TV

Paul Rudd Brought Back Late-Night’s Best Recurring Joke On ‘Conan,’ And Everyone Is Delighted

“You know my next guest from such films as Clueless and The Cider House Rules and of course for playing Phoebe’s soon-to-be husband Mike on Friends.” That’s how Paul Rudd was introduced on the February 6, 2004, episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Why is this episode, out of 2,700-plus talk show episodes, so special? Because it was the beginning of late-night’s greatest running joke: the Mac and Me prank.

Rudd started big, promising Conan’s audience a clip from the Friends finale. Nope.

Fifteen years later, Rudd is still showing that same damn clip, and fifteen years later, it’s still hilarious. He’s brought it for The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Our Idiot Brother, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and Role Models, and Ant-Man, all the way up to promoting his new Netflix show, Living with Yourself. The only difference between then (2004) and now (2019) is Rudd’s hairstyle has improved; also, there are two Macs and everyone expects Rudd to break out the clip. And yet, it still works due to his straight-faced composure and because it’s a scene where an ugly alien makes a goofy expression after a kid in a wheelchair goes flying off a cliff. Is that “cinema,” Marty?

As soon as the episode aired, viewers started sharing their delight.

Let Paul Rudd remake Mac and Me, you cowards. McDonald’s can fund it.

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