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HBO Host John Oliver Offers $55,000 To Name CT Sewage Plant After Himself

Danbury Mayor Boughton (left) and HBO host Oliver both agree the city's sewage facility should be named for the comedian.
Danbury Mayor Boughton (left) and HBO host Oliver both agree the city's sewage facility should be named for the comedian. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Tayobrien (Boughton) and Neil Grabowsky (Oliver)

The back and forth between HBO show host John Oliver and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is getting expensive.

Oliver has pledged to give $55,000 to Danbury, Connecticut, charities if the mayor names the city’s sewage plant after him. Oliver is the host of ‘Last Week Tonight,’ a comedy news program with a late-night talk show vibe.

In a tweet on Monday, Aug. 31, Boughton responded to the offer Oliver made during his Sunday, Aug. 30 show.

“Yeah. We are on it,” the mayor tweeted. “Standby.”

So how did we get here - the mayor of a Connecticut city sparring with a national celebrity?

The bad blood between Oliver and Boughton goes back to at least 2017, but it all came back to the surface about two weeks ago. 

In a segment of his show in which Oliver called out unjust U.S. jury selection incidents and methods, he specifically noted Connecticut. Oliver said errors have led to thousands of Connecticut residents having been left out of jury selection. If anyone in Connecticut should be left out of jury selection, Oliver said, it should be the people of Danbury.

“From its charming railroad museum to its historic hearthstone castle, Danbury Connecticut can eat my whole” butt, Oliver said.

Boughton responded by defending his city and promising to name the sewage facility after Oliver - who seems to like the idea so much he’ll pay $55,000 to make it happen.

This is not Oliver’s first swipe at Danbury. In 2017, he mocked ads made by Danbury and other cities seeking to attract Amazon business.

Back then, the mayor replied on Twitter, in part: “I will not hesitate to throw hands.”

Danbury was named the second-best city to live in the U.S. by USA Today in 2015.

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