In an effort to expose the financial loopholes and “seed-based” faith preyed upon by televangelists, Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver founded his own church called “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” to test the law’s resiliency. After three weeks and tens of thousands of dollars raised from Oliver’s fervent following, the host and his “wife” Wanda Jo (played by Rachel Dratch) announced they were shuttering their church, but it wasn’t because the government stepped in. Instead, when Oliver asked his congregation to send in their seeds, some viewers took the message way too literally.
“The reason we are shutting this church down is we received a different kind of seed. We received – and this is all too true – not one, not two, not three, but four packages containing jars and/or vials of semen,” Oliver told his followers. “Some looked fake, but others did not.” Dratch added, “We live our lives by one hard and fast rule: When someone sends you jizz through the mail, it’s time to stop doing whatever you’re doing.”
Despite the closure of Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, the church did do some good in its short life: In addition to shining a harsh light on televangelism, Oliver’s fake house of worship raised thousands of dollars which the host then donated to Doctors Without Borders. Oliver also received actual planting seeds, 12 bobbleheads of Minnesota Timberwolves bust Jonny Flynn and a shirt stamped with “John Oliver Is a Rat Faced Bastard,” but it was the “Penis Grigio” that pushed him over the edge.
“Setting up churches is all fun and games until someone gets sperm in an envelope,” Oliver said as the moving company swarmed the set to take away all of his seeds. “Don’t send us anything anymore. If you want to send money to a fake church, send it to Scientology.”