When New York-based comedian Mark Malkoff comes up with his wacky personal challenges, he’s nothing if not committed. Malkoff’s wife, Christine, visited him while he famously occupied an IKEA store for a week in 2009, and the couple spent their one-year anniversary dining on the wing of aeroplane he’d been sleeping in for a month.
He’s recently been at it again, this time challenging himself to see just how many films he could squeeze out of his $7.99 unlimited Netflix streaming plan in 30 days.
Between April 16 and May 15, he barely budged from his Queens, N.Y. apartment. When he took walks around his neighbourhood for exercise, his wife made sure he didn’t veer into traffic while browsing flicks on in his iPhone.
“A lot of people were like, oh my God, I envy you so much, and then they would think about it and say I would not want to do what you’re doing,” he told BI in a phone interview. “The first week, I didn’t leave my apartment for 155 straight hours.”
Most of the films (see a full list here) were suggested by more than 500 social media followers, but he came up with special theme days (Sports, Sci-Fi, and “things I’d never usually watch”) to keep things interesting.
When all was said and done, Malkoff clocked 404.25 hours and watched 252 films for an impressive $0.03 a pop. He also packed on about six extra pounds, most of which he blamed on the coffee and cookies he ate to stay awake.
“It was really a race the last week,” he admitted. “I had to watch over 100 hours. The final day, I watched 17 straight hours of movies.”
There were some celebrity cameos, too. Andrew McCarthy joined him for a smartphone screening of “St. Elmo’s Fire” in Central Park (“He pulled me around in a wagon and it tipped over”), and “Dazed and Confused” actor Jack London actually made a house call.
Malkoff was so committed to his task, he re-watched four films after realising he hadn’t processed what he’d seen.
“After about seven or eight straight hours, everything basically became like white nose,” he said.
Now that Malkoff’s completed his feat, he said he’s pretty much convinced streaming is the way to go for bargain-hunters.
“Good thing there’s unlimited Netflix streaming,” he said. “Otherwise I would have had to subscribe to the 252 disc-at-a-time plan.”