RSS
WATCH: John Oliver ribs Obama on his foreign love-quest
The Daily Show host turns Obama's summer travels into a mythological, ill-fated odyssey for the love he's lost at home

On Wednesday night's Daily Show, John Oliver gets in a little fun at President Obama's expense. The first half of the show is an elaborate narrative about Obama, finding both his poll numbers and jump-shot deteriorating at home, going on an ancient Greece–style odyssey abroad to find the love he's losing at home. It ends with a Lord of the Rings twist.

So far, Oliver says, Obama hasn't found the warmth he's looking for. In 2008, before he won the presidency, Obama drew a crowd of 200,000 to a speech in Berlin, Oliver notes; on Wednesday, Obama drew fewer than 10,000 people to the same location. Germans, being foreigners, are mad that Obama is assuring Americans that the NSA is only spying on foreigners, Oliver says. This has still got to sting, though: "Losing 95 percent of your audience in just five years, that basically makes Obama the NBC of presidents."

Oliver then travels back in time, both in Obama's European trip and America's relationship with Russia. He contrasts Obama's chilly meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to Bill Clinton's boozy bonhomie with Boris Yeltsin and George W. Bush's warm rapport with, well, Vladimir Putin.

Why was this meeting of American and Russian presidents so frosty? I might have guessed Sunday's report in The Guardian about the NSA intercepting Russian leaders' phone calls at a 2009 summit, but Oliver has another theory. It involves a ring. It's pretty funny.

In the wild card segment of The Daily Show, Oliver has a mustachioed John Hodgman on to discuss the Supreme Court's recent ruling that you can't patent human genes. Oliver says the ruling is a no-brainer. Hodgman laments it as a lost commercial opportunity, holding out the possibility of marketing an array of John Oliver knockoffs. Watch:

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and plays in an Austin rock band.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week