Pizza Rat might have been a hoax, so does anything even matter anymore?
Guys, you know how it turns out in a lot of superhero movies that the person running a charity for orphans is actually a supervillain? Well, the world is on the tip of a story bigger than that, one that could shake the pillars of modern civilization, one that could make us question our whole lives and every cute Vine that we’ve watched upwards of 25 times…guys, we don’t even know what’s real anymore.
Because Pizza Rat might have been a fake.
Before you hit the panic button, realize that at this moment, there’s no concrete evidence saying that the world is not full of adorable rats fetching sustenance (possibly for their four mutant turtle pals.) What there is, however, is a tissue of connection running from Pizza Rat to the more recent Selfie Rat, to a renowned improv comedy group, to the black hole where our will to believe used to reside.
According to Gothamist, Eric Yearwood, a performer at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, has come forward with the story that the recent viral video, Selfie Rat, was staged. In the video, a guy films a rat crawling on a sleeping man in a subway station. The man wakes and shakes off the rat, who somehow managed to snap a selfie while scurrying over the man’s phone.
According to Yearwood, he was paid $200 by a mysterious woman named Zardalu to appear in the video with her trained rat. “She said she was a NYC-based performance artist and wanted help with a project and was going to pay me a little bit of money,” Yearwood recalls. “… When she described the project to me, it seemed pretty weird. Especially the part where there wasn’t going to be any sort of revelation at the end of it. I would not be able to take credit for it and neither would she.”
Weird enough, but the story doesn’t stop there. Another UCB actor, who signed an NDA and thus remains anonymous, makes even more insane claims. “It’s the same rat in all the rat videos. I’d bet my life on it. She told me a year ago about the rat training, just not the specific performance art pieces.”
Which brings into consideration our Pizza Rat. Luckily, wildlife behavioralists doubt that this particular viral video could be faked. Biology professor Jason Munshi-South told Gothamist that while rats can be trained to do tasks, it “would probably be difficult to get the rat or rats to respond in the same way when placed in a noisy, stimulating environment like a subway station.”
Yet in another freakish connection, Pizza Rat videographer Matt Little and his companion at the time, Pat Baer, are also UCB members. Yet Baer has mounted a spirited defense on Facebook, defending Pizza Rat’s authenticity.