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Fred Armisen anonymously called strangers to invite them onstage at The Comedy Cellar for a Heineken ad

Last month, under an assumed name, Fred Armisen took over the stage at The Comedy Cellar for about an hour and did something that’d be out of character for anyone who’s not as accustomed to being in character as Armisen.

The SNL and Portlandia star and sometime bandleader for Late Night with Seth Meyers¬†embarked on an experiment for the sake of a Heineken ad — Armisen called a pay phone across MacDougal Street from the Comedy Cellar, and invited anyone who answered the call to come on over, all without divulging who he was. Only a handful of the thousands of pedestrians who passed by the ringing phone picked up and took him up on his offer to find out they’d be onstage with Armisen at the Cellar.

“The most surprising (thing) was that anyone spoke to me at all,” Armisen told AdAge.

I was eating dinner upstairs at the Olive Tree Cafe during the commercial filming.

The teaser video and first ad are up now.

Roll the clips!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “Fred Armisen anonymously called strangers to invite them onstage at The Comedy Cellar for a Heineken ad

  1. This is awesome! I actually did this. I worked at a radio station that was across the street from a movie theater and had a pay phone on the corner. I would call the phone when the shows would get out & ask anyone who answered what movie they had seen & what they thought of it.

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