John Oliver bought Russell Crowe’s auction items to save a Blockbuster

We talked last week about Russell Crowe’s Art of Divorce auction. Among the items sold were various bits of movie memorabilia. Arguably the most interesting item: his leather jockstrap from Cinderella Man. The item was expected to fetch a couple of hundred bucks but ended up being sold for $7,500. Many of us wondered who would pay that much for it and what in heaven’s name were they going to do with it? Well, now we know: John Oliver bought it along with several other pieces and intends to give it to the last Blockbuster in Anchorage, Alaska. That is, if they claim it:

(If that’s been taken down, you can see a clip at The Hollywood Reporter)

For those who can’t watch it, John discussed that there are four independently owned Blockbusters in America even though the chain filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Of those four, three are in Alaska, which John theorizes has to do with internet coverage being sparse (his words). So, he bought all this stuff for around a reported $10K and offered it to the Anchorage store so they could house a mini memorabilia museum to attract customers. He finished by saying, “If we do not hear from you in the next two days, I know a transportation museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania that could make room for a new exhibit.” I’m not sure why the other three Blockbusters wouldn’t have benefited from it but it matters not because Anchorage, of course, has accepted. The manager is very excited and just as clueless as we are as to why John made this overture.

As Vanity Fair pointed out, John loves to get his bosses to “fund extremely silly stuff,” especially when he can make a point. In this case he’s pointing out the injustices of the tax loopholes for corporate America. You can tell he’s clearly enjoying this and stunts like this are part of the reason people watch him. Between the auction and this, I’m getting a whiff of Rich People’s Games but apparently the Anchorage Blockbuster store has already seen an interest in their new collection so huzzah to all, I guess.

Thanks to You me everybody on Twitter for directing me to the story.




Photo credit: Twitter and WENN Photos

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16 Responses to “John Oliver bought Russell Crowe’s auction items to save a Blockbuster”

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  1. Hoping says:

    I ADORE John Oliver and his staff. Such a smart and hilarious show and showman.

  2. i, pet goat 2 says:

    Look at that face in the last picture!!! OMG I can’t I love that face so much


  3. lightpurple says:

    This brought so much joy Sunday night. It was such a silly and sweet gesture.

  4. mia girl says:

    On Sunday I literally screamed out loud when Oliver revealed he had bought the jock strap. Amazing!

    And his joke of how attractive Steve Mnuchin is has become one of my favorite running gags.

    • Cannibell says:

      Same on Mnuchin. Oliver is the best – so smart, funny and winsome.

    • winosaursursrex says:

      I usually watch him on Monday nights and last night i squealed and shook my husband awake to gloat over this segment. I was laughing so hard that even my puppy woke up. I also ordered the bunny book and will be waiting at least another month till our copy ships.

  5. Cannibell says:

    When he made the crack about staying up late and shopping on line I thought of this amazing classic three-minute expression of genius that was Steve Goodman, who died way too young of leukemia. His most famous song is “City of New Orleans,” but this one is exactly what John Oliver described, and it’s perfect.

  6. indefatigable says:

    My old Blockbuster is a Salvation Army But the window frames are still blue. 😢

    • msd says:

      My old Blockbuster is a gym that I’ve never set foot in. Honestly, I miss physically wandering around browsing for movies. Sure, it wasn’t as convenient as Netflix but it was often so much fun. All those hilarious and/or ridiculous borderline arguments when trying to pick movies with friends and family…

    • Ann says:

      Mines a Panda Express.

  7. Ange says:

    I used to live in a pretty remote area internet-wise and they still had one or two DVD shops for the same reason. A lot of people couldn’t get decent internet or, unfortunately, a lot of people were impoverished and couldn’t afford it.

  8. Miss M says:

    Few years ago, I was visiting my family and found out the the store I rented so many movies had closed. I cried thinking about my childhood and the memories of choosing movies with my siblings. 😢