with the US."
He stuck to his initial verdict of Oliver's wit: "It's a risk of any comedian - sometimes he strikes gold and sometimes he doesn't."
Oliver's takedown was quickly assessed on social media, with one calling it "brutal".
i am in TEARS over john oliver's smackdown to bill english— Pillar of Saltiness (@violue) May 15, 2017
Just watched John Oliver's latest take down of NZ PM Bill English. I won't repost as definitely NSFW but wow.......brutal!!— Aidan Watson (@Aidanwat) May 15, 2017