Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show Conan is coming to an end this week, and it wouldn’t be a proper send-off without a final rendition of what is arguably the show’s most iconic bit: Paul Rudd’s Mac and Me prank.
O’Brien was interviewing Bill Hader on the Monday night show when the conversation turned to a never-aired Saturday Night Live sketch that Hader did with Rudd. In the middle of the interview, Rudd showed up from behind the curtain and told O’Brien that he had a clip from the sketch’s dress rehearsal. Sure enough, the clip is instead a scene from the 1988 film Mac and Me — a poorly-received E.T. knock-off — where the wheelchair-bound character played by Jade Calegory rolls off a cliff into a lake as the alien MAC looks on.
The bit dates all the way back to 2004, when O’Brien was hosting Late Night With Conan O’Brien on NBC and Rudd had just finished taping the highly anticipated final episode of Friends. When Rudd appeared as a guest on Late Night to promote the show, he offered to play an exclusive clip from the series finale, only to prank the audience with the Mac and Me video. Rudd has since done the bit every time he’s appeared on O’Brien’s various talk shows over the years, always promising to not play Mac and Me and yet trolling the audience (and O’Brien) every time.