City to rename sewage plant after comedian if ‘specific condition’ met

City to rename sewage plant after comedian if ‘specific condition’ met
John Oliver on his Last Week Tonight With John Oliver programme on HBO (HBO via AP)

A city in Connecticut will not waste an opportunity to get a sizeable donation from comedian John Oliver arising from a weeks-long joke pertaining to the name of a sewage plant in the area.

Danbury mayor Mark Boughton said on WTNH-TV that he would accept Oliver’s challenge to name the city’s sewage plant after him following the comedian’s offer to donate 55,000 dollars (£41,000) to local charities.

But Mr Boughton said there was one stipulation to renaming the facility.

“We do have one very specific condition. You must come here to Danbury and be physically present when we cut the ribbon,” he said in a Facebook video.

Danbury mayor Mark Boughton in front of the Danbury Wastewater Treatment Plant (Office of Mayor Mark Boughton via AP)

The announcement was the latest volley in a war of words between the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Mr Boughton, after Oliver first bashed Danbury on August 16 during a segment on racial disparities in jury selection.

“If you’re going to forget a town in Connecticut, why not forget Danbury?” Oliver said.

He finished his rant with a taunt: “If you’re from there, you have a standing invite to come get a thrashing from John Oliver – children included.”

Mr Boughton followed up with an August 22 Facebook post that showed the mayor in front of the city’s sewage plant.

“We are going to rename it the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant,” the Republican mayor said.

“Why? Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.”

Oliver raised the stakes on his August 30 show by offering to donate 55,000 dollars to Danbury-area charities if officials followed through on naming the plant after him.

The comedian played a video of Mr Boughton saying the offer was a joke, and said: “Wait, so you’re not doing it?”

Now that you floated it as an option, it is all that I want

John Oliver

Oliver said he had not known that he wanted his name on the sewage plant “but now that you floated it as an option, it is all that I want”.

A message seeking comment on Mr Boughton’s demand that Oliver attend the ribbon-cutting was sent to the comedian’s manager.

It was unclear why Oliver first singled out Danbury, a city of about 80,000 in Fairfield County that was once a hatmaking centre.

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