Was "Tonight Show" Pump Cast News Video Staged?

Was

10:27 AM EDT, May 14, 2013

A fake TV anchorman surprised a man at an L.A. gas station, and asked the man to belt out a song. His wife then joins the fun and sings and dances up a storm.  

They were supposedly caught completely by surprise as part of a Tonight Show comedy bit known as “Pump Cast News.”  

The video has gone viral with more than 9.7 million hits on YouTube.  

Jay Leno even invited the couple onto The Tonight Show last week, introducing husband and wife Will and Monifa Simms as a bartender and fitness trainer.

Leno said, “This almost seems like a plant. We had no idea these people would come, correct?  Yes, yes.”

But it turns out the Simms are both professional actors from Chicago and the whole segment may have been staged.

A video has surfaced of Monifa on The Tonight Show two years ago, in the exact same car, at the same gas pump.

On her Facebook page she said, "So apparently there are some people who think our appearance was staged. Don't believe the hype.  LOL."

Her husband is telling a different story to The Chicago Sun Times. He says that Tonight Show producers "Didn't want (viewers) to think we were actors and it was a plant.  They were like: 'You're a bartender and she's a fitness trainer.'"

NBC says in a statement, "The video that you saw was 100% real."

Many internet viewers don't seem to care if the viral video was real or not.

"Who cares if it was staged?,' said one viewer, "it made people smile and laugh."

And another wrote, "It was hilarious regardless of reality."


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