Fanatics executive and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin played a birthday prank on his friend Will Makris by paying for a billboard that asked people to call him because he’s now a lonely 40-year-old.
If you walk by 26th and 11th street in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, you’ll see a billboard with the words, “Today’s my 40th and I am lonely. CALL ME,” with a New York phone number. The phone number belongs to Rubin’s close friend and hospitality entrepreneur Will Makris. Rubin came clean about putting together the gag on Instagram.
He wrote, “Wanted to give my brother [Makris] a 40th bday present he’d never forget!!! This is an actual billboard on 26th and 11th in NYC…. thought he was feeling lonely today and needed a lot of love. Ps make sure everyone calls him so he doesn’t feel 40 and unloved!” Makris, an executive of Zero Bond and Lola Taverna, said the billboard led him to receive multiple calls “from [numbers] all over the world.” He told Page Six, the entire ordeal was “crazy.”
“I woke up this morning, and I guess they were putting it up. People started sending pictures to me, being like, ‘Happy birthday, hope you’re not alone.’ Complete strangers,” he said. Makris added that most of the messages were “nice” aside from a few that were from “a couple people with business opportunities.” Others tried to get in touch with Rubin through Makris. “Happy birthday, can you send this to Michael Rubin? Hope you’re not lonely now,” he explained.
While some might be upset over their phone number being made public to millions of people, Makris took the joke in good spirit. “You’re only 40 once… I’ll take the smile with the beating.” He added of his over-worked cell phone when we asked if he had a backup, “I’ve had this number for a long time, so I hope this will die down.” The only clue that would signal that Rubin was behind the joke were the words, “This ad is brought to you by Pancake Productions.” Page Six reports that Makris calls Rubin “pancake” because it’s one of Rubin’s favorite meals to eat.
All in all, Makris said funny jokes like this one is what it means to have great friendships. “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”
What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled on your bestie?