John Oliver Bought Russell Crowe's Jockstrap for a Blockbuster in Alaska

Along with a bunch of other weird memorabilia from the actor's recent auction.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
April 16, 2018, 6:53pm
Screengrab via HBO/YouTube

Earlier this month, Russell Crowe followed through on a not at all unusual plan to auction off millions of dollars worth of weird shit he's collected over the years to celebrate finalizing his divorce. You couldn't help but wonder who would actually want to buy all the bizarre memorabilia he offered up to the public—from this plaster cast of Muhammad Ali's face to a life-size prop horse from Gladiator—but, apparently, the sale was a big success.

After the dust settled, questions abounded about the mystery buyer who picked up what was, hands-down, the oddest item on offer: a protective leather jockstrap Crowe wore in Cinderella Man. Now, finally, the purchaser has stepped out of the shadows, and revealed himself to be… John Oliver.

On Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, the host said he shelled out $7,000 of HBO's money for the gargantuan thong, which—as he admitted—is "a big price to pay just to find out what Russell Crowe's balls smelled like in 2005." He also announced that instead of, say, sporting it under his suit pants or framing it in his living room, he'd be donating the thing. The lucky recipient? One of the few remaining Blockbusters on Earth, located in Fairbanks, Alaska.

As if spending $7,000 on a jockstrap weren't enough, Oliver said he also snagged Crowe's leather hood from Robin Hood, his vest from Les Misérables, and Denzel Washington's seat back from the set of American Gangster, among a few other gems. Everything is that lonely Alaskan Blockbuster's for the taking, as long as the manager calls to claim the merch before Wednesday.

You might be surprised to hear such a store still exists, but even though Blockbuster mostly closed down its brick-and-mortar operation years ago, a handful of franchises survived. And in Alaska, perhaps thanks to the state's spotty WiFi and general desolation, the movie store has remained something of a standby.

For his part, the manager of that Blockbuster told the Anchorage Daily News he's down to take the haul from Crowe's auction. It'd be tough for him to part with a gift from John Oliver himself, but who knows—if he can find someone willing to pay big for a whiff of Crowe, maybe the store will make it through another winter.

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Related: Blockbuster Video Has Become an Alaskan Tourist Attraction