Need a lawyer? Call Crazy Rudy!
In the past two weeks, spoofs have popped up in New York City subway trains advertising to potential clients of the former New York Mayor and president Donald Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The guerilla advertisements guarantee that the former New York City mayor “has NO SHAME” and “will work for FREE!” (Plus a caveat adding that he “will work when drunk.”)
Subway riders are invited to call an operating phone number or visit the website CrazyRudyLaw.com for a free consultation. “Need a deal with foreign governments, but prefer not to go through government channels? I’m your man,” the website reads.
This satirical campaign is the latest from The Good Liars, a comic duo made of the New York-based comedians Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler. “Hopefully we’re making people laugh, but also making a point about who’s the right-hand man for the president right now,” said Selvig in a phone conversation with Hyperallergic. “It’s a very scary time right now.”
The Good Liars are responsible for two more subway ads. One of them shows Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham with the caption: “Comfort Food for Stupid People.” Another ad that appeared during the United Nations General Assembly this past September addressed visitors to the summit, saying: “We are sorry for the actions of our big, dumb president.” The letter is signed “Love, New York City.”
Since posting their ad, the comedians have been flooded with thousands of phone calls and voice messages. “99.5% of them were positive,” said Selvig. “Only a few left a message saying ‘fuck you!’” According to the comedian, many callers left impressions of Trump in voicemail messages, pretending to be the president calling his lawyer.
Selvig and Davram Stiefler formed their duo in 2011 during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Their first stunt was “Occupy Occupy Wall Street” where they posed as investment bankers protesting the popular movement while carrying signs that read “We are the 1%” and “RERERE-Elect Bloomberg.” That performance earned them coverage in cable news networks including a feature on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. Since then they’ve staged pranks that targeted Hillary Clinton, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump.
Trump’s rise to power presented comedians with a unique challenge. “It feels like we are in an early ’90s Rodney Dangerfield movie that is very poorly written, where the president is played by a bumbling idiot who is both stupid and sensitive to the extremes,” said Selvig. “It does make it hard for comedians to make fun of somebody who does things that are beyond parody.”
“In the first couple of years of [Trump’s] presidency, comedians felt like they needed to be activists, but I think we’re starting to figure it out,” Selvig continued. “Comedians now think they can be funny again, but this sadly means that we’ve accepted this terrible person’s existence as the status quo.”