After his Tax Day main story exposé about the ridiculously evil lengths major corporations (Apple, Google, G.E.) continue to go to to avoid paying a fucking penny in taxes while—just for an example—hardworking freelancers sweat out how to make rent, John Oliver thought we could all use a little pick-me-up. (You’ve got until April 17th this year to dig under the sofa cushions, by the way.) And, sure, he did so by wasting a whole lot of HBO’s money on a some frivolous crap, but at least we got a few desperately needed laughs out of yet another example of the Last Week Tonight host’s creative prankishness.
After noting a few weeks ago that notoriously, let’s say “difficult,” actor Russell Crowe was holding a big post-breakup auction of his movie memorabilia called “The Art Of Divorce” (classy), Oliver responded to speculation that he had been the anonymous bidder who scooped up several choice pieces of Crowe-abilia. Pieces like the auction’s most talked-about item, a leather jockstrap worn by Crowe’s boxer James J. Braddock in the Depression-era film, Cinderella Man, that went for a cool seven grand. Well, Oliver quieted his hopeful studio audience by assuring them that, while buying Russell Crowe’s sweaty old ball-protector “does sound like something we would do,” he totally didn’t do that. “Except... we did though,” Oliver admitted with barely concealed glee, before revealing not only the jock but also some random Les Mis, Robin Hood, and American Gangster memorabilia to his happily whooping crowd.
And since it’s Oliver, one goof just wasn’t enough, so he also offered up the questionably necessary but undeniably authentic movie magic to a worthy cause, meaning one of the last remaining Blockbuster Video stores. Yup, there are a few such franchised video shops still fighting the good fight for physical media in the spottily networked reaches of Alaska, so, with his characteristic mix of altruism and mischief, Oliver told the store manager to call Last Week Tonight to claim the sort of Russell Crowe intimate wear guaranteed to pull a crowd.