ANCHORAGE, Alaska — John Oliver of HBO's "Last Week Tonight" wants to offer Blockbuster Video some support. The TV personality is trying to give one of the chain's last locations in the world a little help drawing customers away from streaming movies online.
Oliver has offered to send the store the jockstrap that Russell Crowe wore in "Cinderella Man" and other movie props and memorabilia obtained by the show at a celebrity auction.
Oliver's show Sunday night featured a segment on the closure of multiple Blockbusters in Alaska, which was reported by the Anchorage television station KTUU. Afterward, he offered the jockstrap to the owner of the Debarr Road Blockbuster location — free of charge.
"You know, buy Russell Crowe's jockstrap and send it to one of the last remaining Blockbusters in Alaska. Even that sentence is absolutely incredible to say out loud," Oliver said during the show.
Blockbuster announced last month that its North Pole store would close in April, narrowing the number of open stores in the state to four. Blockbuster's website lists three open locations outside of Alaska. Two are in Oregon and one is in Texas.
Kevin Daymude, general manager of Blockbuster's Alaska stores, said he has reached out to the show to claim the memorabilia.
"We're definitely interested. Come on, Russell Crowe memorabilia?" Daymude said.
He said he plans to display the star's jockstrap next to a figurine of Yoda, the beloved "Stars Wars" character.
"I'm glad that we're important to them to put a little spurt about Blockbuster Alaska," Daymude said. "I'd love to do something special for him, too."
Crowe sold the jockstrap and other items during the auction he called "The Art of Divorce."
"Last Week Tonight" also bought a robe and shorts from the same film, the set chairs of Crowe and Denzel Washington from their time on "American Gangster," the vest Crowe wore in the film "Les Miserables" and a hood Crowe wore in "Robin Hood."
The jockstrap was reportedly purchased for $7,000.
Last year, Daymude talked to "CBS Sunday Morning" about managing one of the last Blockbuster Video stores in the country and said, "I can't tell you how many business cards I've given out to people 'cause they literally do not believe that I'm from Blockbuster." He said that he has been rewinding videos for decades.
In Alaska, internet access is expensive, so Blockbuster makes more sense than it does elsewhere. When you're getting charged by the gigabyte, the video store can actually offer a better deal.