If Cyrano de Bergerac Was an Episode of Catfish: The TV Show
NEV SCHULMAN: We’ve got an interesting one today from someone named Roxane.
KAMIE CRAWFORD: Let’s get to it.
[NEV unbuttons his shirt so a tuft of chest hair pokes out and begins reading Roxane’s message.]
NEV: Dearest Catfish – I think I met the love of my life, Christian. I saw him from afar and I just knew he was the one.
[Soft indie pop music plays during the voiceover]
NEV: He started sending me letters and wowza—this boy is a poet! I was even telling my big-nosed cousin Cyrano about how my boyfriend was so intellectual, but then…something weird happened. I don’t know what to think anymore, and I need help!
KAMIE: Wait, she’s seen this guy in person?
NEV: Let’s get her on the horn.
[ROXANE enters a Zoom call with NEV and KAMIE.]
ROXANE: Hey guys!
NEV: Roxane, let’s back up to the beginning with you and Christian. How did you meet?
ROXANE: Christian and I met at this play, and he’s like, so hot.
NEV: Was there anything else you liked about him, or…?
ROXANE: Oh, well, he’s proud, noble, young, fearless. But mostly just a total smokeshow.
KAMIE: Why do you need Catfish if you know Christian IRL?
ROXANE: Christian and I never actually “talked to each other” before he started sending me letters. It seemed like he was the most ravishing poet in the world. But then, he showed up at my house and what he was saying didn’t match the letters at all!
[KAMIE raises an eyebrow and waves a small red flag around.]
NEV: What do you mean?
ROXANE: He just kept saying “You’re hot, bae,” so I got annoyed and went inside until he started throwing rocks at my window. I went on my balcony to tell him off, but then he started reciting beautiful poetry like in the letters! Here’s the weird part: at first, he sounded normal, but then his voice changed. And he was hiding in a bush.
[KAMIE waves the red flag again.]
NEV: So, he’s never read poetry to you on video chat?
ROXANE: Well, recently he says he’s been away at the siege of Arras and apparently the WiFi is really spotty…
KAMIE: That doesn’t mean that he can’t find a Starbucks and jump on a FaceTime! This whole thing is sus.
NEV: Look, send us what you have on Christian and we’ll see what we can find out.
NEV: Roxane mentioned her cousin Cyrano, and it looks like he runs a poetry Instagram with only ten followers…
KAMIE: This post is verbatim one of the letters that “Christian” sent Roxane while he was allegedly “at the siege of Arras!”
[KAMIE waves five red flags in each hand and jumps up and down.]
NEV: Christian and Cyrano follow each other! So, maybe Cyrano is catfishing as Christian, or Christian is stealing Cyrano’s poems? I think Roxane is in for a rude awakening.
[Anxious indie pop music plays.]
NEV: While we’re waiting for “Christian” to join, Roxane, let me just ask you, if the letters were written by someone else, how are you going to feel?
ROXANE: I love him for his soul alone! His thoughts outshine his outer appearance!
[CHRISTIAN and CYRANO enter the Zoom. CHRISTIAN looks like a low-rent Hemsworth brother. CYRANO is basically just a normal dude but he has a big nose.]
CYRANO: Roxane. Your face aches with the pain of confusion.
CHRISTIAN: Hey bae.
ROXANE: My dearest Christian, and my beloved cousin! Please explain what’s going on!
CYRANO: Simple. Christian has conquering physical charm and I lent him my eloquence.
CHRISTIAN: I don’t write good.
NEV: But Cyrano, why didn’t you just write to Roxane as yourself?
[Melancholy indie pop plays]
CYRANO: I…have a big nose. I didn’t know if Roxane could accept that.
KAMIE: Also, she’s your cousin?
CYRANO: Well yeah, that too.
NEV: So wait, Cyrano, you wrote the letters, but Christian, you were talking to her from the bush?
CHRISTIAN: Nah, Cyrano was in the bush whispering to me, then I repeated it to Roxane. But then he wanted to use big words, so he just took over. And then Roxane and I made out.
KAMIE: Oh girl…
CYRANO: In retrospect, this was a plan most idiotic.
ROXANE: I have loved only one man, and he has catfished me twice.
NEV: But Roxane, you said you loved the author of the letters for his soul. Now that Cyrano is here, do you have anything you want to say to him?
[ROXANE stares at CYRANO’S nose.]
ROXANE: Uh, I’m willing to have, you know, a friendship with Cyrano…but that’s as far as I want to go.
NEV: Let’s check in with Roxane, Cyrano, and Christian and see what they’ve been up to since filming.
[ROXANE enters the Zoom wearing a habit.]
ROXANE: Hey Nev and Kamie!
KAMIE: Hey girl! What’s new?
ROXANE: I’ve decided to take a break from dating and focus on myself for a while. So I’ve become a nun.
NEV: A nun, wow.
ROXANE: I mean, it’s better than being on dating apps…
[CYRANO enters the Zoom.]
NEV: Hey Cyrano – you look different!
CYRANO: I set up a GoFundMe for a rhinoplasty and my whole life changed. My Instagram poetry took off, and now I’m doing a book tour with Rupi Kaur!
KAMIE: Are you still crushing on your cousin?
CYRANO: Roxane will always be important to me, but I’m going to pursue women who like me for who I am, and who also are not my relatives.
NEV: Are you in touch with Christian?
CYRANO: Unfortunately, that bit about being away at the siege of Arras wasn’t made up and he perished.
NEV: Well, shit.
[KAMIE holds up a red flag in honor of Christian.]
[Elegiac indie pop music plays.]