Where does 'I'm Still Here' rank among all-time pop-culture hoaxes?
Image Credit: Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection; David Mcgough/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images; PRN/PR PhotosWe now know that I’m Still Here — Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck’s “documentary” of Phoenix’s time as strung-out bearded man — is a hoax. Many were fooled, even EW critic Owen Gleiberman. Keeping in mind that there’s a difference between Andy Kaufman-esque performance art and the suspending of oneself from the rafters at an MTV award show to ass-plant Eminem and drum up publicity for your new movie, let’s run through a few more pop culture hoaxes, after the break. Which is the best?
Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds.” The director’s 1938 radio broadcast wasn’t intended to be a hoax, but it did manage to convince a nation it was under attack from outer space.
Marketing for The Blair Witch Project. A clever website for the film suggested that its subjects — Heather, Mike, and Josh — actually went missing in the Maryland woods. The Web was a shiny, new landscape in 1999 — how could anyone predict it would turn out to be a puddle of lies?
Andy Kaufman. His entire career was a series of stunts. Some people even assumed he’d staged his own death. I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. ANDY KAUFMAN IS ALIVE.
Bruno plunging crotch-first into Eminem’s scowling face at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, plus anything Sacha Baron Cohen does, period — if you’re an unaware civilian in the path of his electric green one-piece, that is.
Pauly Shore getting punched. A 2006 viral video (embedded below, NSFW language) showed the Son-in-Law star getting knocked out at a Texas comedy club. He later revealed it was planned; nobody cared. Aww. Pauly Shore.
Twitter. Well, Twitter’s uncanny ability to spread false rumors of celebrity deaths. We’re onto you, Twitter. ANDY KAUFMAN IS ONTO TWITTER.
Reality television in general. Some of us love it, some of us hate it, most of us do both. But we all know exactly what it is.
Lindsay Lohan’s 90-day jail sentence. Ha, ha! That was a good one!
Paul is Dead. He wasn’t. But Ringo did look like a mortician, and John Lennon was obviously Jesus.
Many are missing. Maybe they’re dead, too! Nominate your own favorite pop culture hoax in the comments. If you use a cryptic alias and/or have a beard, we’ll take you much more seriously!
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett
Hell to the No!