John Oliver's summer version of The Daily Show is back from a two-week vacation, and Oliver says he and the writers were exited to get back to work skewering the wacky news of the week.... "until about 10 p.m. on Saturday night." That was when a six-woman jury in Sanford, Fla., found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Oliver is incredulous. It's bad enough that Zimmerman was acquitted after admitting to "pursuing and shooting an unarmed teenager," but it's worse that the system "worked exactly as it's designed" under Florida law, Oliver says. He rails against the verdict, Zimmerman's lawyers and brother, and then turns his ire to their home state, which applies its self-defense laws pretty unevenly.
The Sunshine State should change its motto to "The Worst State," Oliver says. Maybe Mickey Mouse isn't waving welcome to you at Orlando's Disney World, Oliver speculates, but "what he's actually trying to say is, 'Please get me the f--k out of here, these people are f--king crazy!'"
Before he dumps on Florida, though, Oliver has a little fun with the stories he missed while away on vacation: Kate Middleton baby-watch, Fox News' Brian Kilmeade hitting a toddler in the face with a basketball, and the Oakland, Calif., TV station that said the crashed Asiana Airline flight was piloted by Capt. Sum Ting Won and Ho Lee Fuk.
The last third of the show was decidedly low-tech, since the Daily Show studios suffered a power outage. Oliver interviews Aaron Sorkin using bare-bones equipment. Then he gives perhaps the least-flashy sign-off in Daily Show history — and it's kind of sweet. Here, then, is your "Moment of Zen," Luddite edition:
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
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- 9 ways you're probably teaching your kids bad money habits
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week