Jean Bentley

In honor of Friday night’s premiere of Crusoe, NBC has erected a “treehouse” (sans tree, plus live human prop and popcorn swag) on the corner of 51st Street and Broadway in New York City. I wondered what “Crusoe” was up to in his makeshift digs, so we decided to observe streaming footage of the PR stunt via’s live cam.

10:52 a.m.: He’s using a knife to carve what appears to be a coconut.
10:54 a.m.: He’s napping.
10:58 a.m.: Still napping.
10:59 a.m.: Talking to someone.
10:59 and 30 seconds: Back to napping.
11:02 a.m.: Sitting up now. Appears to be twiddling his thumbs.
11:03 a.m.: He’s gone!Time to take action: I make the one-block trek from PopWatch HQ to Crusoe’s treehouse. Will report back shortly.

11:07 a.m.: Arrive at treehouse to find Crusoe nowhere in sight. A friendly helper, Kisa, hands me a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and says Crusoe is “in the outhouse.”A cursory inspection of his 51st St. digs gives suspicion that Mr. Crusoe is not, in fact, in the outhouse, but perhaps using the restroom of a neighboring McDonald’s.

11:11 a.m.: Finally, he returns. We ask him a few questions.

How did you get here?
The last thing I remember is that I was on a ship. Then I ended up here, and all these people are dressed really funny.

How did you scavenge the materials for your treehouse?
I went into Central Park, got some materials, got this mosquitonetting, tied this rope. I made my own broom, as you can see. Then Iwired up these two big TV screens. I am very resourceful. I don’t knowif you’ve ever seen MacGyver? I’m kind of like that.

There are women next to your house passing out Orville Redenbacher popcorn. Why?
I used to know his great-great-great-great-grandfather. We usedto call him Red Redenbacher. You know, because his hair was red. Ifigured I’d support the family.

Crusoe (aka Joe Ulam, who does not play the title role on NBC’s show, only for the promotional gig) will remain in his treehouse until Friday night’s premiere of Crusoe,at 8 p.m. on NBC. Series stars are scheduled to appear on Thursday. Areany of you planning to watch the show? Or visit Crusoe at his“treehouse” on Broadway?