You may recognize Brett Cohen from his viral YouTube video, “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City,” or from his subsequent appearances on “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.”
He pulled a massive prank on New York City two years ago when he pretended to be a celebrity. He hired “bodyguards” and “paparazzi” off of Craigslist, and had them follow him through Times Square one Friday night for three hours. He never expected the prank would be so successful.
“Within four hours the video went viral on Reddit,” Cohen said. “The next day I was getting phone calls from all over the world, from newspapers, from news organizations, TV shows all wanting to book me.”
“It took a toll on me personally for a while,” he said of the media tour. “I was definitely depressed for a period of time. It screwed up a lot of relationships with friends and family members.”
But now that the video has died down and his relationships have been repaired, he’s getting ready for his debut on Australian television.
After an Australian network saw the fake celebrity video on his YouTube channel, they asked him to star on a reality show that is set to air later this year.
“It wasn’t something I was sure I wanted to do,” he said. “But I had the opportunity to go and it was an opportunity to extend my opportunities.”
He said he’s unsure of when it will air in the United States, but hopes that it’s in the near future — he’s been making some new YouTube videos that can use some publicity.
“I just know that I enjoy this,” Cohen said. “It’s my outlet and it’s something I’m going to continue to do as long as I possibly can without ruining my professional career.”