After living in New York for a while and noticing how some people — specifically tourists — would freak out over anyone being trailed by people with cameras, sometimes even when they no idea who the person being trailed by cameras was, I had an idea to hire paparazzi to follow me around taking pictures of me, just a gag. Of course, I never followed through on it. This guy — coincidentally also named Brett — did, and the results are hilarious, fascinating and cringe-worthy.
On the night of July 27th, 2012, a huge prank was pulled in New York City and this is the video of what took place. Brett Cohen came up with a crazy idea to fool thousands of pedestrians walking the streets of Times Square into thinking he was a huge celebrity, and it worked! Not only did it work, it caused quite a sir. This social experiment, of sorts, makes a profound statement about how modern culture is so attracted to pop culture, without any real credibility needed.
He dressed up like a typical celebrity and was accompanied by an entourage of two professional bodyguards, two assistants, and photographers pretending to be paparazzi. While the assistants and photographers waited for Brett to exit the 49th street marquee at NBC Studios, they started a buzz that a “big star” was about to walk out, thus making it worth their while to wait and get a picture. Many asked the crew whom Brett was, and no answer was given. They were forced to either make something up, or just take a picture with him in hopes that their Facebook friends or Twitter followers might have a better idea.
As the crew walked over to Times Square, the crowds around Brett grew on each consecutive block. Very few people even questioned who he was, where he was from, or what he does. Brett took pictures with nearly 300 people before the stunt ended. The video even includes interviews with people who had just taken a picture with Brett, and puts them in an awkward position when they’re asked questions such as, “Where do you know Brett from?” and “What’s your favorite movie he was in?” Many of them were overwhelmingly excited over Brett’s walk through Times Square, and it showed.