You Just Got Punk'd: 6 Quintessential Star Stings in Honor of BET's Reboot
Just in case new hosts DeStorm Power and King Bach need a little bit of practical joke inspiration ...
From 2003 to 2007, one man had the most feared name in Hollywood: Ashton Kutcher.
The actor earned his reputation as one of the biggest pranksters in Tinseltown with the launch of Punk’d, his hidden-camera prank show that set out to trick the biggest stars around.
Though the show was revived back in 2012 for a one-season run with new host Justin Bieber, it’s been far too long since we could watch celebrities accidentally break things, get their property “repossessed” and – on one memorable instance – even be accused of kidnapping. Luckily, our long prank drought has finally come to an end: Punk’d returns to TV Tuesday thanks to BET.
While we’re sure that the new hosts DeStorm Power and King Bach wil play plenty of practical jokes that will rival Kutcher’s classics, we figured we’d help them out a bit by rounding up some of the quintessential Punk’d pranks, just in case they need a little bit of inspiration.
Toward the end of his run, Kutcher often decided to go all out on his victims, putting them in ridiculous, sometimes scary situations, and then ratcheting up the level of insanity until he finally revealed that the whole thing was a joke. Perhaps the best example of this is when he pranked Drake by setting off a fake earthquake (the Canadian rapper’s first) while he was on his way to meet the Vice President and then sent a “pregnant” woman desperately searching for their help. Oh, and Kutcher made sure that the “Secret Service” agents took away the key to the SUV where Drake was trapped.
Beyoncé Ruined Christmas
No celebrity likes to disappoint fans, and that’s especially true if those fans are children. So naturally Kutcher loved to take any opportunity to force the Punk-ees accidentally upset or offend their youngest admirers. Or, in the very memorable case of Beyoncé, go full Grinch and ruin Christmas for a bunch of underprivileged children. She does, however, get points for smiling through the panic.
Nothing says “innocent, harmless prank” like accidentally, maybe blowing someone up. From Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson “causing” a car fire to Kim Kardashian‘s gas station explosion to Bieber pranking Taylor Swift by pretending to blow up a boat with some fireworks (and then ruining a couple’s wedding day), there’s nothing that can’t be improved with a little fire.
The Jealous Lover
Nobody wants to get in the middle of a relationship dispute – so that’s exactly where Kutcher frequently positioned his victims. He really outdid himself when he decided to prank his best friend and former That ’70s Show costar Wilmer Valderrama by having a very angry man get back at Kutcher for sleeping with his girlfriend by “destroying” Valderrama’s car. And to make things even better, Kutcher actually started planting the seeds for this prank months in advance.
Is there anything in the world that makes people more uncomfortable than naked strangers? Kutcher apparently didn’t think so. In perhaps Punk’d‘s most packed episode ever, Kutcher prefaced Valderrama’s car breakdown by interjecting a very confidently naked man into Jessica Alba‘s shopping trip.
Surprise, You Broke the Law!
If we could sum up Kutcher’s pranking M.O., it would be this: Pretend that a celebrity has broken the law in some way, make them face the consequences, add in a few overzealous officials and watch the emotional fireworks. There was Bow Wow‘s photo shoot “theft,” Kanye West‘s music video meltdown and Rihanna‘s street performer run-in, but nothing epitomizes up this particular set-up – and, in fact, Punk’d as a show – quite like Justin Timberlake being told that his favorite guitar (among other things) was being repossessed. Cue the sobs …
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Your move, DeStorm and King Bach.
RELATE VIDEO: Ashton Kutcher Surprises His Mom by Remodeling Their Childhood Home for Mother’s Day
premieres Aug. 18 at 10:30 p.m. on BET.