Paul Rudd cannot be stopped from pulling the same long-running prank on Conan O’Brien, even when it’s a visual joke and he’s on a podcast. Since 2004, whenever Paul Rudd appeared on O’Brien’s long-running late night talk show to promote a movie, instead of playing a clip from the new release, he would play a clip of seminal childhood classic Mac and Me. Even if Judd Apatow begged him not to.
In case you need reminding, Mac and Me was an 1988 attempt to replicate the success of ET, in which an alien (who was pure unadulterated nightmare fuel) befriends a boy who uses a wheelchair. Rudd clearly loves the film, and one clip from it in particular, in which Michael careers down a cliff face in his wheelchair, while a shocked Mac looks on.
After Rudd recently successfully pulled off the bit once more, 18 years after first deploying the joke, Apatow tweeted; “I begged Paul to not do this when he was promoting This Is 40 because we needed the real clip shown and the push. He said ok. Then he did it anyway. I respect that now. Lifelong commitment to bizarre jokes is rare and should be admired by all citizens.”
Appearing on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, Rudd gave him the hard sell about his own upcoming scripted podcast and then still proceeded to show that same damn clip from Mac and Me. O’Brien fell for it hook, line and sinker because he didn’t think Rudd would do a visual joke on a podcast.
— Team Coco (@TeamCoco) March 29, 2022
Rudd will soon be promoting Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania, and who knows what pranks he’ll have up his sleeve for that particular press tour.
If you’re a fan of Paul Rudd and Judd Apatow’s antics, check out our guide to the best comedy movies.