On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, viewers were treated to the heartwarming conclusion of John Oliver’s ridiculous feud with the town of Danbury, Conn. In August, the town’s mayor threatened to rename the city’s sewage plant after Oliver because of some disparaging comments he made.
While doing a story on the Connecticut cities of Hartford and New Britain forgetting to summon jurors, Oliver took an unprovoked shot at Danbury.
“If you’re gonna forget a town in Connecticut, why not forget Danbury?” Oliver asked. “Because, and this is true, f**k Danbury. From its charming Railway Museum to its historic Hearthstone Castle, Danbury, Conn., can eat my whole ass. 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 got a standing invite to come get a thrashing from John Oliver, children included. F**k you.”
The town’s mayor, Mark Boughton, responded by threatening to rename the sewage plant after him. In a video posted on his Facebook page, Boughton said, “Behind me you’ll see the city of Danbury sewer plant,” Boughton said in the video. “And we are going to rename it the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant. Why? Because it’s full of crap, just like you, John.”
Oliver leaned into the threat, using the effort as a means of raising money for charity. Working with local businesses, they were able to raise $45,000 for local food banks and sell T-shirts with proceeds going to ALS Connecticut.
On Thursday, the city council voted to go through with the threat and name the sewage plant after Oliver on one condition. Oliver was required to attend the dedication in person. Wearing a ridiculous protective suit, Oliver traveled to the town and delivered a speech at the ribbon cutting.
“There is a reason that this sewer plant means so much to me,” said Oliver. “And that is that it represents everything that 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 is 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?”
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