Bakery Accepts John Oliver's Cake Challenge

After owner missed out on Red Lobster equipment sale, host made an offer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2024 5:30 PM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2024 6:00 AM CDT

John Oliver is now a cake bear and a bakery in upstate New York that complained about his show Last Week Tonight snapping up equipment from a defunct Red Lobster is set to get some new ovens after all.

  • On his show Sunday, Oliver joked about how Deising's Bakery and Restaurant owner Eric Deising had asked the restaurant for a 36-inch flat grill/oven and a commercial kitchen convection oven. "OK, first, with all due respect, if you wanted equipment from that Red Lobster, leaving a note on the door is a weird way to get it," Oliver said, per the Hollywood Reporter. "The restaurant just closed down. It's like going to a cemetery and leaving a note on a tombstone that says, 'Hey, can I have your socks?'"

  • Oliver said he had planned to ignore Diesing's complaint until he saw positive reviews of the Kingston bakery, including some that mentioned its bear-shaped cakes, USA Today reports. He said the show had already donated the Red Lobster equipment—but he would provide replacements if there was a "baked good with my face on it on sale in your bakery, specifically a cake bear with my face on it."
  • "As long as it fits the general description of 'John Oliver Cake Bear,' I'll be more than happy," he said. "So that is my offer. And because I know that the normal way of asking for things isn't really your style, I've written this offer on a piece of paper like this that is currently taped to the door of your bakery."
  • "Please do say yes because we've already bought the equipment. It is right here waiting to be delivered to you," Oliver said, revealing the equipment, with red bows tied around it. "The bear is in your court, Deising's Bakery," he said. "Make me a cake bear. I want to be a cake bear."
  • The bakery accepted the challenge, creating an Oliver cake, along with Oliver cupcakes that sold out on Monday, the Daily Freeman reports. "I was so pleasantly surprised to come in this morning with this lovely note on the door," said Peter Deising, the owner's son. In a Facebook post, the bakery said mini Oliver cake bears will be sold all week, with the proceeds going to a local food pantry.
(More John Oliver stories.)

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