"Ashton Kutcher, the famous actor and professional manchild, hosted MTV’s Punk’d, a hidden camera show where a team of terrible actors attempted to inflict emotional damage on unsuspecting celebrities, usually by pretending to do something horrible to a stranger and then blaming it on the person being pranked. Sounds hilarious, right? It’s as if the creator had seen Homer Simpson “prank” Ned Flanders into thinking his family had been killed, but he didn’t get the joke."A Candid Camera Prank-type Reality TV show (2003-2007; 2012-) airing on MTV, first hosted by Ashton Kutcher and then, in The Revival in 2012, by a series of celebrity hosts for each episode. It focused on pranking celebrities, with varying reactions from temper tantrums to tears.
This show provides examples of:
- Epic Fail: On the occasions when the prank has been blown in some way - such as planning to have a truck run over a replica Goldberg's prized motorcycle, only for the truck to miss.
- Genre Savvy:
- When Matthew Perry was featured, he never seemed to buy into the set-upnote . Even when the cops showed up he wasn't fazed.
- Ashton "quitting" the show after the second series in-part an attempt to pull one on the audience, and in-part to stop people from immediately figuring out they were being punk'd. When he ended the show in 2007, it was again due to it becoming harder to catch people off-guard.
- Guest Host: The revival in 2012 featured exclusively a host for each episode.
- The Host: For the original four-year run, it was Ashton Kutcher.
- Jerk Ass: As mentioned in the page quote, the show basically consisted of Ashton and crew trying to emotionally damage unsuspecting celebrities by making them believe their possessions were damaged/destroyed/taken or having them believe they hurt an innocent person.
- "Just Joking" Justification: What the show runs on. They basically go to unsuspecting celebrities and attempt to inflict emotional damage on them (usually through property damage/pretending they're going to get arrested/making it look like they've done something horrible to a stranger), then act like they've done nothing wrong because it was just a "prank".
- Naked People Are Funny: Jessica Alba's test was to try to shop while a man ran around the store naked. Surprisingly, she succeeded and stayed calm the entire time.
- Off the Rails: There have been a few pranks that have never made it to air, such as the victimized star refusing to sign the release, but the one for The Black Eyed Peas reportedly went sideways when they figured out the cops were fake, but thought they were being robbed and a fight broke out.
- Running Gag: When pranking pro-wrestlers, Ashton routinely began referring to himself as "The Farmhand" & acting like he was cutting a promo whilst talking to the viewer.
- Stunned Silence: Wilmer Valderrama couldn't do anything but stare in shock as his expensive car was dented and had its windows smashed in.
- Toilet Humour: Salma Hayek is accused of clogging the toilet with a massive turd.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: On Seth Green's episode, where he had been tricked into believing that a craps game he was at was being raided by cops, one of them did a roll on the floor after crashing though a glass door. After learning it was all a prank Green commented about the guy doing the roll which he thought was "completely unnecessary" at the time.