Todd Glass and Daniel Kinno, Standups Bound for Irvine Improv, Find Briefcase Full of Clues

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You pull off the freeway headed for a job and notice a briefcase lying in the center divider of the overpass.

What do you do?

When Los Angeles comedians Todd Glass and Daniel Kinno recently found themselves in that predicament, they circled their car around, picked up the briefcase and unlocked an Irvine mystery that scared the beejebus out of them.

They recounted the experience on The Todd Glass Show podcast that had an Aug. 26 upload date on iTunes. (Their guest was Henry Phillips, the guitar-strumming comedian whose Punching the Clown I'd deemed the top don't-miss film of the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival.) Glass, Kinno and the Irvine Police Department's Lieutentant Julia Engen later filled me in on some details.

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Todd Glass performs at the Improv.
Glass--whom you may also recognize from recent Tosh.O bits, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Louie C.K.'s FX show Louie, brutally honest sections of Jordan Brady's documentary I Am Comic and an infamous YouTube video that has the comedian going off on a heckler--was sitting in the passenger seat of the car driven by his sidekick and fellow Irvine Improv performer Kinno on Sunday evening, Aug. 21. After exiting the San Diego (405) freeway at Irvine Center Drive around 6:30 p.m., they spotted the black briefcase that may have been beaten up from having been driven over a couple of times.

As the pair tells it in the podcast, two possibilities about the briefcase's contents immediately came to mind: It's either cash or a bomb. With 50-50 odds like that, naturally, they made a U-turn. Kinno opened his car door enough to scoop up the case and throw it in the backseat and very close to Glass, who flinched as he was frightened that might cause the contents to IED him all over the Interstate.

Fear gave way to giddiness with anticipation upon arriving at the Improv at Irvine Spectrum and excitedly telling a manager there about the find. Cracking the briefcase open, they discovered no bomb, only a little currency and some very disturbing things. This is how they described the contents on the podcast: a Saudi Arabian passport, photocopies of the passport, credit cards, bank statements, hotel receipts, many airplane ticket stubs, Saudi Arabian cash notes and an apartment lease bearing the name of the man on the passport and a co-signer with an American name that included her phone number.

The Improv manager called the number on the lease and reached the woman, but she said she'd never heard of the man, nor had she recently signed any lease, nor did she know why her name was on the document in the first place. It was apparently to lease a residential unit in Irvine.

"It was all classic identity-theft stuff," Glass told me when I called him about three weeks after the podcast. In this post-9/11 world, more sinister possibilities filled the heads of the funny men. Glass was still so freaked out when I asked about it that he wanted to think more about the implications before talking further, spooked over whom he may rile up. Kinno, meanwhile, was absolutely eager to publicize the incident.

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