Week Two of John Oliver's tenure as stand-in Daily Show host starts with an intentionally mixed message on Sarah Palin's return to Fox News. Oliver begins by half-lamenting Palin's return to Fox, only five months after her contract wasn't renewed, followed by a bit of Palin-poking and, ultimately, a slightly disingenuous-sounding plea to just ignore Palin. "Oh, Sarah," Oliver concludes. "If only it were as easy for us to quit you as it is for you to quit... everything."
The meat of the show is Iran's election of moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani. The vote was a half-win for what passes for democracy in Iran, Oliver notes — 70 percent of voters participated, but could only choose between six hardline conservatives approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, yet they still chose the most moderate option.
Oliver then introduces a new segment, "How Should We Feel About This?" — which, he says, is America's favorite game whenever a not-friendly country goes to the polls. Unsurprisingly, the pundits have differing opinions. There is, though, "one positive aspect of this election that we can all agree on," Oliver says: That Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the "chief antagonist to the entire planet," is on the way out.
To celebrate Ahmadinejad's imminent departure from the world stage, Oliver replays a highlight reel of the Iranian president's "crazy, crazy, crazy" utterances, then... well, watch above.
Next, The Daily Show turns from foreign to domestic religious conservatives, with correspondent Samantha Bee looking into evangelical Christian complaints about being bullied by gay-rights advocates — or even beat up by groups of gay men. To call the segment evenhanded would be a stretch, but it never gets ugly, and Bee at least gives an evangelical preacher and radio host space to make his case. Watch:
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- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
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