It’s April Fool’s Day! Relive These 12 Awesome Celebrity Pranks

Becca Endicott

Ah, April Fool’s day. That one day every year when toilets are covered in plastic wrap, flies frozen into ice cubes are de rigeur, and major news networks fool the public into believing the apocalypse is nigh (or that Jennifer Aniston shaved her head.) Sometimes it’s gross, sometimes it’s cruel, a lot of the time it’s pretty funny, and it’s all-in-all a great opportunity to be a culturally-sanctioned jerk.

While we have no doubt that you have some extremely solid plans involving your roommate’s toothbrush and a bottle of Elmer’s glue, sometimes it helps to take a little inspiration from the stars. Here are some of our all-time favorite celeb-on-celeb pranks to get your trickster mojo flowing. Stars, they’re just like us!

MORE: Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel Calmy Resolve Their Twitter Feud

1. The Epic Jimmy Kimmel/Matt Damon Prank War

What started in 2002 as a throwaway line on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” turned into a years-long prank war that persists to this day. Kimmel originally ended a show with the quip, “my apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time!” after he hosted a show with a number of sub-par guests. The joke, of course, being that Kimmel would never bump an A-lister like Matt Damon. The line proved popular, and Kimmel began ending every show with it. The running gag escalated into faux-war when Kimmel’s then-girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, debuted a song entitled, “I’m F—ing Matt Damon.” Kimmel retaliated with his own song, “I’m F—ing Ben Affleck.” In 2013, the nemeses reached their apex when Matt Damon took over the show and renamed it “Jimmy Kimmel Sucks!”

2. George Clooney Versus The World

George Clooney is a notorious prankster. He’s been involved in prank wars with Brad Pitt and Matt Damon for years, particularly in and around the sets of the “Oceans” films. He has been known to gift friends with terrible handmade artwork, or plaster their cars with bumper stickers, and they have retaliated by changing the message on his answering machine to embarrass him. Pitt also took out ads in trade papers to make fun of Clooney for being named “Sexiest Man Alive.” However, at one point, Clooney and Pitt joined trickster forces to pull a prank on “Oceans” director Jerry Weintraub, who described the experience on “Ellen.”

3. Sacha Baron Cohen As ‘The Dictator’ 

As anyone familiar with Sacha Baron Cohen ouevre knows, this man has literally built his career on fooling other people into humiliating themselves. “Da Ali G Show,” “Borat,” and “Bruno,” were all experiments in seeing how far Cohen could push the limits of one of his many ridiculous characters, and still keep his victims from realizing that they were being had. Sadly for Cohen and the entire comedy world, he is a victim of his own success. At this point, he is too personally famous to easily get away with pretending to be somebody else in the name of comedy. He didn’t let that stop him at the premiere of “The Dictator,” though. He walked the red carpet in full “dictator” regalia, and then ostentatiously spilled an urn all over Ryan Seacrest, claiming that he was spreading Kim Jong Il’s ashes.

4. Taylor Swift Crashes Keith Urban’s Stage Dressed Like Gene Simmons

The pop songbird, best known for her country-inspired songs about young love, played seriously against type when she rushed the stage during a 2009 Keith Urban concert dressed as a member of the rock band KISS. She was unrecognizable in black and white face paint and heavy-metal helmet hair, when she took the stage during the performance. To be fair, she and Keith Urban were actually touring together at the time, and she was pulling the prank to mark their last night on tour together, so it came from a place of love. Probably.

5. Justin Bieber Makes Taylor Swift Cry

Unfortunately, pranking is not nearly as much fun when the tables are turned on you. Swift got a taste of her own medicine in the 2012 reboot of the classic MTV show “Punk’d.” Justin Bieber hosted the premiere of the reboot, where he invited Swift over for a songwriting session. He convinces Swift to help him set off some fireworks in the harbor by his house, while a simultaneously staged explosion rocks a boat further out in the water. Swift believes that she has set a shipboard fire and ruined a wedding, and is reduced to tears. Not cool, J. Biebs.

6. Ashton Kutcher makes Justin Timberlake Cry

In a similar vein, the very first episode of Ashton Kutcher’s original “Punk’d” show, in 2003, revolved around tricking Justin Timberlake into believing that his house and belongings were being repossessed in penalty for unpaid income taxes. Justin really loses it when he is informed that the government has reclaimed his dogs. (Who wouldn’t?)

TIME noted the episode as one of the most important moments in reality TV history, and Timberlake has later stated that his emotional reaction was the result of being stoned at the time of filming. In an interview for Playboy, he said “I actually stopped smoking pot for nine to 10 months after that. I was so stoned. If you ask my friends, if they’re honest they would probably say that’s the only way to get me as dizzy as I was.” It’s not easy to get ahold of the original video, but here are a few gifs of the prank.

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7. Justin Bieber Takes Over Funny or Die 

Wow, Justin Bieber is really into pranks. This is from back when he was still just an adorable teeny-bopper; his voice hadn’t fully dropped yet, and his downward spiral of teen angst and bucket-peeing was still far in the future. The video, released by the website in 2010, features a young, (less?) obnoxious J. Biebs declaring that the website is now called, “Bieber or Die,” and continues by declaring, “I’m a star. I do what stars do! I ride on yachts, I autograph lady-lumps, and I pay people to slap them.” Pure gold.

8. Sarah Palin Believes She is Talking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy

There was a time when it was still fun to play tricks on Sarah Palin, because she was just so darn annoying. But now, you just can’t help but feel sorry for her, and how thoroughly she was put through the media wringer. Plus, she’s just kind of an easy target. While we can all agree that Tina Fey did a pretty awesome job skewering the politician on SNL, this prank call really just makes us feel kind of sad. Montreal-based comedy duo Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel called Palin, posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and kept her going for minutes, despite ample hints that the call was a joke.

9. Ellen Degeneres and Jennifer Lopez prank potential assistants
Here, J.Lo interviews two potential assistants but says everything that Ellen tells her to. The result is amazingly finny, and Lopez’s ability ot be convincivng and keep a straight face is brilliant.

10. Jimmy Kimmel goes to NYFW
In the best installment of Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News,” the show went to New York Fashion Week and got people to talk seriously about fake designers. The result is amazing (and sad—shame on you, fashion people!)

11. Khloe Kardashian and Nicole Richie’s Twitter Prank on Kim Kardashian
In 2010, Khloe and Nicole hacked into Kim‘s Twitter account and posted a stream of random things, like upset stomach tweets. Richie also wrote  “Sometimes I think I am a lesbian because HOT DAMN I think Nicole Richie is fffooooiiinnneee!”

12. Jimmy Kimmel’s KimYe baby prank
Speaking of Kim K., Kimmel’s team hit Hollywood Boulevard last year and asked pedestrians where they were when they heard that Kim and Kanye had their baby. The hook? They hadn’t had it yet.

Do you have any epic celebrity pranks to add to the list? Or maybe just an awesome original prank that you think should be famous in its own right? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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