The goal for Brett Cohen was to make New York City believe he's a celebrity — and for one night, that dream came true.
Cohen, 21, and a 2009 John F. Kennedy High School graduate, came up with the idea to bring an entourage to the city, use paparazzi and fool the mobs at Times Square into thinking he was famous.
"I was having a conversation with my friend Edward (the interviewer in the video)," Cohen said. "It just kind of built to the point where we were like 'maybe we can do this.'"
The video starts with Cohen, a soon-to-be senior at SUNY New Paltz, walking through Times Square unnoticed. But after he spiced up his look and walked out of NBC Studios, the craze was on.
"We just thought it was a really easy thing, and it would be awesome," Cohen said. "That’s exactly what it ended up being."
One of the highlights, Cohen said, was when he observed a young tourist make an international call to inform her that he met Brett Cohen. He was also bombarded by people who wanted to take pictures with him. When interviewers asked the people where they recognized Cohen from, some answered with "Spiderman." Another man seemed to have recognized him from the music scene.
"I heard his first single, which is good," the man said. "I don't know the name of it, but I heard it on the radio."
There were also a couple of negatives that came with being a celebrity for a night. First, there was a man who was pegging Cohen with M&Ms, and then the man tried to get closer. Luckily, Cohen said, the bodyguards that were part of his "entourage" are real bodyguards.
"They handled the situation," he added.
All in all, the video took about three hours to film, and all of the people that were part of the entourage did it for free. This is Cohen's first experience in acting, but he added he would love to make future videos, but he wanted to see this one through first. Cohen tried stand-up comedy before, but that was a failure, he said. He even recalled what he thought when he met Jerry Seinfeld recently.
"The whole time I was meeting him, all I could think in my head was that in one room, you had one of the best of all time and one of the worst of all time," Cohen said.
In just two days, news of Cohen's video has gone viral. There have been stories printed in the New York Daily News, The Sun, Gawker and Metro News Canada. In just two days on YouTube, the video has garnered more than 57,000 views, 6,600 likes and 1,400 comments.
To check out Cohen's video, click here.
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