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"For the past three or four years, those of us in the iPhone community have sacrificed one thing for the ability to carry around every photograph weâve ever takenâ¦ or song weâve ever listened to, or home video, or compass," Stewart said.
"We have sacrificed the ability to make phone calls," he said, dramatically adding, as the audience laughted, "For years! Struggling with the world's most popular, almost phone."
"Well, our long national nightmare may soon be over," Steward said, jumping to a clip of Verizon's president Lowell McAdam announcing the new availability of Apple's iPhone on its network.
"Freedom!" Stewart bellowed, before explaining the steps he's had to take in order to communicate with the iPhone, which included carrying a second phone (pulling out a pink plastic toy which he said his four year old daughter wanted back, and which could only call unicorns and faeries) and hiring foot messengers to physically carry the phone to the recipient after he typed it in. "Each text costs me $400," Steward quipped.
Correspondent John Oliver then lampooned the iPhone's service in an onsite report via a video call, where he loses service mid-call, which he later blamed on having "looked at a tunnel."
Oliver compiled a series of clips with existing users, who complained that AT&T's service required them to walk to specific places in their home to make a call, that "calls drop all the time," and that "the service is horrible," with about half of the comments including bleeped out profanity (or blurred middle finger gestures) directed toward AT&T.
"It's like being a technology hostage," one woman said, while the next man added, "it's like being a slave." Oliver described the Verizon announcement as "a moment of liberation," staging skits involving users pulling down AT&T logos and stomping on them.
"1/11/11," Oliver concluded, "a day that will always be known as VZ day," over the image of a returning sailor kissing his girl in Times Square, as he glanced at his mobile phone.