US comedian and TV host John Oliver has launched a scathingly funny attack on Australia’s marriage equality postal survey.

Appearing on his show Last Week Tonight, he called the “inexplicable” and “weird” survey the biggest waste of Australian money “since every Baz Luhrmann movie”.

“[The survey] is an odd thing to do, because polls already exist, showing around two thirds of Australians support it,” he said.

The comedian called the campaign “truly toxic” and showed clips of some of the more “ridiculous” comments made by No campaigners.

“One activist seemed unusually obsessed with terminology,” he observed, showing video of a Marriage Alliance lobbyist calling for same-sex marriage to be called ‘garriage’.

Oliver conceded that this would absolutely be the correct terminology for the union of two men named Gary.

He went on to mention the high-profile physical altercations that have featured in the marriage equality debate, including the infamous pie attack on Alan Joyce, and Tony Abbott’s headbutt by a Tasmanian anarchist.

“I am in no way condoning Tony Abbott being attacked. What I will say is, thinking to yourself, ‘There’s Tony Abbott, I’m going to headbutt him’ is entirely natural,” Oliver quipped.

“It’s an automatic human response.”

Oliver summarised the marriage equality survey as “a dispiriting, ultimately pointless process”.

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