‘Gary From Chicago,’ Ex-Con Turned Oscars Prank Celebrity, Gets a Publicist
“Gary From Chicago” has transformed from prisoner to unexpected celebrity in the timespan of a few weeks.
And now, like every celebrity, he has signed a publicist, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Viewers may have briefly forgotten Gary Alan Coe amidst the historic big picture debacle during the 89th Academy Awards, but until then he was the true breakout star of the night. Plucked from Hollywood Boulevard for what he and his fiancée thought was a complimentary bus tour of Tinsel Town, Coe was thrust alongside other unsuspecting tourists onstage at The Oscars, part of a prank played by host Jimmy Kimmel.
But his bemused and friendly demeanor on the world’s largest stage charmed Hollywood and viewers at home alike, immediately inspiring the hashtag #GaryFromChicago and giving the media reason to pry into Coe’s background. He isn’t shy about what they found: That he was recently released from prison after serving 20 years for stealing $279 worth of perfume after being convicted of attempted rape and robbery.
Moving forward, life couldn’t look anymore different for Coe. Especially now that he has a publicist and is looking to shop a memoir.
“When you come home from prison after 20 years and then get exposed to all this, it makes life really interesting,” Coe told THR. “The last 12 years were productive because I got a chance to mentor and facilitate different groups. One thing I had control over as a prisoner is how I felt every day. I chose to feel good.”
Watch the entire prank play out below.