David Cross’ Birthday
My ex-girlfriend Bethann used to intern for Late Night with Conan O’ Brien, so she was on a number of mailing lists about happenings in the comedy world. Back when she was still my girlfriend, she got an email from friends of David Cross, looking for volunteers to play a prank on David for his 40th birthday. Bethann and I were both huge Mr. Show fans, so we leapt at the chance to be a part of anything involving our comedy idol.
On David’s birthday, we were to meet at a bar in the East Village. When we got there, the place had been decorated for a birthday party. Balloons, a banner, cake … you know, birthday stuff. Dancing dogs with pom-poms. There were maybe 50 people at the party. The prank part was that none of us knew David Cross, and he didn’t know any of us.
David arrived around 8:00. He ran up to into the bar and tripped on the top stair, which would have been embarrassing, had it been a room full of his friends. And was probably even worse when he looked around and realized it was a bar full of strangers.
The icing on the cake was that we were instructed to act as if we had been friends with David for years. So David hung out at the bar, nursing a beer uncomfortably, as one person after another came up to him, reminiscing about the good times they’d had together.
After about fifteen minutes, his friends called and filled him in on the joke. “We’re really at the bar next door,” they told him. “Come on over.” We all had a good laugh as he thanked us for coming out and made his way out of the room.
And then he went next door, where his friends had filled the room with another 50 strangers.