John Oliver eats giant Deising's cake bear, pledges $10K donation to Peoples' Place of Kingston, NY

News 12 reported on how Deising's co-owner Eric Deising left a note on the restaurant's door requesting to buy its flat grill and convection oven, only to later learn the team at Last Week Tonight already bought it.

Ben Nandy

Jun 17, 2024, 9:53 PM

Updated 27 days ago

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A week-long fake fight between HBO host John Oliver and a family-owned bakery in Kingston has come to a hilarious conclusion.
Oliver, host of 'Last Week Tonight,' ended his fake fight with the staff at Deising's Bakery and Restaurant by announcing a donation to a local food pantry and taking a bite from the backside of a giant cake bear bearing the host's likeness.
"We did it!" Oliver shouted as he closed out Sunday night's show with icing on his face and glasses.
The story quickly spun out of control since Oliver's June 2 segment on the failure and asset-stripping of Red Lobster and News 12's story that began a friendly fight between Oliver and Deising's.
On his June 2 show, Oliver announced he had won the entire contents of the recently shuttered Red Lobster in the Town of Ulster through an online auction: the chairs, the tables and even the lobster tanks.
"We did participate in one [of the auctions] for the contents of this Red Lobster in Kingston, New York, and we [expletive censored] won everything inside it!," Oliver said.
News 12 reported on how Deising's co-owner Eric Deising left a note on the restaurant's door requesting to buy its flat grill and convection oven, only to later learn the team at Last Week Tonight already bought it.
Oliver highlighted News 12's story in his June 9 episode, and issued a challenge to Deising's.
Though the Red Lobster contents had already been donated, Oliver said he would give Deising's a brand-new grill and oven as long as the bakery made and sold cake bears with Oliver's face on them.
"I don't like cake bears," he said in response to an online reviewer who shared a Deising's cake bear photo. "I [expletive deleted] love cake bears!"
Within hours, Deising's co-owner Peter Deising and a team of bakers and decorators had a batch of the John Oliver cake bears in their showcase.
The bakery received calls from around the world inquiring about whether the cake bears could be shipped (they can't), and visits from people who live hundreds of miles away, and interview requests from several media outlets.
"We feel great about it," Peter Deising said Monday. "Definitely tired, but it's all worth it in the end."
Deising's has sold about 2,500 John Oliver cake bears, Peter Deising said, and all proceeds will be given to Peoples' Place Food Pantry in midtown Kingston.
"We don't have a number yet," Eric Deising said, "but it's probably going to be in the $15,000 range."
"The community that we live in are the people who caused all this," Peoples Place executive director Christine Hein said, "because they rallied around it and everyone wanted a John Oliver cake bear."
On last night's show, Oliver pledged an additional donation of $10,000 to Peoples' Place, drawing applause from his in-studio audience.
He then dug into the special cake bear, about two feet tall with the requested large backside, made especially for Oliver by Deising's.
"I don't know how you could actually ever pay for the kind of advertising that we got out of this so it's been great," Eric Deising said of the experience.
"It's a true win-win for everybody," Peter Deising said. "A win for the community, win for Deising's, win for John Oliver."
The owners said Monday they plan to make about 800 more John Oliver cake bears, which may last through Tuesday.
Guess who else got to be a cake bear?
When News 12 Reporter Ben Nandy arrived at Deisings Monday morning to produce his fourth story on the cake bears saga, the staff surprised him with Ben Nandy cake bears.


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