April Fool’s Day is today, and what better way to celebrate the day that it’s totally cool to wrap a toilet in cellophane than to go through some of the best celebrity pranks throughout the ages? Of course, by “ages,” we mean anything within the new millennium. Whether they’re perpetrated on the first of April, done to add a spark of fun to a hoity toity red carpet, or executed merely for comedic purposes, pranks have been a traditional part of human culture since the 1300s. At least according to Geoffrey Chaucer and his unfinished ‘Canterbury Tales.’ (Fred Flintstone would probably disagree, though.) Anyway, check out our list to see a lot of prankster celebs and their unwitting victims.
Sacha Baron Cohen Spills Ashes on Ryan Seacrest - 2012 Oscars
Actor/comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed in character from his film ‘The Dictator,’ walked down the red carpet at the 2012 Oscars, bringing as his “date” the ashes of his “tennis partner” Kim Jong Il.
Then he “accidentally” spilled them on Ryan Seacrest.
Seacrest was a good sport about the whole thing, later revealing it was just flour, and Cohen joked that he bought the media mogul a new jacket made “by child slave labor.”
Upon seeing the “ashes,” Tina Fey adorably crossed herself — which just made the prank that much better.
Bill Murray Reads to Construction Workers at Poets
Construction workers are notoriously slow at getting the job done, even more so if Bill Murray is standing around reading them poetry while they’re trying to work.
Joel McHale and Ryan Seacrest
E! hosts Joel McHale and Ryan Seacrest have a long standing “rivalry,” with McHale generally standing as the victor with his perpetual short jokes aimed at Seacrest’s diminutive stature — and his ability to hack into Seacrest’s social media.
On April Fool’s Day in 2010, McHale took over Seacrest’s entire website, renaming it, photoshopping his head onto Ryan’s body, hacking his Twitter account and sending out disparaging yet amusing tweets throughout the day.
It is said that on this day, Joel McHale truly won the internet. Check out some screenshots below to see all the hilarity.
David Beckham Goes Undercover
Conan O'Brien Buys Mashable, Ousts Pete Cashmore as CEO
For April Fool’s Day in 2012, late-night host Conan O’Brien released a video claiming he’d purchased the tech website Mashable for a mere $3,500 (because it’s terrible) and had already fired the site’s CEO, Pete Cashmore.
Conan claimed in the announcement that he yelled at Mashable’s top dog in a possible British accent, ranting, “You’re out! Get out! You’re through Cashmore! Through! Get out!”
He then announced himself as the current CEO, and later in the day, released another video in which he apologized, said he wasn’t the CEO, and that he’d accidentally purchased a ‘M*A*S*H’ TV fan site instead. Oops.
Conan O'Brien 'Resigns' as Mashable CEO
F*@#ing Matt Damon
In one of the best-known celeb pranks, back in 2008 comedienne Sarah Silverman went on her then-boyfriend’s show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ to tell him a secret. A surprise, if you will, of epic proportions.
On the program, Silverman instructs the crew to roll the clip she brought, in which she sings a song about how she’s cheating on Jimmy with his nemesis Matt Damon.
The song is unsurprisingly called ‘I’m F—ing Matt Damon’ — and features the man himself singing along.
The Emmy Award-winning ditty was just another joke in a long string revolving around Kimmel bumping Damon from his show on a regular basis. The ongoing prank finally culminated in Matt taking his revenge by kidnapping Jimmy and taking over an entire episode of his program. It was perfection.
Tre Parker Matt Stone Acid at Oscars
Back in the year 2000, ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone dropped some acid, put on dresses and headed out to the Oscars because why not.
Not only did they attend the Oscars — where Parker’s song ‘Blame Canada’ was nominated for Best Song — and do it while tripping balls, they also did it while wearing reproductions of gowns worn by Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow. (The original plan was to dress as ducks, but the dynamic duo were worried they wouldn’t be allowed in.)
Even funnier, they made a pact that during interviews, they wouldn’t do anything to draw attention to the fact that they were in drag.
Sofia Vergara Plays a Hidden Camera Prank
Once again using power to her benefit, Ellen DeGeneres sent her friend, ‘Modern Family’ star Sofia Vergara, into a store on the Warner Bros. lot to talk to employees about her imaginary film ‘When the Horses are Running and the Dogs are Silent.’
Like David Beckham earlier in this list, Vergara was being fed instructions by Ellen, who smiled with demonic glee from the safety of her studio.
If you’ve ever wanted to see grown men treat an insane woman who is also insanely hot like she’s not at all crazy while she sobs on the floor and gallops like a horse, this is the prank for you. (And if it’s not? Maybe other DeGeneres/Vergara pairings like this or this are more your speed.)
Jerry Weintraub Gets Pranked by George Clooney!
George Clooney is one of Hollywood’s most notorious pranksters, once having a prank war with Brad Pitt that began with Pitt writing a memo in Italian telling the crew of ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ not to look Clooney in the eye and to refer to him as Mr. Ocean — and Clooney retaliating by putting a bumper sticker on Pitt’s car that read, “Small Penis on Board.”
And somehow, ‘Oceans Twelve’ producer Jerry Weintraub became the unwitting victim of both his film’s stars.
As he tells the story, he was in the middle of getting a massage from a beautiful young lady when Clooney came into the room with Pitt and commandeered the massage without Weintraub’s knowledge. (George must have very soft hands.)
Meanwhile, Brad supposedly captured the whole thing on video. It may never wind up on YouTube, but it’s probably one helluva blackmail tool.
Aziz Ansari's Look-Alike Fools Anderson?
Instead of appearing on Anderson Cooper‘s daytime talk show himself, ‘Parks and Recreation’ star and comedian Aziz Ansari sent in a lookalike and almost fooled Cooper. For a few seconds, anyway.
The confused host shook the hand of the “almost but not quite there” stand-in before putting on his glasses and scrutinizing the guest who wasn’t quite the guy Cooper had scheduled.
Eventually, Anderson gave a few confused blinks and asked, “Who the hell are you?” At which point the real Aziz Ansari rushed out and apologized for running late and having his lookalike fill in until he got there.
Ansari also brought along a creepy Anderson Cooper doppelganger. You can see him below.
Aziz Ansari's Giant Surprise for Anderson
Justin Timberlake Gets Punk'd
A while back, the king of all pranks Ashton Kutcher took his ‘Punk’d’ crew into Justin Timberlake‘s home to repossess $900,000 worth of items to make up for back taxes. The only catch is that Timberlake was fully paid up to the IRS… That’s where the fun really begins! The ‘Suit & Tie,’ singer’s mom was even in on the prank, so you know this was a long time coming.