The Cartoon Network's guerrilla ad campaign was bold, but it was nothing compared to the prank pulled by jester John Hargrave. Just days after Boston's highly publicized bomb scare, the Hub's Hargrave managed to smuggle 2,350 suspicious light-up devices into the Super Bowl, duping not only Miami police but also federal marshals and Homeland Security agents. "It was the prank of a lifetime," Hargrave said yesterday, talking for the first time about the stunt. "What's bigger than the Super Bowl? A prank in outer space?" (Hardly a novice at such high jinks, Hargrave trotted out a Michael Jackson impostor at the Copley Place Mall a while back, and the Boston Herald, as it did with Bono this past weekend, fell for it.) Posing as reporters at the Super Bowl, Hargrave and his helpers handed out phony "Prince Party Packs," telling ticketholders to turn on the light-up necklaces at halftime to spell "PRINCE." "We're always hearing that the media doesn't want to broadcast Al Qaeda videos because they might contain 'secret messages' for the terrorists," said Hargrave, a creative director at the Arnold Worldwide ad agency who just happens to be promoting his new book, "Prank the Monkey." "We wanted to show just how easy it is to broadcast a secret message . . . All the terrorists need is media credentials." So what did the necklaces spell? Zug.com, which is Hargrave's website.
Whats in a name? Just ask Taylor.
Even before it has aired, "October Road" is upsetting folks, and it's not the plot that people are complaining about. The show, which debuts tonight after "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC, has the same name as a James Taylor song and album, and that isn't sitting well with Sweet Baby James. "We knew nothing about the show until last week," Michael Gorfaine, Taylor's agent for TV and movie deals, told us yesterday. "We're very disappointed that they didn't contact us." Gorfaine wouldn't say if the singer wants the name of the show changed or if he intends to take legal action. Scott Rosenberg, the writer and executive producer of "October Road," said he was unaware of Taylor's concerns, but since the song title isn't copyrighted he doesn't feel the need to change it. Rosenberg reminded us that the CW show "One Tree Hill" shares its name with a U2 song. Intellectual-property lawyer Ike Williams said Taylor may be unhappy, but he doesn't have a legal case. "Titles -- whether songs, albums, magazines, or books -- are not subject to copyright protection," said Williams.
Wahlberg arrives to pump up Shooter
Mark Wahlberg has hit the road to hype his new film, "The Shooter," and the promotional tour pulls into Boston today. (He was looking taut on MTV's "TRL" this week.) During one stop, Wahlberg revealed that his "Four Brothers" costars Tyrese Gibson and Andre Benjamin had tried to coax him into the studio to make some music. But, wisely, the onetime rapper would have none of it. And he's glad he didn't, because he saw the toll it took on Gibson. "Tyrese recorded his album, most of it, while we were shooting," said the actor. "That's why he didn't know any of his lines." Wahlberg will host a screening of "The Shooter" tonight and perhaps drop by the after-party at Felt.
In town performing "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" at the Opera House, cast members Tom Hewitt , Laura Marie Duncan , and D.B. Bonds talked to students at Boston Conservatory yesterday. Duncan is an alumna of the school.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien is coming back to town, if only briefly. The Harvard grad, who worked for a while at WBZ-TV before going on to bigger and better things, will receive the Clara Barton Humanitarian Award from the friendly folks at the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay.
Names can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 617-929-8253.