Natalie Tran - Australia's leading online comedienne - has been detained at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) following an incident aboard a Sydney to Los Angeles flight, The Daily Currant can reveal.
Sources say the perpetually salutary Tran was mobbed by adoring fans while flying aboard a Quantas A380 to the United States. Two people were reported to have sustained minor injuries during the incident and the distruption was significant enough to trigger the capitain's intervention.
Upon landing Tran was taken for questioning by U.S. oficials. Although cleared of all wrongdoing, she has been detained due to her citizenship status until her return to Oz can be arranged.
The gorgeous-but-geeky 25 year old Aussie child of Vietnamese immigrants is one of the world's biggest Youtube celebrities with over 425 million views on her CommunityChannel skien. She ranks as the number 1 most subscribed Austraian on the site, and number 5st in the world.
"We were gonna let her go, but her quiz came back only 10% stable "
It Takes a Cabin
The crisis began when a young child of 5 sitting next to Tran on the 14-hour flight began acting up and disrupting neighboring passengers. Tran generously offered his parents to lend the youngster her iPad so he could watch a copy of Finding Nemo she had stored on the device.
As is her custom on trans-pacific flights, she then enveloped herself in the silence of 33 decibel earplugs, took a sleeping pill, and slept.
After the child finished Nemo, however, he began to watch copies of CommunityChannel videos found in the same videos folder. Given the extreme length of the flight the youngster watched all 287 CommunityChannel episodes in one sitting while Tran slept beside him.
Upon finishing the last video, the young American attempted to wake Tran and ask her to make more videos. He especially was insistent that he be taught how Lamingtons are made.
Before he had the chance to wake the slumbering Tran, however, the boy's parents intervened and told him it wasn't polite to wake strangers up on planes.
His response: "But Mommy I want more Natalie videos! "
The child then became increasingly agitated, and began to run down the aisles screaming "I want more Natalie Tran! I want more Natalie Tran! I want more Natalie Tran!"
Flight attendants chased the screaming boy all the way to the way to the back of the plane's lower deck before they managed to apprehend him. One male flight attendant was slightly injured when he hit is knee on a seat rest.
Rip Tran Winkle
As the drama unfolded, curious passengers on the flight began Googleing Tran's name through Quatas's satellite Wifi connection to ascertain what the boy was screaming about.
A few passengers began to actually watch her videos, and those who enjoyed them shared them with nieghboring passengers who shared them with their neighbors until the videos had propagated to every corner of the aircraft - much like the the flu virus does on such flights.
By the time Tran woke up 6 hours later nearly all 500 passengers on the packed flight had completed the entire series. Yet they were still in the dark about why the little boy had been screaming about it in the first place:
"At that point we had no idea she was on the plane," says Suzzy Sommers, a 24 year old hairdresser from Santa Barbara. "We just thought that a 5 year old boy with ADD had randomly given us the best Youtube share of all time."
Tran awoke with 5 hours left of flight time. Upon rising she immediately headed to the bathroom without regard for the fasten seat belt sign. While waiting in line she realaized the cabin was staring at her with unusual interest.
One young man quickly approched her from the cabin:
"Hi! I'm a big fan, would you mind an autograph?",
A bemused Tran acquiesced to his requests, and then to another, but soon a throng of viewers - old and new - began asking for more and more questions about herself and the show. Passengers began to rise out of their seats - against the advice of the sacred seat belt sign. A miniature human crush situation subsequqnetly unfolded, in which one 15 year old teenager from Perth was slightly bruised.
The commotion in the cabin caused flight attendants to panic and they initiatied a lock down procedure designed to keep the pilots behind extra sturdy cockpit doors in case of a terrorist attack. The capitain of the flight then got on the intercom and managed to calm the situation by telling passngers to return to their seats.
Girl With Pretty Good Self Esteem
Despite the awkward ugliness of that incident, reaction from the more civilized passengers on the flight to Community Channel was overwhelmingly positive.
Mitchell Hurwitz - a Los Angeles resident returning from an outback adventure trip to Australia - praised the Tran's ability to meld her personal life into narrative of the show: "I really thought her videos were fantastic. I haven't seen a writer/actor/director this good since early Gervais or maybe season 7 of Curb."
Jane Espenson - a retired linguist returning home to California - marveled at Tran's work ethic and commitment to quality: "Creating quality content like CommunityChannel is usually a team effort. I have no idea how she's been able to sustain six years of quality writing on her own. It's amazing. And on top of that she acts and directs. That's unheard of in the industry I am told."
Vera Mindy Chokalingam - a Bostonian who says she's currently living in L.A. for work - complimented Tran on successfully navigating the world of comedy as an attractrive woman: "So many pretty girls like Natalie take the easy route and try to build an audience using their only sexuality. Tran acknowledges her good looks while focusing on developing her outstanding comedic talent."
All three said they wished Tran would transition to writing for series television, although as ordinary Angelinos they probably wouldn't have had any idea how to accomplish that if The Daily Currant had asked.
Alderaan's Not (that) Far Away
Authorities on the ground say they were required to question Tran about the incident afterwards to rule out the possibility that the disruption was a planned, coorrdinated effort.
"At first we thought this was just a standard celebrity freak out case," says Michael Porterville, the FB agent in charge of the case, "but when we gave her a computerized psychometric test she only came back as 10% stable, so we felt we needed to hold her longer to be 100% sure this wasn't part of something bigger."
Porterville watched Tran's videos for evidence purposes, however, and says he now sees the irony of her situation " Her only real crime was being too damn funny."
Tran explained to authorities that she was flying to Southern California in order to shoot new videos there which were supposed to be unveiled in July to coincide with the annual Comic-Con conference in San Diego. Tran also had four new videos stored on her iPad, which are now lost due to confiscation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Also confiscated by ICE were:
7 bottles of Vegemite
1/2 cup Australian butter
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sr flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
and approx 3 cups of shredded coconut
Tran had planned on making authentic Australian Lamingtons in an instruction video to be filmed her first night in L.A.