DANVILLE -- After three weeks of soul-crushing nonresponse to his invitation to Will Ferrell, a determined teacher at San Ramon Valley High School is not ready to throw in the prom towel just yet.
Chad Cochran has not yet given up hope -- and isn't ready to call this "a rejection."
"Until the night of the prom, I will keep up hope," he said. "I tell kids in the hall that there is still time. ... But I think I will have to ask the DJ to play 'All by Myself' so I can slow dance alone at the prom," if Ferrell (God forbid), ends up a no-show.
Since early March, Cochran's deadpan YouTube video inviting the former "Saturday Night Live" star to help him chaperone the high school prom -- since his wife is going to be out of town -- has crisscrossed the globe. There has been media coverage in New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Cleveland and even Australia -- and on the popular breaking news website BuzzFeed, it got close to 75,000 views.
That video went out March 3, and this week, Cochran and his video production students raised the stakes. They have unveiled a second video in their quest to get Ferrell to the May 10 prom. Only this time, Cochran enlisted help with his plea from students and classes from around the school.
"We decided that's what we needed to do, since the other video was slowing down significantly," he said. "It was time for us to give it another shot in the arm."
In the video, Cochran whirls around campus seeking backup in his plea to Ferrell, who is wooed with words, song and of course, a bevy of jokes.
At one point in the video, Cochran approaches a group of lunching students and asks one how he'd feel if Ferrell came to prom. "Yeah, I guess that would be pretty cool," said the plaid-shirted student. "I don't know if he'd be that good at twerking, though."
The success of the first video surprised some.
"It's bigger than we thought it would be, and now we just want to make it bigger," said Karson Kwan, 17, a senior who was one of five students on a school leadership committee that put together both videos. They did their homework by studying viral videos and realized there was a whole genre of celebrity prom proposal videos that got millions of views, even scoring a few successes, in luring celebrities like Taylor Swift.
But Kwan and Cochran admit that after their whirlwind of media exposure, they feel a bit sad because they've heard zilch from the beloved star of "Anchorman" and "Blades of Glory."
"It does make us a little sad, but we are hopeful that he is just keeping us in suspense. ... I am becoming balder everyday with the stress of wondering," Cochran joked. "But considering that I am almost fully bald, that should end soon, though."
Cochran himself has become something of an Internet celebrity. "I get harassed by my co-workers and old friends," he said. "And I have talked to a lot of people that I have not seen in a long time."
Although some people might brand him "a dreamer," Cochran says: "I don't think of myself as a dreamer. Just weird."
After all, all he has to do is harken back to the lessons of all of his favorite and much-beloved Ferrell flicks, and he knows he just can't give up the fight.
"Did Ricky Bobby quit after his accident? No, he trained with a live tiger in his car and came back to win," he said. "Did Buddy the Elf quit when his father rejected him? No, he kept showing up at his work and bought him lingerie to win him over.
"He taught me to never give up on your dreams," he said.
And in his dreams, Ferrell always says "yes" to the prom and gives Cochran the news in person -- "Maybe descending slowly outside my classroom in a hot air balloon with a bouquet of flowers," he said.
But then again, a simple phone call or email would work just fine too, he said.
Contact Joyce Tsai at 925-847-2123. Follow her at Twitter.com/joycetsainews.