Turns out that when in “when it’s over” is now for a couple named Bradyn and Cheyanne.
Over the weekend and into Monday, a tweeted video of Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath talking to a Bradyn of unknown origin made the rounds.
In the video, McGrath says that someone named Cheyanne hired him to make the video in an effort to say that she’s “having difficulty staying in this long-distance relationship” and “it’s very, very tough.”
“She still wants to be friends with you,” says McGrath, who also wishes Bradyn luck on his thesis from Cheyenne.
The video was made using Cameo, which is a service that connects regular people with celebrities and allows them to pay a certain amount of money for a celebrity of their choosing to record a video message (the message is also, in part, the choice of the buyer). So, as HuffPost guessed in the original iteration of this article, this could easily be a joke ― which would be supremely unsurprising, considering that McGrath pretended to die as part of a media stunt for a comedy show in 2015.
And it turns out: It was.
HuffPost spoke to Hunter Shabazz, the self-proclaimed “low-effort jokester,” who was the mastermind behind the viral video.
“I just thought the idea of using celebrities to break really sensitive news is pretty funny. The names were Bradyn and Cheyanne (spelled as such) because I thought these names really reflected people who would break up over cameo and also still be really into Sugar Ray,” explained the 30-year-old, who purchased the video with an elaborate and fake backstory from McGrath on Nov. 12.
Shabazz even revealed that he requested a second video, one from former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci, on Nov. 10.
Both videos are cringe-y, but only one ― the McGrath video ― made it to Reddit where it was apparently not cringe-y enough. When the video was posted earlier this month (by Shabazz’s friend), it was temporarily removed from the r/sadcringe page for not being cringe-y enough. It has since been restored.
To both McGrath’s and Scaramucci’s credit, they handled the awkward (albeit fake) requests well. McGrath’s sentiments are incredibly upbeat, and he wishes the potentially brokenhearted well in the video.
“I wish I was delivering you good news,” he says. “Hopefully I can see you backstage, give you a high-five someday, dude. We can maybe laugh about this sometime.”
He later adds: “If you’re working on a thesis, you’ve got a good life ahead of you.”
Scaramucci goes the life advice route, telling Bradyn that it’s “bad information” he has to deliver, but he thinks, in the long term, it’ll be “very good” for him.
“Life goes on. There will be another door opening,” says Scaramucci, who adds that if a bad day comes, just think “about me getting my ass shot up at the White House and blown to pieces in my life.”
“Yeah, my wife basically threatened for divorce, which took a while for me to repair that as well. So, truth of the matter is, take one day at a time,” he says.
Of the subsequent virality of his prank, Shabazz told HuffPost, “It’s kind of wild. Most my jokes don’t go out past my friends. Anyone who knows me knows this is pretty standard fare.”
“I had wondered if anyone thought this was funny besides me and my friends, and I guess so,” he said.
If nothing else, McGrath and Scaramucci seem like the best options to break up with someone by proxy.
This article has been updated with later confirmation of the video being a joke.