• 09.09.13

20 Years Later, CEO Finds The Sunny Side Of James Franco Egging His House

How Bureau of Trade’s Michael Phillips Moskowitz turned a childhood humiliation into a creative marketing opportunity.

20 Years Later, CEO Finds The Sunny Side Of James Franco Egging His House

More than 20 years ago, the actor James Franco allegedly egged a house in Palo Alto. What appears to be his apology letter for this act resurfaced on Wednesday in a newsletter for a men’s shopping discovery site called Bureau of Trade.


“I hope we can just forget all this and put it behind us,” the young Franco apparently wrote. At the time, the Oscar-nominated actor, writer, artist, director, PhD candidate, and Twitter user went by the name Ted.

Michael Phillips Moskowitz, CEO of Bureau of Trade, says he rediscovered the letter during a recent move and that the Palo Alto home Franco egged belonged to his parents. “[I was] mesmerized that I had plucked from obscurity this odd, potentially electric little object,” Moskowitz told Fast Company. (It’s worth noting that Palo Alto is also the name of an upcoming film costarring Franco and based on his collection of stories.)

Days after Comedy Central’s roast of Franco, the letter seemed a fitting subject for the Bureau of Trade newsletter, which frequently includes humorous or entertaining stories that tie into a product theme. The “James Franco Egged My House” edition included a Dennis the Menace book, a plastic water pistol, and a striped V-neck T-shirt.

Moskowitz says he has no hard feelings for Franco, though the last line of his write-up suggests some friendly payback. “Well, James, the egg doesn’t come out easily,” it reads, “And now, in the smallest possible way, it’s on your face, too.”

James Franco’s manager did not respond to a request to verify that the letter is authentic.

It’s always nice when a humiliating childhood experience can be transformed into something more useful later in life, but is a clever newsletter theme worth getting your house egged?


Moskowitz votes no. “Is it ever worth getting your house egged?,” he asks.

[Image: Flickr user Elisabeth D’Orcy]

About the author

Sarah Kessler is a senior writer at Fast Company, where she writes about the on-demand/gig/sharing "economies" and the future of work.