Everyone’s a little confused by this Manti Te’o scandal. Mostly because it makes absolutely no sense. The more we learn, the less we know. Who is Ronaiah Tuisosopa and where did he get this “prank” idea from? Well, after reaching back into our ’90s nostalgia vault, we think we know.
What if I told you that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo wasn’t the first man to impersonate a woman to impress someone? What I told you that I know someone who took it even further? Someone who not only created an entire false identity, but applied for a job with the very people he wanted to impress? Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, AKA Daniel Hillard AKA a man who totally deserved to have his parental rights taken away for wildly inappropriate behavior that definitely did long-term damage to his three young children.
The more we learn about this disturbing scandal, the more I can conclude that Lennay Kekua is just the poor man’s version of Mrs. Doubtfire. And if Mrs. Doubtfire’s Lennay Kekua, I think you know what means –Miranda Hillard is Manti Te’o.
In case you forgot the general premise of the 1993 documentary, let me remind you. Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) wants to be a super cool fun Dad who does zany things like bring farm animals into his suburban home for his tween son’s birthday. Therefore Miranda Hillard (Sally Field) must be the horribly mean mother who says “sorry kids, but I will not allow livestock in my house, especially on a week day afternoon when I’m trying to support this family with my job.”
They get a divorce and Daniel loses primary custody of his children. It sucks, but that’s what happens sometimes. However rather than accepting the situation and listening to the courts, he creates a new identity as an elderly British housekeeper named Mrs. Doubtfire. She’s everything Miranda always wanted in a household partner — minus the small fact that she’s not a real person. Sure there are weird things that don’t make sense, but Miranda’s so desperate for this person to be real that she looks the other way. Is it that crazy that someone would know where you keep things in a kitchen they’ve never seen before? Is it so hard to believe that someone would tell their serious boyfriend not to come to their funeral?
Sounding familiar? Great, let’s carry on then.
As much as Daniel/Mrs. Doubtfire loves spending time with his children, things are getting increasingly complicated. Mostly because Pierce Brosnan’s much better looking than him. Also Pierce has a membership at a very fancy pool club. Unlike Daniel who has a studio apartment and an incredibly stupid social worker checking up on him in said apartment. (Really? You really believe your American client has an elderly British sister living with him? Forfeit your license Gloria!)
So he takes the natural logical step and decides to kill someone. But unlike Ronaiah, he doesn’t choose to kill his alter ego. No, he chooses to kill Pierce Brosnan. With pepper. Then just like Ronaiah, he regrets this decision and brings Pierce back to life with the Heimlich. Or in the case of Ronaiah, he brings back Lennay Kekua with a “actually, I’m alive, but drug dealers are after me” phone call.
Tragically for both Daniel and Ronaiah, everything quickly falls apart. Even though they both created the perfect person, everyone’s really upset they lied. It’s weird.
Then it all falls back together . Mrs. Doubtfire gets a talk show and Ronaiah gets featured on every single website on the internet — which I think we all know is the 21st century equivalent of a public access TV show.
So there you have it. My thorough examination on how Ronaiah Tuiasosopo totally plagiarized Mrs. Doubtfire for his “prank” on Manti Te’o.