Gas-Pump Video Staged? Looks Like It.

Chris CrumLife

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Last week, The Tonight Show aired a segment in which a couple was approached by a surprise newscast at a gas pump, which began talking to them, and got them to sing karaoke. Passed off on the show as a genuine encounter, the video went viral. Here it is, in case you haven't seen it:

And here's the second part:

It appears that the whole thing was staged, which is apparently a surprise to some people who can't believe that anything on the Tonight Show would actually be staged. The Smoking Gun was on the case, and reported:

Will and Monifa are both trained actors who founded a theater company in Chicago before relocating to Hollywood. Monifa, whom Chicagoist once described as a “Chicago actress of some reknown,” previously won a nationwide dramatic auditions contest by the cable network TNT.

More importantly, the “Tonight Show” never bothered to mention that Monifa appeared in a “Pumpcast News” segment broadcast more than two years ago.

In the original segment, Sims is seen at the same Burbank gas station where she was filmed singing with her husband. In fact, Monifa conversed with Stack both times while parked at pump number 16, the area used for the “Pumpcast News” bits. On both occasions, Monifa was in the same Chrysler sedan (she drove during the first taping, while her husband was at the wheel during the recent shoot). Additionally, she is seen wearing identical workout pants in each segment.

Uproxx posted the YouTube video of the original appearance, which interestingly has since been taken down by the user. Good thing The Smoking Gun still has a non-YouTube version of the video. They also point to a Facebook status update where Monifa asked her friends if they saw her on Jay Leno (in March of 2011). It looks like that might have been deleted as well.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.