World Cup host Russia began the soccer tournament with a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Thursday, but no amount of excellence on the field could erase the country’s sinister image under President Vladimir Putin. The leader’s reported meddling in the U.S. elections and domestic anti-gay policy make him an unlikely candidate for redemption, Trevor Noah said on “The Daily Show.”
However, the comedy host pointed out that the World Cup gives Russia a chance to score public relations points ― at a cost.
Noah, pointing to a recent report that Russian train conductors took lessons in how to smile at foreigners, cracked: “I feel like the only thing worse than a non-smiling Russian is a smiling Russian.”
Watch the full clip above.