Speed Reads


Russell Crowe pranked John Oliver so beautifully that Oliver plausibly shut down Last Week Tonight in triumph

Last week, the Blockbuster video holdout in Anchorage, Alaska, set up Russell Crowe memorabilia donated by John Oliver, in a bid to save the lonely franchise. "And honestly, if that had been the end of this whole story, I'd have been happy just knowing that we tried to help that store by doing something breathtakingly stupid," Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, "but amazingly, this story actually gets better."

Crowe went on Twitter and promised he would repay Oliver's "wonderful random act of kindness" by using the money Oliver "spent on groin protectors and such" in Crowe's "divorce auction" to do "something special," given Oliver has "often shown genuine love for Australia and Australians." Oliver professed confusion at that last bit, since he's shown "at best morbid curiosity" about the land Down Under and its human inhabitants. But when Crowe tweeted out a "surprisingly well-produced video," Oliver said, he saw what he mean by "something special," given the "little twist at the end."

"Well-played, Russell Crowe, well-played indeed — that may honestly be the greatest thing I've ever seen," Oliver said. Crowe had done the one thing Oliver wanted for Last Week Tonight, he deadpanned, and so "what I'm essentially saying here is, we've accomplished everything we set out to do on this show. Which means, thanks very much everyone, but we are f---ing done here. That's right, let's shut it down, this show is over. ... That is our series, thank you so much for watching, goodbye forever everyone, I regret nothing!" And he dropped his clip-on mic and walked off the set.

Oliver's show, which is set to run until at least 2020, will be back next week.