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Paul Rudd Has Pulled the ‘Mac and Me’ Bit On Conan O’Brien Yet Again

This time on a podcast

Paul Rudd as Bobby Newport in Parks and Recreation

Conan O’Brien has been subjected to Paul Rudd’s nonsense for quite a long while—at least two decades of it. Every time Rudd came on to Conan, the host would ask if Rudd was going to make the same joke again and each time, Rudd tricked him into believing that this time would be different.

I’m talking, specifically, about Paul Rudd’s need to bring a clip from the bizarre cult classic 1988 sci fi movie Mac and Me with him any time he would go on O’Brien’s old talk show to talk about his work. It got to a point when Conan would beg Rudd to not show the same clip and Rudd would claim it was different and yet again, it was the same clip over and over again.

The bit seemingly died with Conan’s talk show and we figured we’d never see Rudd trick Conan again. But somehow, he did the impossible. He managed to trick Conan O’Brien with a clip of Mac and Me on a podcast. To O’Brien’s credit, he keeps saying that Rudd “can’t do that on a podcast” because the clip only really has one line in it and yet still, Rudd tricked him.

What’s fascinating to me, a longtime fan of this incredibly silly bit, is that Rudd always has the most elaborate of set-ups for it only to just trick Conan O’Brien each and every time. This time, he went on a long journey about an Audible series he was working on with Adam Scott and Ken Marino, all of which was fake, just to trick him into believing that he actually had something to plug.

This trick has worked time and time again and it’s nice to know that it isn’t going to just stop now that the Conan show is over. I have a feeling Rudd will always find a way to bring this joke back.

Rudd’s actual work

The thing about this “bit” is that it means Rudd’s not actually showing a clip of what he’s promoting. Instead, he’s just making a joke and getting talked about online that way instead of giving fans a glimpse into whatever movie he’s there to talk about.

This is something that has, apparently, been somewhat of an issue in the past. Director Judd Apatow tweeted that he asked Rudd to not do the Mac and Me bit when promoting This Is 40 because they needed to show a clip and get audiences excited and even though Rudd said okay, he still did it anyway.

Is it a perfect joke? No, because we all know it’s coming. If Rudd is on a show with Conan O’Brien, the Mac and Me clip is going to play. And yet every time it happens, it’s still hilarious just because Rudd remains committed to this bit even though everyone (at this point) is in on it. It’s likely he will never stop.

This time was special because it’s clear O’Brien wasn’t expecting Rudd to attempt to pull it off on a podcast, since it is a very visual clip, but it’s nice to know that Rudd can always come through with Mac and Me.

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.