In New Zealand, a morning show duo Si and Gary are big fans of Tom Cruise, who is in New Zealand right now shooting Mission Impossible VI. They’re such big fans, in fact, that they have spent weeks trying to get an interview with Cruise, documenting all of their attempts on their radio show. They even went so far as to offer someone $5,000 for a lead or contact details.
Tom Cruise is a really big deal to them, especially to co-host Simon Barnett.
Finally, they landed their big interview, which was scheduled this morning on More FM. The interview proceeded as normal for 11 full minutes, until, alas, it was all revealed to be a prank. A competing morning show, The Edge, hatched an entire scheme with a Tom Cruise impersonator to provide the phone interview. It was fake.
This, to me? It actually sounds like a pretty funny practical joke. To the radio station, More FM? They found it incredibly cruel. From Newshub:
But at the end of the interview, the Cruise impersonator outed himself - and rather than the More FM hosts laughing along like perhaps Jay-Jay, Dom & Randell anticipated, they were audibly upset.
“Get a life,” producer Samantha Baxter, who was in tears, yelled down the phone as The Edge hosts explained the prank.
After cutting the line, a remarkably sombre piece of radio ensued.
“That’s just so uncool. That’s super uncool. Poor old Sam’s crying for me,” Barnett said.
“It’s actually disgusting,” Baxter responded.
“That is truly disappointing. I was so stoked, and now my wife and kids are texting. My whole family’s texting,” continued Barnett.
“That’s to me what’s wrong with the world, because if people think that’s funny… That’s actually not even funny — I mean, you’d never do that.”
I mean, yes: I can see how that would be very disappointing for the radio station who thought they were interviewing Tom Cruise. However, if they’d played the prank on a host who wasn’t so enamored with Cruise, I think it would have worked. But co-host Simon Barnett apparently is a really big fan of Cruise, and I guess I can understand his feelings, too.
“At the time my overriding emotion was one of genuine embarrassment. I’ve always wanted to meet this guy,” he said. “I can now see it was a joke and in the grand scheme of things, maybe Tom will feel sorry for me and sit down for that glass of wine.”
A producer on The Edge has apologized for the prank.
Hat Tip: Clare Maceira