It’s official, the ‘John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant’ is a proper thing and the comedian opened this glorious sewage plant with a fittingly shitty speech.
John Oliver has doesn’t like to half-arse it when it comes to going all out for the sake of a joke (like the time he bought Russell Crowe’s jockstrap), but he’s taken that level of commitment to new levels after spending the last few months trying to get a sewage plant in Danbury, Connecticut, named after him and finally succeeding.
For those who aren’t aware of what’s going on in this strange little story, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver spent the last few months mocking Danbury “for no reason” and got to the point where he coined the phrase “To Danbury something up,” which is his new shorthand for fucking something up.
Things escalated when Oliver said during one episode, “I know exactly three things about Danbury. USA Today ranked it the second-best city to live in in 2015, it was once the center of the American hat industry, and if you’re from there, you have a standing invite to come get a thrashing from John Oliver — children included — fuck you.”
Needless to say that Danbury Mayor, Mark Boughton, didn’t take to that very nicely and offered (half-jokingly and more than half seriously) to name the town’s sewage plant the “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant” after the comedian because “it’s full of crap, just like you, John.”
Rather than be surprised, Oliver was absolutely delighted at that prospect and egged Danbury on to follow through on its offer, even pledging $55,000 in charitable donations to the town.
After a contentious town meeting, the town ultimately agreed to rename its sewage plant but on one condition – Oliver must journey to the town to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
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Unsurprisingly, Oliver gleefully accepted that offer and rocked up to Danbury on October 10th wearing a ridiculous plastic bubble suit for the ceremony.
It was glorious.. Congratulations to Mr. John Oliver. #DanburyPride
But the unexpected pièce de résistance of this hilariously juvenile joke was Oliver’s speech at the ribbon-cutting event at his newly-christened sewage plant, which as appropriately shitty as the ceremony demanded:
“There is a reason this sewer plant means so much to me, and that’s that it represents everything we need the most right now.
“Because think about it: This place takes the worst that humanity can produce, and transforms it into something that we can live with.
“And now more than ever, there’s something inspirational in that. Because at the end of this awful, awful year, what could be more important than evidence that, if we want to, we can come together, overcome our differences, and sort our shit out.
“Mr. Mayor, I could not be more proud to have my name on your shit sorter. Thank you, Danbury! You didn’t Danbury this up! None of us Danbury’d this up!”
Who would’ve thought a speech that’s literally about shit could be so weirdly profound. Guess that’s 2020 in a nutshell.