On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, the host concluded a lengthy exposé on the sketchy debt-buying industry by announcing the creation of his own such company. “Debt buying is a grimy business, and it badly needs more oversight,” he declared. “As it stands, any idiot can get into it. And I can prove that to you, because I’m an idiot. And we started a debt-buying company. And it was disturbingly easy.”
Oliver went on to reveal that back in April he “spent $50” to start a debt-acquisution company, called Central Asset Recover Professionals, short for, “C.A.R.P., after the bottom-feeding fish.”
Soon after, he was offered nearly $15 million in medical debt for less than $60K. But instead of setting out to collect the debt, he decided to forgive it, partly because “it was the right thing to do” and partly to claim bragging rights to “the largest onetime giveaway in television history.” The previous record holder, per Oliver? Winfrey, who back in 2004 gifted each member of her entire studio audience with a free car, to the tune of $8 million.
Oliver ended the show but playfully shouting, “F–k you, Oprah!”
Oliver foreshadowed the stunt on Twitter Sunday night, alerting fans that this week’s episode would run “five minutes longer,” adding, “and it’s worth watching to the end to see why… ”
Tonight at 11 @LastWeekTonight is back! The show will be five minutes longer, and it’s worth watching to the end to see why…
— John Oliver (@iamjohnoliver) June 6, 2016