Actor Paul Rudd is one of the nicest and most inoffensive stars in the movie industry, which is probably why he keeps getting away with this naughty prank which he’s been pulling off for 15 years.
Pranks are funny – when they don’t harm or endanger another person or creature – however, you have to feel for TV talk show host and former writer of The Simpson’s, Conan O’Brien, who’s had to put up with 15 years of Rudd’s shenanigans each time he’s invited him onto his hallowed couch.
Every year, Rudd is invited on The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien and tricks the poor host into thinking he’s going to play a clip from one of his latest films.
What ends up happening instead is they play a clip from an awful E.T. rip-off called Mac And Me:
Despite being a low-budget, under-the-radar film, which has been panned by critics and film buffs alike, it’s gained notoriety ever since Rudd pulled the good old bait-and-switch maneuver on Conan.
Every time he sets up the interview to show a preview from one of his latest movies, a clip of Mac And Me character Eric rolling off a cliff and falling into the water is shown instead.
While Rudd and the audience genuinely find it funny, every single time, I’m pretty sure it’s having a psychological toll on poor old Conan.
Rudd made the first prank back in 1993 when Conan was still hosting Late Night with… and he probably found it funny the first time, maybe even the first five times?
Since then, you can see a little piece of Conan just crumbling away each time he’s tricked:
At this point, it looks like Conan has given up, resigning to a lifetime of trolling from Hollywood’s least hated actor.
It seems even the all-powerful Disney and Marvel Studios have gotten in on the act of making his life a misery each time Rudd appears on the show.
Back in July 2015, when Rudd was promoting the very under-appreciated Ant-Man he showed half a clip from the film and replaced the rest with – surprise, surprise – the wheelchair kid rolling off into a ravine.
He revealed to his Marvel co-star – Captain America himself – Chris Evans, the gag started when he tricked Conan and the audience by saying he had a special clip from the last episode of Friends, where he’d become a recurring character for the last two seasons.
Instead of playing ‘said clip’ it was the infamous Mac and Me reel and he’s been running with the joke ever since.
Never change Paul, never ever change.