Last week Jay Leno and The Tonight Show set the Internet on fire with a segment called “Pumpcast News,” featuring an incredibly charismatic couple singing karaoke at a California gas pump. As of this morning the video has over seven million views on YouTube, and it was so fun and infectious that even noted Leno bashers had to take a step back and admit that, yeah, the Tonight Show host had done something good.
Except for one thing: It was fake. FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE. Fakey fakefakefake.
From The Smoking Gun:
Will and Monifa are both trained actors who founded a theater company in Chicago before relocating to Hollywood. Monifa, whom Chicagoist once described as a “Chicago actress of some reknown,” previously won a nationwide dramatic auditions contest by the cable network TNT.
More importantly, the “Tonight Show” never bothered to mention that Monifa appeared in a “Pumpcast News” segment broadcast more than two years ago.
In the original segment, Sims is seen at the same Burbank gas station where she was filmed singing with her husband. In fact, Monifa conversed with Stack both times while parked at pump number 16, the area used for the “Pumpcast News” bits. On both occasions, Monifa was in the same Chrysler sedan (she drove during the first taping, while her husband was at the wheel during the recent shoot). Additionally, she is seen wearing identical workout pants in each segment.
Her first appearance is posted below. This looks pretty lame, I guess, but couldn’t the show’s producers just have, like, missed it? I mean, it would be a hell of a coincidence, and sloppy work on their part, but isn’t that a possibility?
Asked why Leno made no mention of their thespian history, Will acknowledged that the show’s producers didn’t want viewers “to think we were actors and it was a ‘plant.’” Referring to Leno’s staff, he added, “They were like, ‘You’re a bartender and she’s a fitness [trainer].’”
You are now free to continue hating Jay Leno.