At this point we’re all intimately familiar with the “Famous person pretends not to be famous person, questions strangers about himself” genre of viral video. We’ve seen Matt Harvey interview New Yorkers about Matt Harvey, Ryan Lewis interview hip-hop fans about Ryan Lewis, Marcus Stroman pose as a Best Buy employee to quiz RBI Baseball players about Marcus Stroman, etc.
The car-sharing service Lyft has really led this charge, with Kris Bryant, Richard Sherman, Danica Patrick and Jerry Rice among the “undercover” Lyft drivers. The problem with these videos is that once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. It pretty much goes the exact some way every time. “What do you think of __?” “He’s OK.” “Oh, well I am __.” “Haha.”
You’d have to imagine that Shaq, by virtue of being 7-foot-1, massive and all over TV all the time, would be pretty darn recognizable. Sure most people have an idea what Jerry Rice looks like, but Shaq is on a different level.
To get around this problem, the recent Hall of Fame inductee wore a variety of absurd disguises and even put on a fake accent or two.
Frankly, all the fake beards and Jamaican accents in the world shouldn’t stop you from recognizing that the giant person next to you is Shaquille O’Neal, but the riders’ bizarre lack of recognition made for a pretty great clip.
Only Shaq could turn a Lyft ride into a freestyle rap battle, only Shaq could pretend to be a touring performer of Brazilian music and only Shaq could make this nearly played-out gimmick so enjoyable.