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:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- The girl who wouldn't die
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week