Securing a date to the prom can be tough, but Allison Closs had no trouble finding hers online. In fact, she paid money for her evening beau, who turned out to be a companion with a difference: he was a cardboard cutout of Danny DeVito. What’s more, the actor eventually found out about her fun night with his double, and he responded in a hilarious way.
A native of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Allison Closs attended the borough’s eponymous high school. And by the spring of 2018, the 17-year-old had reached the end of her senior year – which meant it was time to attend the prom.
But that time of the school year can be tricky for some – and Closs was among their number. She told the New York Post that she’d had trouble finding the right person to bring as her date to the big dance. So, she headed online and sought out a cardboard cutout to bring with her instead.
As it happens, she wasn’t absolutely certain who would have the honor of accompanying her to the annual shindig. “I considered other celebrities, like Bill Nye the Science Guy,” Closs said. “But many of them would [have required] ordering a custom-made cutout, and I’m not about that money life, if you know what I’m saying.”
Fortunately, she found what she described as “a shockingly wide variety” of ready-to-buy Danny DeVito cardboard cutouts. Closs then shelled out $100 to purchase one on Amazon – which, for a self-proclaimed fan of his TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, was a small price to pay.
On the big night, Closs donned a ruffled, flowy blue gown and made sure that her date had on appropriate attire too. She hung a tie from the cutout’s neck and pinned a floral decoration onto his chest. The teen even taped him to a scooter board so that she could tug him around rather than carrying a piece of cardboard all night.
Closs’ decision to bring DeVito along didn’t chime with everyone. “My parents and a few friends knew,” Closs revealed. “My mom was a little skeptical, [and] my friends thought the concept was amusing. But to be honest, I don’t think they thought I was actually going to go through with it.”
By the time she wheeled her date into the prom, though, it was clear that Closs was serious. And it seems that she and her classmates loved having DeVito there, even in cardboard form. The teen let everyone snap pictures with her date – but, for fear that he’d break, didn’t let anyone cut in for a dance.
By all accounts, Closs had a great time with the cardboard version of the It’s Always Sunny funnyman. “Making things work with a human date can be so exhausting,” she said. “Danny’s not like that. He just goes with the flow… We never argue, we never fight. Plus, he treats me the way a woman should be treated.”
After the dance, Closs’ prom photos went viral – and the 17-year-old hoped they would reach DeVito for more reasons than one. “As an aspiring filmmaker, it would be huge to be acknowledged by a legend like him,” she said. And she was in luck.
Nearly a month later, Closs’ wish came true in a hilarious way when DeVito’s It’s Always Sunny co-star Rob McElhenney shared the 73-year-old’s response to his prom outing trip. A side-splitting Instagram post revealed more.
McElhenney wrote, “Hey Allison – I heard you took cardboard Danny to prom. What a coincidence. He took cardboard Allison to Paddy’s…” The accompanying image showed that DeVito had made a cutout of the teen and brought her onto the TV show’s set.
Closs took to Twitter to express her shock at and gratitude for the actors’ response. “I am shooketh. Thank you SO, SO MUCH [Rob McElhenney] and [Danny DeVito] for fulfilling my dream of visiting Paddy’s Pub,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, it turned out that the 17-year-old wasn’t the only one who appreciated the photo. McElhenney’s Instagram post garnered more than 60,000 likes. But, surprisingly, that wasn’t the end of the story for Closs and DeVito.
In September of 2018, Closs appeared on an episode of The Talk – a daytime panel-style talk show on CBS. Then, at the end of her appearance, host Sara Gilbert revealed that they “had a few gifts” for Closs because “[they] wanted to make sure [she] had a Danny DeVito cutout for every occasion.”
“That’s a lot of Dannys,” Closs said when she saw all four new cutouts revealed on the other side of The Talk’s stage. But Gilbert wasn’t finished; there was one more waiting backstage. And he was brought in, as the TV host said, to “mark [Closs’] first talk show appearance.”
Closs turned her attention to the stage door – and, as soon as it opened, the shock was clear on her face. This DeVito wasn’t a cardboard cutout at all; he was the real thing, and he laughed and waved as the pair met for the first time.
After they hugged, Closs and DeVito stood side by side to talk about their story. The 73-year-old actor started by saying, “I think that this was my first prom. Thank you very much for inviting me.”
Then, The Talk co-host Sharon Osbourne asked Closs what it was like to finally meet the real DeVito. She replied, “Amazing, fantastic! I never expected… as a little joke, taking a little cardboard cutout to prom, that it would lead to this!”
After her prom and her talk show appearance, Closs returned to her new school, Gettysburg College, where she is pursuing studies in film and media. And of course, she brought along someone special for the ride: her DeVito cutout. How’s he finding it there? Well, he seems to like the view at least. As Closs told the ladies from The Talk, “He is gazing out of the window in my dorm room.”