Conan O’Brien Falls for Paul Rudd ‘Mac & Me’ Prank Again on Podcast

Paul Rudd and Conan O’Brien have a long history. Every time Rudd would go on O’Brien’s talk show to promote a movie, he would bring a clip. Only the clip wouldn’t be from his new movie. It would be a scene from the 1988 film Mac & Me, the same scene every time. Eric (Jade Calegory) loses control of his wheelchair and rolls off a cliff while the alien, Mac, watches. 

Conan O'Brien interviews Paul Rudd on the set of 'Late Night'
L-R: Paul Rudd, Conan O’Brien | Meghan Sinclair/NBCU Photo Bank

O’Brien must have thought he was done with Rudd’s Mac & Me prank when he ended his television show. But, Rudd was a guest on O’Brien’s podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, on March 27 and pulled it off again. 

Paul Rudd laid the trap for Conan O’Brien 

Rudd really sold it this time. He pretended he’d written an Audible audio drama, and created a whole fake setup.

“It’s about this guy named Ken Kroft who has hung his own shingle as being a kind of publicist, a low rent publicist,” Rudd said. “He’s kind of really at the end of his rope. Things have just not gone well in his life. He stumbles into this craft store. This sounds strange but there’s a woman who’s working there from New Orleans who’s been displaced ever since Katrina. She’s through and through New Orleans and a very positive person. He’s smitten with her immediately because she’s wearing a T-shirt that says ‘Beignet Done That.’”

Rudd even invented a cast and said he brought a clip.

“It’s with Celia Weston,” Rudd said. “We did a play years ago called Last Night at Ballyhoo. She is playing Gladys who is the woman who’s working in this store. I’m playing Ken even though it’s not Ken Marino who’s in the show. He plays Carl.”

Conan O’Brien reacts to the ‘Mac & Me’ clip

As soon as the clip began, O’Brien realized he’d fallen for it. 

“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” O’Brien said. “There he goes, wheelchair. You can’t do that on a podcast. That’s why I didn’t see it coming. It’s a visual joke. I swear to God, how could I? It’s an audio medium.”

Rudd said he even questioned his own joke?

“I know, would it work that way?” Rudd asked. “I don’t know.”

O’Brien asked Rudd if he even had an Audible series. 

“No, none of that was true,” Rudd said. “The joke continues.”

Paul Rudd proves ‘Mac & Me’ still works on a podcast 

O’Brien admitted it was the nature of the podcast that gave him a false sense of security. 

“You had me completely fooled, honestly, because you can’t do that on a podcast,” O’Brien said. “I think all she even says is ‘Eric.’ Oh, trust me, I know the clip pretty well, having watched it 160,000 times while an audience roared its approval and I grew increasingly angry.”

O’Brien then explained how his podcast crew were in on it. 

“Jesus, I looked at my producer Adam and he nodded like no, we have it,” O’Brien said. “I thought well, that’s weird. They didn’t tell me. And then I see the beginning of the Mac & Me clip.”

Online, Team Coco presented the video of the Mac & Me clip. Rudd noticed O’Brien had a computer that displayed it but that wasn’t even part of the plan. 

“How could it work at all if I couldn’t even see it?” O’Brien asked. “Oh, I’d hear ‘Eric’ and I’d know. And I’d hear that damn music and the sound of that wheelchair going over the cliff. You’re a terrible person.”

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