Remember when a trucker hat-wearing Ashton Kutcher got away with royally stitching up major celebrities for our sick enjoyment on Punk’d? Ahh, those were the days.
Hear about the weird and wonderful world of April Fool’s Day below:
It’s been 17 years since Punk’d first aired on MTV, and as well as providing us with episode after episode of entertainment, the show has had a lasting impact on pop culture. Not only has the act of ‘punking’ someone become a widely-used verb, but the show is consistently referred to in pop culture, whether it be films, TV shows or song lyrics.
So, in honour of April Fool’s Day, we’re looking back at the five reasons Punk’d was the ultimate 00s guilty pleasure:
When you think about it, no one could’ve done a better job at hosting, producing (and essentially orchestrating) Punk’d than Ashton Kutcher. In the mid ‘00s, Kutcher was at his prime – he was still making us giggle as the loveable Kelso on That ‘70s Show, had just hit cinemas in the iconic Dude, Where’s My Car? And was still the single heartthrob we all had postered up around our bedrooms.
Did you know that many of the accomplices in Kutcher’s pranks went on to become well-known celebs and actors? Punk’d featured everyone from Masi Oka, who you’d recognise from Heroes, B.J. Novak from The Office, Dax Shepherd and even a then unknown Bill Hader.
The Celebrity Reactions
The best part of watching Punk’d was cringing in delight at the celebrities reactions to getting pranked, and then finding out they’ve been pranked. Don’t forget, this was a time before a celebrity sighting was broadcast all over social media. Fans were just as much in the dark about what was going on behind-the-scenes as the celebrities were, and the result was priceless.
Some of the pranks performed on Punk’d were seriously savage. Some notable ones include when Beyonce thought she ruined Christmas for a bunch of kids after Ashton rigged a huge tree to fall over, when Justin Timberlake was convinced all his belongings had been repossessed, Elijah Wood throwing a can into a dumpster and seeing it explode and Drake thinking he’s meeting the Vice President but getting caught in a fake earthquake instead.
The Lasting Impact
As mentioned earlier, Punk’d left a mark on pop culture which has well and truly surpassed the four years it aired on MTV. The official definition of ‘punking’ is to “trick or deceive,” a term that has become popularised by the show and is commonly used around the world. Then there are all the pop culture references to being ‘punked.’ It’s been mentioned on everything from Veronica Mars to Will and Grace, High School Musical, Entourage, ER and even in song lyrics from the likes of A$AP Ferg.
The good news is, Punk’d is getting a revival. The new series, hosted by Chance the Rapper, is set to air on Quibi this year.
Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.