In this April 2014 image released by HBO, host John Oliver speaks during "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," in New York. Oliver, who subbed for Jon Stewart as host of "The Daily Show" last summer and began his own HBO weekly show in April, often devotes about half of his 30 minutes to a single topic below the headlines. His subsequent report questioning the pageant's scholarship program was the latest example of how Oliver has quickly moved beyond his roots at "The Daily Show" to produce something distinctive, and usually hilarious. (AP Photo/HBO, Eric Liebowitz)

NEW YORK (AP) — In poking fun at the Miss America pageant on the most recent episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver reached for the comedic equivalent of low-hanging fruit. Then he veered into something wholly unexpected — investigative journalism.

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