Punk'd: Wikis


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Punk'd logo.jpg

Title card (2003-2005)
Format Comedy Reality/Candid Camera
Created by Ashton Kutcher
Jason Goldberg
Starring Ashton Kutcher
Theme music composer Elizabeth Miller
Brian Friedman (Theme)
Ricky Friedman (Theme)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 64
Executive producer(s) Jason Goldberg
Ashton Kutcher
David R. Franzke
Billy Rainey
Lois Clark Curren
Rod Aissa
Selene hinojosa
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel MTV
Original run April 15, 2003 (2003-04-15) – May 29, 2007 (2007-05-29)

Punk'd is an American hidden camera practical joke television series that aired on MTV in 2003 and was produced and hosted by Ashton Kutcher. It bears a strong resemblance to both the classic hidden camera show Candid Camera, and to TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes, which also featured pranks on celebrities. Being "Punk'd" refers to having such a prank played on oneself, and to "punk someone" refers to making someone else the victim of the show's style of prank itself.

The series finale aired on MTV on May 29, 2007. The series culminated in early June with the Punk'd Awards.[1]



Kutcher will also sometimes use real-life current events as elements in his pranks, as when he pranked tennis player Andy Roddick, who was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show, by convincing him that his automobile was trapped by the Los Angeles mudslides. Kutcher sometimes sets his pranks where his targets work, such as on the sets of movies, TV shows, and music videos. As one example, Kutcher pranked The Rock, who was filming Be Cool, by convincing him that his trailer was destroyed. As another example, Kutcher pranked Kanye West by convincing him that he could not shoot his music video for "Jesus Walks" on Sundays without a permit. Kutcher has also done holiday-themed pranks, as when he punked Beyoncé Knowles into thinking she knocked over a 50-foot (15 m) Christmas Tree, or when he pranked Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz into thinking he derailed a train at a Christmas festival. After the joke progresses to a point, usually with the celebrity having become angry or frustrated at the outrageousness of the situation, Kutcher or one of the actors will announce to the surprised victim that they just had a practical joke played on them, usually with use of the catch phrase, "You just got punk'd!", or by revealing a large sign or banner to that effect. Each half-hour episode usually features three pranks.

A frequent segment during the first two seasons was a Punk'd cast member pretending to interview celebrities at red carpet events, only to mock them instead. This segment closely copies what originated on The Howard Stern Show in the 1980s, when Stern and his writers began sending interns (most notably Stuttering John Melendez) to ask celebrities embarrassing questions on the red carpet.[2] During the first season the show had then fifteen-year-old Ryan Pinkston (though on the show they claim he was only eight) do the interviewing, where he would pretend to be a reporter from a kid's show who would then hurl insults at the celebrities.[3] During Season 2, the producers then chose a foreign interviewer accompanied by her interpreter who would then ask insane questions to the guests.

Failed Punks

While the pranks most of the time are successful, some pranks actually have failed.

  • In December 2003, Kutcher attempted to "punk" then-WWE wrestler Bill Goldberg by having a truck run over an exact replica of his prized motorcycle, but the stunt went wrong when the truck clearly missed the bike. When the bike spontaneously exploded without any visible reason Goldberg realized what was going on, and asked, "Who do I get to kill first?" as Kutcher revealed himself, knowing the joke had failed. It aired on the Season 2 finale.
  • In June 2005, Kutcher's unsuccessful attempt to prank musician Lil Jon resulted in the musician telling Kutcher, "You can't Punk the King of Crunk."[4]
  • Kutcher has claimed that he himself is "unpunkable." In the first season, his crew attempted to punk him using Britney Spears, but Kutcher discovered the plot and convinced Spears to help him turn the tables on his own crew.

Controversy and conflict

  • On The Late Show with David Letterman, Kutcher mentioned punking David Spade in one of the show's first episodes. However, Spade refused to sign the release papers. The same prank was then used on Seth Green for the same episode.
  • Alias star Michael Vartan reportedly refused to sign the release after being pranked by Kutcher, preventing the prank from airing. However, Vartan denies ever being pranked, and claims that the story was completely false.[5][6]
  • American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth filed for divorce from her husband Joe Reitman, a year after her appearance on the show. She was reportedly furious over his involvement in the prank, which involved leading Elizabeth to believe that they had been filmed on a celebrity porn tape.[7]
  • Pamela Anderson also denies ever being fooled by the attempted prank on her, which involved convincing her that a porn movie was being shot in her back garden, explaining that she realized it was a prank when she confronted a nude model on the premises.[8]
  • During his interview of Kutcher for Interview, actor Brad Pitt advised Kutcher not to prank his Ocean's Eleven co-star George Clooney, a notorious expert prankster himself. Pitt told Kutcher, "Don't do it. Don't ever go near it. Clooney will kill you and everything you love. I know it's tempting, but don't do it."[9]
  • Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has stated that she does not wish to be Punk'd, and is so paranoid that she often assumes she is being Punk'd whenever any suspicious or out of the ordinary mishap occurs, as when, for example, a valet gives her the wrong car when leaving a restaurant, which Kutcher's crew members did to Simon Cowell during the Season 5 Premiere.[10]
  • Scrubs star Zach Braff was involved in a prank with teenagers vandalizing his car. Braff was so furious that he proceeded to, in his own words, "pummel" a twelve-year old.[11]

Celebrities who have been Punk'd

International versions

  • An Icelandic version of the show, Tekinn, hosted by Auðunn Blöndal, premiered on Sirkus TV in fall 2006.
  • A Norwegian version, Bøff aired on BTV Triplet in spring 2007.
  • A Hong Kong version, Whatever Things!, was hosted by Edison Chen, in which he pranked famous Asian artists like Vanness Wu.
  • A Dutch version, Gotcha was hosted by Georgina Verbaan for the first season and Tatum Dagelet for the second.


External links

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