Charity Bribes puts Larry David in awkward position for a cause
Larry David isn't on Twitter, but he could be if people donate enough money to the Natural Resources Defense Council. At least that's the premise of Charity Bribes, a new website designed to bribe (or guilt) TV celebrities into doing good deeds that ultimately benefit charities.
The way the website works is that anyone can suggest a potential bribe (having Bill Clinton do the hokey pokey on camera, for instance) along with a charitable organization to benefit (Clinton Global Initiative). Get enough people to put in a few bucks and then approach the designated celebrity in hopes that a large donation to their favorite charity is worth a bit of bizarre behavior.
The website is the brainchild of Chris Baker and William Spencer, a pair of freelancing ad copywriters who have been working on the project for close to a year. They call it an experiment, and though according to Baker, they don't have plans for it other than raising some money and "using the crowd to have an effect on culture," there's one major question mark in the project.
The celebs aren't in on it.
Though the website, which has been online for three weeks now, has currently collected over $3,000 in pledges for the Larry David bribe, Baker and Spencer aren't even sure how they will get in contact with the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star. Of course, if he turns them down, no one gets charged.
The lack of celebrity involvement at the start is key to Baker and Spencer.
"What's really fun, what gets people excited is the element of uncertainty," says Baker. "We're putting celebrities in an awkward situation without them knowing about it. If we went to them ahead of time and set everything up, it would lose a lot of the fun."
However, Spencer notes, "We're trying to make sure that the bribes are really positive. Fun for the people contributing to the bribe and also for the celebrities. We don't want to get into anything that's mean-spirited or degrading to celebs."
After the Larry David bribe is over, Spencer and Baker plan to raise money to convince Conan O'Brien to conduct an interview on his show wearing an eye patch and a turtle neck and holding a pipe.
But what would Spencer and Baker really like to see a celebrity do for charity?
"I would love it if David Lynch would explain 'Mulholland Drive' to me," says Baker.
— Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Larry David. Credit: Chris Polk / Associated Press