Is Donald Glover Complicit in the Completely Lame Hoax at Mark Normand’s Stand-Up Show?
The viral crowd-clearing incident from Mark Normand’s show at New York Comedy Club on Wednesday is a confirmed hoax, and while the perpetrators of the publicity stunt haven’t revealed their true identities, we’re willing to bet they picked their aliases from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator.
Videos from Normand’s cut-short set at the Manhattan theater spread confusion across the online comedy community all day yesterday — in the audience-recorded clips, a panicked man in a beanie hops on the stage in the middle of Normand’s set and stands there awkwardly until a security guard drags him off by the arm. A moment later, the show’s producers take the microphone out of Normand’s hand and usher him out of the venue before a woman instructs the audience to quickly exit as well. Both Normand and NYCC issued Instagram explanations/apologies for the incident yesterday, in which they clarified that the show’s producers staged the strange disturbance, identifying the group responsible as HiHi.
The page named in the publicity stunt also seemingly took responsibility for other semi-viral incidents, including the “heist” of custom sneakers at an art exhibition and the Tyra Banks furry sandwich at a recent Brooklyn Nets game. Giving no indication of their intentions beyond the byline, “Would you risk it all to have it all?” HiHi appeared to be a stupid, pretentious attempt at going viral perpetrated by a bunch of wannabe influencers. Well, judging by Donald Glover’s recent Instagram stories, HiHi is actually a stupid, pretentious attempt at going viral perpetrated by one of the most powerful megacorporations on the planet — the whole scheme is just a promotion for Glover's upcoming Amazon Prime Video series Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
As explained in a recent Vanity Fair profile, the streaming series adaptation of the 2005 Branjelina film by the same name is built off the premise that Glover and PEN15 co-creator Maya Erskine play wannabe spies recruited by a mysterious organization they call “Hihi,” which they named after the greeting the entity sends the two. Last night, Glover reposted clips from the Hi_Hi_ Instagram page on his own story, including videos of the Normand incident, the courtside furries and the sneaker boosters, along with a screenshot from the TMZ article covering the comedy show publicity stunt.
So, yes, the group that roped Normand and NYCC into their dumb-shit prank is desperately trying to go viral, but instead of a bunch of internet-addicted wannabe influencers being behind the disturbances, it’s an internet-addicted already-A-lister and his derivative spy show that are begging New York to notice them.