John Oliver announced he was shuttering his HBO late-night show after Russell Crowe thanked him for spending so much money on his divorce auction by giving the money to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for creation of the John Oliver Koala Chlamydia Ward.
Oliver previously mopped up some of the top items Crowe had put up for auction, including his Cinderella Man jock strap, and donated them to the last remaining Blockbuster in Anchorage, Alaska, in hopes it would boost business. But Oliver also wound up with the winning bids on Crowe’s director chair from American Gangster, the vest he wore in Les Miserables, and a hood he wore in Robin Hood. “It was 4 AM, and you know what happens when you start online shopping late at night,” Oliver explained of the binge bidding, on an episode of Last Week Tonight that aired back in April.
In response, Crowe tweeted, “I think this is such a wonderful random act of kindness that I am planning now on how to best use the @iamjohnoliver money he spent on groin protectors and such. Given his often shown genuine love for Australians and Australia, it’s got to be something special.”
“Absolutely incredible,” Oliver called that response, saying that, best he can remember, he has never shown genuine love for Australians, or Australia. “At most, I’ve shown morbid curiosity for it, the way a nine year old pokes a dead frog with a stick,” he described.
But this week, Crowe issued a video featuring the family of Steve Irwin, at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, explaining “Koalas right now are suffering a disease called chlamydia” that can lead to blindness, infertility, and death. The Irwin family thanked Crowe for his generous donation of Oliver’s money to the effort to trial a new vaccine, and also sent a “big thank you to John Oliver for buying some of Russell’s incredible things in his auction,” announcing that they have named the facility where the animals are being treated The John Oliver Koala Chlamydia Ward:
“I have so many questions. First one really has to be: How did all those koalas get chlamydia?” Oliver confessed.
Back when his HBO show started, Oliver said, he wrote down his one and only goal for it and put it in an envelope, which he showed them, and then opened.
“It was a simple goal, it was just three words long. That goal: Koala Chlamydia Ward,” he said, producing the document.
“So what I’m essentially saying here is, we have accomplished everything we set out to do on this show. Which means, thanks very much everyone, but we are fucking done here. That’s right, Let’s shut it down,” he said, as a crew began to bust down the set.
“And please, don’t think of this as a sad occasion,” Oliver asked viewers, said as he packed up props from episodes past.
“Because I leave you in total triumph… And I do hope you enjoyed Last Week Tonight over the years. I know that we made it rather difficult to do that. We did learn some things along the way, didn’t we? And we had exactly four laughs together.”
“So that’s something,” he argued. “The point is, pack it up, guys, we’re going home.”
To any viewers who might want to ask the obvious question: “Wasn’t making four and a half seasons of aggressively researched comedy a fairly inefficiently way of getting get a Koala Chlamydia Ward named after you?” Oliver said he would like to respond: “Well, I mean, it worked. So, fuck you, I guess?”
Standing to exit the stripped set, Oliver told his studio audience, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with some very contagious koalas. That is our series. Thank you so much for watching. Goodbye forever, everyone. I regret nothing. My work here is done.”
On Twitter, some fans began to panic.