Why did John Oliver buy Russell Crowe’s "Cinderella Man" jockstrap?

Eric Liebowitz/HBO
Eric Liebowitz/HBO

(NEW YORK) — If you were wondering who actually shelled out $7,000 at a recent auction for the leather jockstrap Russell Crowe wore in Cinderella Man, wonder no more: It was none other than John Oliver.

The Last Week Tonight host revealed he – or rather, his HBO show — was the mystery jockstrap buyer. People had been speculating that Oliver and the show had bid on several of Crowe’s items at the actor’s Art of Divorce auction last week.

Oliver first tried to play coy about the jockstrap purchase, telling his audience last night, “The bad news is, we didn’t buy it…we did, though. We absolutely did.”

He then pulled out a display case with the jockstrap in it, and quoted Crowe’s famous line from Gladiator: “Are you not entertained?”

The show 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, and a satin robe and shorts also worn in Cinderella Man.

Why, you ask? Oliver plans to donate the memorabilia to one of the last surviving Blockbuster video rental stores in the country — located in Anchorage, Alaska — as a “fun, movie-themed way to draw people in.”

“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.

Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

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