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John Oliver Name-Checks, Mocks Johnny's Half Shell During Fundraising Rant

15 minutes of dubious fame for Johnny Fulchino

Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

John Oliver went after Congressional fundraising on Sunday's episode of "Last Week Tonight." Among those targets that got caught in the crossfire: Capitol Hill restaurant Johnny's Half Shell.

The comedian took a critical look at the fundraising done by U.S. Senators and Representatives. During his research, he uncovers that Johnny's Half Shell, one of the favorite spots for D.C. restaurant fundraisers, has hosted a whopping 948 fundraisers over the past ten years. But what really fixates Oliver is a dated promotional video from the Capitol Hill restaurant that he uncovers (it's ten years old) — and he goes to town on Johnny Fulchino's hairstyle in the process. Here's that video:

Oliver gets a few good jabs in, calling Fulchino (who is also behind Taqueria Nacional) a guy who looks like "Jon Bon Jovi’s less talented step cousin Jim Ban Javi," and later referring to the restaurant as an "80s hockey player's sweaty crab shack."

Fulchino, for his part, was a good sport on Twitter about it all.

Eater followed up with Fulchino via email, who said chef Ann Cashion and he "laughed so hard" at the sketch when it aired. He texted the show and invited Oliver to dinner and thanked him for the shoutout. "Who let me out of the house with that mullet!" Fulchino said.

"The piece was good, I thought — It captured how insane it is to have no option but to raise such large amounts of money in order to get re-elected, and the senators pretty much echoed the same," Fulchino said. He did note that the $1,000 donations go to the candidate, not the restaurant, which only charges $35 per head for fundraisers. Most fundraisers at Johnny’s take place over six months of the year, and represent only a third of the restaurant’s sales annually. Plus, he had to note — Cashion's food is "so good", even if Oliver was implicating otherwise.

"Maybe John Oliver can have me on his show WITHOUT my 80's hockey mullet, and we can discuss the reality of owning a restaurant within a Congressional corridor in Washington, D.C.!" he wrote.

Here's the full rant from Oliver, which of course makes some substantive points about the actual issues at hand as well.

Johnny's Half Shell

1819 Columbia Road Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 506-5257 Visit Website