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Celebrity Slam - Danbury dumps on Oliver

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Anyone who pays the least bit of attention to this space is aware of our proclivities here at Celebrity Slam. We like taking shots at famous people doing dumb things (the silly kind of dumb, not the hateful or hurtful kind of dumb). We also like creating portmanteaux for celebrity couples. None of this is a secret.

However, sometimes an item crosses our desk that doesn’t quite fit our usual patterns, yet still draws us in. And once in a great while, we get something that is illustrative of the Celebrity Slam ethos out there in the real world. Something where a regular person fully embodies the spirit of the Slam. And when we get one of those, well … you better believe we’re going in.

As you’ve probably guessed by now – we got one. And it is a doozy.

Comedian John Oliver probably didn’t truly understand the dangerous game he was playing on a recent episode of his HBO show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” when he took the Connecticut city of Danbury to task. The segment in question involved disparities in jury selection, but it was Oliver’s reaction to the inclusion of Danbury that led to his comeuppance.

In the segment, Oliver noted Danbury’s “charming railway museum” and its “historic Hearthstone Castle” before going off on the following mini-rant:

“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 have a standing invite to come get a thrashing from John Oliver — children included — (expletive) you.”

It should be noted that no one seems to know what prompted Oliver to come out swinging against Danbury, but one thing is for certain – he did not know who he was messing with.

Mayor Mark Boughton came up with an exquisite rebuttal to Oliver, announcing that they would be changing the name of the local sewage treatment plant to “honor” the comedian.

Boughton announced the change with a video posted on his Facebook page showing him at the plant.

“We are going to rename it the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant,” said the mayor. “Why? Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.”


It’s not often that regular folks – elected officials or otherwise – outdo us at our own game, but no matter how you slice it, this is just a monumental own. A Slam of a Celebrity far greater than mere words, a semi-permanent monument to a town’s hilarious vengeance against a comedian.

It’s just SO GOOD. Like, if we had a sewage treatment plant, we’d name it after people who wronged us all the time. Every other week would see a new plaque memorializing some jerk who cut us off in traffic or failed to properly pick up after their dog. We tip our hats to Mayor Boughton, because that is some next-level shade and we are here for it.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t Oliver’s first swing at Danbury. Back in 2017 when everyone was falling all over themselves to land Amazon’s second headquarters, Oliver did a segment making fun of some of the videos cities were using to gain attention. Included was Danbury’s, wherein Boughton asks Alexa where the best place for the facility would be, and Alexa says Danbury. Turns out that while HQ2 landed elsewhere, Amazon did open a distribution facility in Danbury.

“And, oh by the way, thanks for showing that Amazon video,” Boughton says to Oliver at the end of the video. “We did get Amazon here in Danbury.”

Now, obviously this is all in good fun. No doubt we can look forward to both sides getting some mileage out of this tongue-in-cheek “feud.” But – and we cannot stress this enough – the town named their sewage plant after him. There is literally nothing we can do with words that comes anywhere close to that level of Slammitude. It is a level of snark and pettiness to which we can only hope to aspire.

Of course, when Oliver inevitably comes back at them, things are going to get tricky. You already named the sewage plant after him, Danbury – that’s a pretty high bar. Let’s see what you’ve got, Mayor Boughton. We believe in you.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 05:02


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