Earlier this month, Russell Crowe auctioned off several pieces of his movie memorabilia as part of his “divorce auction.” The Sotheby’s page featured a number of head-scratchers, though, leaving many to wonder who could possibly afford to pay thousands of dollars for Crowe’s jockstrap from Cinderella Man. On Sunday night, we learned the answer: John Oliver. Oliver revealed on the new episode of Last Week Tonight that his show had indeed purchased Crowe’s jockstrap for $7,000 — and several other items as well.
People had speculated that the HBO show was the mystery buyer of several Crowe items, so Oliver played coy at first before confirming their purchases. “The bad news is, we didn’t buy it — we did, though. We absolutely did,” Oliver said, brandishing the Cinderella Man jockstrap in a display case and quoting Crowe’s famous line from Gladiator: “Are you not entertained?”
That wasn’t even the end; Oliver and HBO also bought several other pieces of Crowe memorabilia, and all for a truly quixotic cause. Having found that the state of Alaska still has a few last Blockbuster Video stores, Oliver decided to help them get a “fun, movie-themed way to draw people in.” Aside from the jockstrap, he also bought the named seat backs used by Crowe and Denzel Washington on the set of American Gangster, the vest Crowe wore in Les Miserables, the hood he wore in Robin Hood (“which looks like something a circumcised penis would wear to administer a lethal injection”), and a satin robe and shorts also worn in Cinderella Man. Oliver announced that all would be available to Alaska’s last Blockbuster if they got in touch with HBO.
“The point here is, to the manager of the only remaining Blockbuster in Anchorage, Alaska, all this s— is yours. Just call us in the next 48 hours and we will send it to you,” Oliver said. “I really hope the internet is good enough up there for you to see it in time, because if we don’t hear from you in the next two days, I know a transportation museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, that I’m sure could make room for another exhibit.”
As usual with Oliver’s real-life bits, expect there to be more developments down the road with this story.
Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.