John Oliver shut down his evangelical church—but not for any reason you should expect

The one seed he didn't want to sow.


Michelle Jaworski


Published Sep 14, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 11:53 pm CDT

After just a few short weeks, John Oliver’s evangelical church is no more after receiving seed of a different nature from some of his patrons.

He broke the news on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, explaining—with Rachel Dratch as his wife Wanda June by his side—that the time had come for him to shut down Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption. But it wasn’t due to any involvement from the government for breaking any laws or trolls sending him real seeds, a shirt calling him a rat-faced bastard, or a giant wooden penis Oliver had actually become rather attached to. A few people sent him jars and vials of semen, and while some of them appeared to appear fake, others … didn’t. And he didn’t want your “penis grigio.”

“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,” Dratch said.

The website for Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption has now been replaced with a farewell note from its founder.

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption started nearly a month ago as part of a 20-minute segment exposing just how big of a scam televangelists are. They ask people to donate to the church to plant the seeds of their own wealth they will one day harvest, but it mostly results in televangelists becoming rich. They’re hardly ever investigated and even considered tax-exempt by the IRS. Oliver setting up his own church as a way to test the IRS and encouraged people to send him their “seed”—in the form of money.

Not only did it result in growing pressure for the IRS to investigate these churches, Oliver and his staff received plenty of gifts, including thousands of dollars, beef jerky, fake checks, and actual seeds.

True to Oliver’s word, now that the church has been shut down, the thousands of dollars he raised as part of his fake church have been donated to charity.

“All previous monetary donations have been forwarded to Doctors Without Borders,” the site reads. “We did not send the sperm.”

That’s probably for the best.

Screengrab via LastWeekTonight/YouTube

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*First Published: Sep 14, 2015, 12:11 pm CDT