Screen shot from Tom Mabe's video PSA

Screen shot from Tom Mabe’s video PSA

Although drunk driving is a serious subject, a Louisville, Kentucky, comedian and prankster is using humor to bring attention to the problem — a lot of attention, as it turns out, as his video (which you can see below) has gone viral. The comedian, Tom Mabe, created a scenario to teach a lesson to a friend of his who he says has been convicted of DUI five times.

Mabe set up an empty Louisville office to look like a hospital room, then waited until his friend with the drinking problem had passed out after a binge. He then had the friend carried into the fake hospital room, as Mabe’s YouTube video shows. In the video, someone dressed as a doctor tells the friend in the faux hospital bed that he’s been in a coma for 10 years after an accident. Mabe told the New York Daily News that the video “is a good, positive PSA [public service announcement] with a little bit of humor in it,” as Sasha Goldstein and David Boroff report.

“Mabe was thorough on the details,” Neha Prakash writes for Mashable, “hiring a nurse and even filming fake news segments that elaborated on current events from the future (Miley Cyrus lives in a trailer park, and U.S. President Hillary Clinton is about to declare war on Canada).”

After the first “doctor” leaves the room, the Daily News writes, another “doctor” (played by Mabe himself) enters and slaps the friend’s face repeatedly while scolding him for his stupid behavior. The friend in the bed fights back.

As of very early Tuesday (just after midnight), the video that Mabe posted on YouTube on Dec. 8 had already been viewed 3,052,858 times and garnered 4,573 comments. Some of the commenters on the video’s YouTube page write that the prank is great and will cause people to think twice before drinking and driving; but others do not think anything will help such offenders to change.

For example, someone posting a comment as zub7 writes:

People like this drunk fat [expletive deleted] should be put behind bars and license revoked. People like him do not change. Sooner or later someone innocent will pay the price. I just hope he crashes into a tree and takes his own life before then.

As this blog noted in September (in a post about two new smartphone apps designed to prevent drunk driving), 1.2 million drivers were arrested in the U.S. in 2011 for offenses ranging from misdemeanor “buzzed driving” to vehicular homicide, and that in 2010, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults drove while legally drunk about 112 million times, about 300,000 each day.

Prakash writes that some commenters question whether Mabe’s video is a legitimate prank or a scripted public service announcement. But either way, Prakash adds, its message is clear: “Don’t drink and drive.” And that is what the video says at the end, after wishing viewers “Happy holidays.”

Here is Mabe’s video:

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