It seemed like the centerpiece
of every celebrity tipping storis a photo
of the transaction receiptwith the celebrity’s full name
and account number on it.If we fake the receipt,
there’s a chancea nosy journalist could verify
the transactionand expose the fraud.So if we really wanted it
to appear real,We’d have to use a bank card
that was owned by someonewith the same name
as our celebrity.So I started calling
every Michael Richardslisted the local white pages
to ask for permissionto borrow their bank card
for a one-time transactionthey’d be fully reimbursed for.…and for–– But unfortunately,
none of them would help me out.Ok–hello?
Mr. Richards?For a moment, I thought
I was all out of options,but then it occurred to me
that if we could find someonewho was willing to temporarily
change their legal nameto Michael Richards,
we’d be ableto open up a bank account
on their behalfand get the debit card we neede
to make the transaction real.And after posting several ads,
we finally got a response.– So can I ask why you wanna
change your name? – I’ve been Paul
for a long time. Since I was a kid,
uh, I think probably five. Um… my family started
calling me by my middle name and it just stuck.
– So you just wanted to be Paul Holmes?
– Yeah. – Okay, for this project,
I’m willing to pay you… – Mm-hmm.
– To change your name to Michael Richards.
– Okay. [laughs]
Why? – We’re trying to make it seem
like a man by that name left a big tip
at a restaurant. – Okay.
– And… for that I’d be willing
to pay you $1,000. [lightly chuckles] Uh, what’s going through
my brain right now is the huge
pain in the ass this is. You know? Uh… and I’m thinking
if $1,000 is worth it. Um… I mean, is this a yard sale? Can I counter offer
with some money? – What amount do you feel
comfortable with? – 14’s in my head.
I like it. Uh, you can counter offer
with 12. Whatever man, you know?
Give me anything over 1,000 and I’ll think that I win. – So, like, $1,001?
– Mm-hmm. – You’d be happy with that?
– Yeah, sure. – Okay.
So, she we do $1,001? – Sure. Yes. – I mean, is that–
– Mm-hmm. – As long as you’re happy.
– I am happy. – I just wanna make
sure you’re happy with that. – Mm-hmm. – Okay, well, it was great
negotiating with you. – Yeah, good.
I’m an easy negotiator, man. – Yeah, great.
– Yeah. – Well thank you.
– Absolutely.– After settling on an amount
that we are bothhappy with, I had Paul
fill out the legal paperworkthat was required to begin
the name change process.But that’s when I realize
we had a big problem.To complete a name change
in California,you’re legally obligated to
publically announce the changein a newspaper
of general circulationfor four weeks in a row.If anyone suspected that the
Michael Richards tip was fake,finding this name change
in the paperwould be their smoking gun.I tried calling my legal adviso
Judge Anthony Filosato see if there was
any way around this.You have to publish it? You can’t just
change your name secretly?– But unfortunately,
there wasn’t.So I felt like
the only way to do thiswhile maintaining our secrecy
was by creating a newspaperthat no one would ever read.My hope was that by calling it
“The Diarrhea Times,”no one would ever want
to pick it up,but to ensure our publication
seemed legitimate to the courtsI rented us an office space
in a media building downtownand hired a professional
ghost writer namedAustin Bowers–
who once wrote me an entire booin less than a week,
to serve as the paper’sEditor-in-Chief.You ever been the editor
of a newspaper before? – Nope, this’ll be
the first time.– The paper would obviously
need contentand it seemed like Austin
had a big vision.– Um…definitely wanna include
lots of topics: um, business, arts, politics. Draw lots of people in
and they’ll come. They’ll read.
They’ll share. – Right?
Just make sure there’s a section for name change announcements?
Okay? – Right.Austin walked me through
the rest of the paperwhich included articles
on entertainment,current events,
and even a sectionfor political cartoons
that he drew himself.That supposed to be
Donald Trump? – Yes.
– And after including the namechange announcement in the
bottom corner of page three,next to an op-ed about
“Zelda Symphony,”the first issue
was ready to print.So you’re gonna start working
on the next issue? – Yes.
– Okay, awesome.So after receiving thousands
of copies back from the printerwe circulated our inaugural
issue of “The Diarrhea Times”to the dozens
of distribution partnerswe had set up
around L.A. County.Meeting the minimum requirement
to be recognized by the courtsas a legitimate publication.Since California law dictates
the name change be publishedfor four weeks in a row,
over the next month,Austin wrote three more issueswith the name change
announcement in eachthat were made publically
available to L.A. residents.So with all the legal
requirements now met,Robert Paul Holmes
was given a date to appearat the L.A. Superior Courthouse
where his name changeto Michael Richards
was approved.– Here I am. I am
officially Michael Richards. Which is…weird and… again, I’m not relating to it
that much, but… time will tell, I guess.