Yesterday, when we pointed out the video clip which seemed to depict Pauly Shore as the victim of semi-senseless heckler-on-comedian violence in an Odessa, TX comedy club, we neglected to raise the possibility that the incident was some kind of publicity stunt meant to capitalize on the red-hot "blurry videos of loud-mouthed stand-ups clashing with audience members" trend recently popularized by edgy performance artist Michael Richards, content to believe that the patron was provoked enough to punch Shore in the mouth. Today, an anonymous e-mailer (whose reliability we can't vouch for, so we'll just throw this out there in the interest of lively, high-minded debate) claims that the punch was staged and shot in multiple takes at the conclusion of the show, forcing us to confront the unpleasant idea that a performer of Shore's stature would stage such a thing for the fleeting attention it might bring. (Remembering, of course, that this is a wily trickster who put out a movie called Pauly Shore Is Dead while not actually being dead.) Does the punch actually connect? Was it thrown by cynical design, or in genuine, heartfelt anger? We don't have the answers, but urge you to watch the video a few dozen more times in an attempt to puzzle through these questions on your own.

UPDATE: says the Odessa cops have admitted it was staged. We feel so very, very dirty about ever believing it might be real.

Bonus! Shore talks about the joys of playing off the crowd on the eve of his Odessa appearance.