A FOND FAREWELL TO MAC AND ME, AND CONAN
By Kirsten Howard
We look back at the long history of Paul Rudd’s Mac and Me pranks on Conan O’Brien.
When Ant-Man star Paul Rudd commits to a joke, he really commits to it!
In fact, Rudd has been playing the same “bait and switch” prank on late night host Conan O’Brien for 17 years.
This all started when Rudd became disillusioned with the rigmarole of his many talk show appearances, where he would appear to promote his latest acting project.
"There’s something so tricky about ‘Oh, here I am. I’m going to sell my wares on TV. Like oh, here’s something from what I just filmed,’” Rudd explained.
“It just seemed - and still does, to a large extent - kind of insincere."
So in 2004, Rudd decided to insert a clip from the notorious 80s family sci-fi flick Mac and Me on Conan’s show instead
Mac and Me is generally regarded as one of the worst films of all time.
Rudd chose a clip of the main character losing control of his wheelchair and falling off a cliff into a lake.
It became a running gag, with Conan falling for the trick every time Rudd popped in to chat with him.
“Everytime, for years, I was convinced that I would see the real clip,” Conan admitted. “Because you are genuinely a nice person.”
“You would say, ‘this movie is really important to me’ and ‘I put my own money into this, and I really care about this,’ and then you’d pull that shit everytime.”
Rudd wasn’t always dead set on showing a clip from Mac and Me. Originally, he was debating whether to choose a clip from the 1999 family movie Baby Geniuses.
Sadly, the Clueless actor performed his final Mac and Me bait and switch this year as Conan finally wrapped for good after 11 seasons on TBS.
Rudd breathed new life into the forgotten 80s turkey over the years, and Mac and Me will likely forever be associated with his meta Conan joke.