For a while, it looked like Bill Murray would be this nation’s greying Loki–the prankster god who pushes hipsters to the ground and whispers to them, “No one will ever believe you,” while pouring shots behind the bar at SXSW, crashing karaoke night and generally being a merry prankster.
But recently Tom Hanks has taken up the charge, showing up on Saturday Night Live for cameos like he was Steve Martin or something, and, in a recent infamous incident, posing for several photos with what looks to be a very drunk, passed-out man.
Now, several outlets have already confirmed that this joke was a set-up, that the drunk kid–a Redditor from West Fargo, mind you–posted the pictures along with the title, “My friend met Tom Hanks, stole his glasses and pretended to be wasted.” Still, even with the truth (allegedly) out there, isn’t it more fun to believe that if you wake up drunk somewhere, there might be evidence on your iPhone that Tom Hanks was messing with your unconscious body?
That was the question we posed to a buoyant Mr. Hanks, who was celebrating the opening night of Nora Ephron’s posthumous production of Lucky Guy at Gotham Hall last night. Still very much in his blustery reporter character, he told The Observer that there are at least “two versions” of this now-legendary tale.
“Okay, so one of the versions goes that my wife and I were visiting my niece, and she works in a diner in West Fargo,” Mr. Hanks began boisterously (his projection lessons from his first Broadway show obviously paying off), “and there’s this group of kids sitting at a table in the back, and one of them comes up and tells me, ‘Mr. Hanks, great to meet you, sorry to bother you, but my friend does this thing were he poses with celebrities and pretends to be wasted.’”
“So I go over there and the guy isn’t drunk,” Mr. Hanks continued, “but they take a couple photos where he pretends to be passed out, and I look like I just stumbled upon him.”
“See, that’s the story people want to believe,” we told him.
Mr. Hanks paused. “Well now, that second version is that I did just start taking pictures with a passed-out guy. I’m happy with this version, that it’s become somewhat of a legend. I wouldn’t want anyone not to believe that I am capable of turning up on their phones.” To prove the point, Mr. Hanks then posed for several “passed out” snapshots with The Observer.
Well, as they say in Lucky Guy, (and we’re paraphrasing here): “If you want the truth, go down the morgue and count the bodies … you are born, you die, and everything in between is subject to interpretation.”