Why John Oliver Paid $7,000 for Russell Crowes Leather Cinderella Man Jockstrap
Is there any sentence more believable than “John Oliver spent a bunch of HBOs money on Russell Crowe memorabilia for no real reason”?
O.K., so there was a reason. When the Last Week Tonight host found out about the actors “Art of Divorce” auction—an irreverent but very real memorabilia sale—he was naturally thrilled. Oliver ended up using a heap of HBOs cash to obtain some seriously useless items from old Russell Crowe movies—most notably, Crowes leather jockstrap from Cinderella Man. But not to worry; Oliver has plans to use these valuable artifacts for a good cause. The price tag, however, was pretty hefty; the jockstrap alone cost $7,000.
“$7,000!” a clearly proud Oliver said Sunday night. “That is a big price to pay just to find out what Russell Crowes balls smelled like in 2005.”
All of the Crowe gear—which also included his directors chair from American Gangster, his vest from Les Miserables, and his satin robe and gym shorts from Cinderella Man—will be donated to one of the last remaining Blockbuster video stores in Alaska, which certainly could use help in attracting patrons. As Oliver put it: “Are you not entertained?!”
This move is classic Oliver; the comedian is notorious for using his networks deep pockets to fund extremely silly stuff, like a collection of wax presidents or a Supreme Court set populated by dogs. In this case, the spending was cleverly juxtaposed against a deep dive into the corporate tax loopholes that allow some large companies to pay close to nothing to Uncle Sam even as average Americans are forced to scrape together their hard-earned cash each April. What better way to cap off a piece on corporate extravagance than to spend an obscene heap of money on an actors old underwear?
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.