Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon pose for cameras but refuse to speak from their cell. (White House and David Shankbone)

Stars arrested for Impersonating TV Hosts

SNL actors Ferrell and Shannon hoax holiday viewing public

Pasadena police arrested comedians Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon for impersonating professional television broadcasters after a hoax presentation of The Rose Bowl Parade. The arrests followed calls to Amazon from thousands of viewers who complained the broadcasters weren’t who they claimed to be.

“We were flabbergasted,” said Medea Chill, Amazon Prime’s video streaming director. “Their disguises were completely convincing.”

When asked if she didn’t see any resemblance to the famed actors from Saturday Night Live, Chill said, “That’s a boomer show. We love their demographic, but their entertainment? Not so much.”

Amazon Prime’s Medea Chill: “(SNL)’s a boomer show. We love their demographic, but their entertainment? Not so much.

Ferrell posed as Colt Hosenbeck and Shannon as Tish Cattigan, long-time hosts of a Rose Bowl parade broadcast. To make the hoax more convincing, they hired Tim Meadows, another SNL cast member to provide color from the street. Ferrell and Shannon pestered Meadows with questions about life on SNL during the broadcast. Meadows had previously spoken publicly about his struggles to separate his identity from his SNL characters.

Meadows told the Haven, “They totality fished me in. I had no idea they were former colleagues. But I was the driving force of the show back then. You can’t expect me to remember two comics in the chorus.”

Meadows: “They totality fished me in. I had no idea they were former colleagues. But I was the driving force of the show back then. You can’t expect me to remember two comics in the chorus.”
Actress Elizabeth Olsen was arrested for impersonating actress Elizabeth Olsen.

Police released Meadows when they realized he was a victim of the hoax as well. They also released actress Elizabeth Olsen after arresting her for impersonating actress Elizabeth Olsen. Olsen appeared as Meadows girlfriend (and Hosenbeck’s ex).

“We had no idea she really was the actress Elizabeth Olsen,” Police Chief Noah Zeverywere apologized. “She looks nothing like her famous sisters.”

Reporters asked Olsen if she and Meadows are dating outside the broadcast. ”It was acting, morons,” she snapped. “It’s what I do. And, eww. Never. Have seen seen those ‘Ladies’ Man’ skits on SNL? Tim creeps me out.”


Wry noir author Phillip T. Stephens wrote Cigerets, Guns & Beer, Raising Hell, and the Indie Book Award winning Seeing Jesus. Follow him @stephens_pt.