“Even the gods love jokes.” – Plato
Today is April Fools’ Day, which means widespread pranking is in full effect. For those who planned legendary gags to unleash upon your family, friends and co-workers, we salute you. For those who didn’t, we want to give you some motivation.
In honor of April Fools’ Day, DMG Entertainment has compiled a list of Hollywood’s top pranksters. So before resorting to the same tired and predictable gags, read this list and get inspired to amp up your April Fools’ Day game.
Famous actor, model and producer Ashton Kutcher turned pranks into profit with his widely popular MTV show PUNK’D. For those who haven’t seen PUNK’D, the television series played elaborate pranks on celebrities and filmed their reaction. The show has pranked numerous celebrities including Shaquille O’Neal, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kim Kardashian, Salma Hayek, Adrien Brody and Elijah Wood. Although most of the show’s pranks were hilarious, Kutcher pulled off the prank of a lifetime on Justin Timberlake. After Timberlake played a relaxing round of golf, he came home to find the IRS repossessing his property. The fake IRS agents informed Timberlake he owed over $900,000 in back taxes and they proceeded to take Timberlake’s home, cars and dogs. It wasn’t until Timberlake frantically called his mother and burst into tears did Kutcher reveal he was on a prank show. Well done Ashton, well done.
While some of this list’s pranksters strive for originality, award-winning actor, producer, director and musician Johnny Depp prefers the classic gags. While filming BLOW (2001), Johnny Depp brought a remote-control fart machine on location and routinely set it off. Although Depp terrorized most of the film crew, he often targeted Penelope Cruz with his mischievous device. Nearly ten years later, Cruz and Depp reunited in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (2011). As a reunion gift, Depp brought the same machine on set and regularly pranked his good-natured co-star who took it in stride. Depp’s prank reminds us to never underestimate simplicity.
Oscar-winning actor, director, and professional racer Newman’s mischievous smile hid an even more mischievous nature. It was so compelling, author A.E Hotchner was inspired to write an entire novel sharing the numerous pranks the two did together. Although many fell victim to Newman’s pranks, such as Robert Redford, John Huston and Otto Preminger, the most notable victim was director George Roy Hill. While shooting THE STING (1973), Newman and Hill disagreed over an alternative ending. How did Newman respond? Newman sawed Hill’s new Chevy in half during the film’s wrap party. Although many would consider the prank extreme, Newman met Hill at their hotel and handed him keys to a brand new sports car. Well, that escalated quickly.
Although famous actor and producer has done many pranks, Pitt earned his prankster title for one particularly cruel joke. In 1999, Pitt threw a New Year’s Eve party on a private Mexican resort. Little did the guests know, Pitt bribed the Mexican government to stage a fake yet elaborate drug bust. At midnight, the Mexican task force cut the party’s power, stormed the New Year’s celebration and arrested stunned attendees on fake drug charges. What does Pitt’s prank teach us? Money can buy you happiness…but may lose you friends.
Academy Award-winning actor, director and producer George Clooney is often considered the king of Hollywood pranksters. Pranking fellow co-workers and co-stars since the ’70s, Clooney’s cherished reputation has been well documented. From throwing fake kittens in public to setting up 4am wake up calls for Jerry Weintraub, selecting Clooney’s best prank proved impossible. After much deliberation, we decided to reveal Clooney’s personal favorite prank: After he temporarily moved in with actor Richard Kind, he would continually empty the cat’s litter box without telling Kind. Kind worried about his cat’s digestion and even brought the cat to the veterinarian hospital. Clooney kept this gag going for weeks, leaving Kind dumbfounded. Clooney decided to end the prank with a bang. One morning, Kind checked the litter box and discovered Clooney had left him THE PERFECT STORM (2000). Clooney also claims to be working on a prank so extravagant it will end Brad Pitt’s career. What have we learned from Clooney? A king’s work is never done.
Happy April Fools’ Day!
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