John Oliver's First Night Hosting The Daily Show

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by Peter Weber

John Oliver kicked off his summer run hosting The Daily Show by acknowledging what many fans of the show are probably thinking: It's weird to see him sitting at Jon Stewart's desk. He reads a welcome note from Stewart promising him that no big news ever breaks in the summer — cueing up the topic of his monologue: The new series of big leaks on the National Security Agency's surveillance reach.

Or, as he calls the segment: "Good news! You're not paranoid."

Oliver gets in some clever riffs about the PRISM logo looking like a "Chinese bootleg of a Pink Floyd album," how leaker Edward Snowden's brags of unfettered wiretapping ability remind him of "every conversation I've ever had with an IT guy," and how the FISA court's rubber-stamp is like having American Idol "with four Randy Jacksons."

All this sets up Oliver's best joke. Thanks to Snowden's whistle-blowing, he says, we now know that the NSA routinely collects an unprecedented amount of information about "that small, select group of us who either make phone calls or use the internet." Given this level of scrutiny, "I bet the Amish are feeling pretty f--king smug right now," Oliver says — or at least "they would be feeling that way if they had any idea that this story was happening."

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June 11, 2013 - 7:58am
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