Craig Rowin is an improviser at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC, where he performs regularly on Friday nights with The Law Firm. Rowin also is a contributor to The Onion and its TV show, Onion SportsDome, wrote for Matt Besser's Comedy Central pilot, and is the head writer and director for the ESPN.com webseries, "The Pretty Good Sports Show."
All of that pales in comparison to the stunt Rowin is pulling off right now.
A couple of months ago, Rowin posted a video to YouTube asking a millionaire — any millionaire — to come forward and give him $1 million. Cash or check only. He had no plans for the money. Just wanted it. Roll the clip.
The video got passed around, and he received lots of emails, which he read online. Rowin also gave an interview to a local TV news station in Alabama. Rowin isn't from Alabama. He then went back online to ask again for $1 million, and said an offer of $5,000 wasn't going to cut it. He even opened up the offer to corporations.
And what do you know?
A rich man named Benjamin called him to take him up on the offer. Yes. That's right. Craig Rowin will receive a check for $1 million live onstage at the UCB on Feb. 2. Aubrey Plaza (UCB alum who's on NBC's Parks and Recreation) congratulated him. Roll the clip!
As he noted in the beginning, Rowin will be paying some of it forward, with $50,000 each going to Will Hines (who shot and directed the videos) and Adam Lustick (who co-wrote the videos).
Coincidentally, $50,000 would be enough to subsidize the entire operations of The Comic's Comic for ONE FULL YEAR.
Not that I wouldn't turn down $1 million. I'd take it! So if any famously wealthy comedians or comedy lovers have some money to throw around, please give me $50,000 and I'll shut up about being broke for ONE FULL YEAR. Seriously. Really. I mean it. My landlord means it. My parents mean it. Don't make me move in with them. They're in Florida. It's tough to write about comedy from Florida. Have you been to Florida? OK. Enough about me.
First Chris Gethard gets Sean "Diddy" Combs to appear on his show, and now this? I'm beginning to think the secret to success is having Will Hines play a role in your ambitions…
Congratulations, Craig Rowin! See you on Groundhog Day!
UPDATED: At least a couple of mainstream media blogs have suggested that this is all a hoax designed to get people to buy $5 tickets for Rowin's UCB show. I don't think so. When I congratulated Rowin this morning, this was his reply to me: "I am still in shock. It's going to be insane." I read this, as well as the grin on his face in the "success" video, as genuine disbelief.