John Oliver fans find there's life after koalas

Publish Date
Thursday, 10 May 2018, 7:25PM

Relax, John Oliver fans. He's not really quitting.

It was all a joke. The host of HBO's Last Week Tonight said on Monday he'd achieved all he'd wanted for the show by having an Australian animal hospital's special ward to treat a chlamydia outbreak among koalas named for him.

"Goodbye, forever, everyone," he said as stagehands broke up the set around him. "I regret nothing. I regret nothing. My work here is done."

That inspired a wave of social media posts among fans wondering if he was serious. No. It's a comedy show, after all. HBO said next day he was scheduled to be back on the air next week.

Oliver can thank actor Russell Crowe for the honour.

Last Week Tonight recently purchased some of Crowe's movie memorabilia — including an athletic supporter that subsequently was donated to a video store in Anchorage, Alaska, and is now on display.

Crowe promised he'd make good use of the money earned from Oliver's show and, hearing of the koalas' health problems, donated it to an effort headed by the family of the late Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter, to help the animals. The Irwins suggested a plaque.

"Well played, Russell Crowe," Oliver said. "Well played, indeed."