You know exactly how it works with talk shows: stars will come on to have a nice chat with the host, before eventually gearing the conversation into a mention about whatever movie or TV series they've got coming up next. You'll then get a clip of what they're talking about. Simple.
Not for Paul Rudd, who uses interview opportunities as a chance to play a very particular prank.
Credit: The Conan O'Brien Show / Conan/ TBS
For the past 15 years or so, the actor has been pranking Conan O'Brien on his talk show (first Late Night with Conan O'Brien right through to Conan). Each time he promises Conan a new clip from whatever new film he's out promoting, but instead of showing footage from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Ant-Man, Anchorman, I Love You Man, Role Models or whatever, there's a clip from absolutely terrible 1988 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial rip-off Mac and Me.
Mac and Me is a sci-fi film about a 'Mysterious Alien Creature' (MAC) that's befriended by a boy in a wheelchair. The two then try and hunt down Mac's family, as he's been separated from them. Oh, it was sponsored by McDonald's, too, meaning it's like an hour-and-a-half-long Maccy's advert.
However, there's one key scene that Rudd seems to be a particular fan of, when the boy accidentally slides down a hill and into a lake - still in his wheelchair - and is rescued by Mac. That's the one that keeps cropping up for Conan. Each time, a few seconds or so of the actual movie that Rudd's supposed to be promoting will play, before the VT cuts to that bizarre scene from Mac and Me.
In an interview with Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo, Rudd explained his longstanding fascination with Mac and Me. He said he thinks it may have started around the time of 40-Year-Old Virgin.
When I did a Conan O'Brien [show] about 15 or 16 years ago
"I set up a clip - you know, they cut to a clip - so I set up the clip, and then I just showed the clip from Mac and Me with the kid going off the cliff in the wheelchair," Rudd said.
"And then I went back again to promote something else - like the last episode of Friends - and I said I actually have some footage from the show, and they set it up very seriously, and then just showed that Mac and Me clip."
He said that studio bosses then caught wind of what he was going and weren't too happy, so he then had to start each clip with some actual footage just to throw them off the scent.
It's the same clip every time, that's now become what he calls his 'running joke' with Conan.
Featured Image Credit: Conan