John Oliver buys Russell Crowe’s jockstrap for Alaskan Blockbuster store | Television & radio
John Oliver has revealed he is the dubiously proud owner of Russell Crowe’s leather jockstrap after a successful A$7,000 phone bid during the actor’s “divorce auction” this month.
After paying $8,540 including the buyer’s premium, Oliver acknowledged it was “a big price to pay just to find out what Russell Crowe’s balls smelled like in 2005” – but it’s only a portion of what Last Week Tonight spent on “a bunch of pointless Russell Crowe memorabilia” in a series of bids that totalled $79,788.
The spending spree was revealed on Sunday night’s show in a segment about a struggling Blockbuster video store in Alaska – one of the last remaining video stores in the US, which is “under serious threat” in the digital new world.
“If only there were a fun, movie-themed way for them to draw people in,” Oliver offered. He then introduced Crowe’s auction as one such opportunity for the store, before revealing his team had done the hard work by getting up at 4am in the morning in the US to call in bids.
“There has been some speculation out there that we were the ones who bought that jockstrap – and I will admit it does sound like something that we would do,” he said. “You know, buy Russell Crowe’s jockstrap and send it to one of the last remaining Blockbusters in Alaska. Even that sentence is absolutely incredible to say out loud.
“The bad news is, we didn’t do it. I’m sorry,” he said, before a pause. “We did though. We did. We absolutely did.”
Oliver went on to reveal the other items the show bought at the auction, including Crowe’s director’s chair from American Gangster ($2,928) and Denzel Washington’s more expensive chair back from same film ($3,660), the vest Crowe wore in Les Misérables ($14,640), the blue satin trunks ($12,200) and robe ($24,400) he wore in Cinderella Man, and the hood from Robin Hood ($13,420).
“You know what happens when you start online shopping late at night. You wake up the next morning and think, ‘Oh shit, what did I just buy.’”
The manager of the Blockbuster at Anchorage, Alaska, Kevin Deymude, has told the Hollywood Reporter that the segment came as a surprise: “I had no idea whatsoever he was going to do that,” he said. “We would be very honoured to showcase that collection.”
“People have been calling and coming in, wanting to know when it will all be here … If we do get it, it could be very big for business.”
The Sydney auction, titled the Art of Divorce, took place on Crowe’s 54th birthday, Including a valuable art collection as well as jewellery, watches and film memorabilia, it brought in a total of $3.7 million, which Crowe tweeted was “not a bad hourly rate for a 5 hour shift”.