The World of the Prank

The artist as social provocateur and activist incorporates humor, satire, irony, political commentary and/or direct action to provoke critical thinking. Pranks challenge convention and the status quo and expose prejudices and biases.

Blog Posts

Lily Allen’s Instagram Prank Backfires

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Filed under: Publicity Stunts

An ambitious prankster sometimes needs an assist from co-conspirators with some leverage. But those people may have more to lose.

British pop singer Lily Allen has a long history of orchestrated controversy and publicity stunts, but her latest online jape may have put jobs at risk.

According to The New Zealand Herald, Allen landed at Gold Coast airport in Australia and apparently convinced security personnel to cuff her and pretend to arrest her. She posted this picture to her Instagram account with the tag “#uhoh.”

Lily Allen in handcuffs

This photo of Lily Allen in handcuffs has been removed from Instagram.

It got thousands of “likes,” but it’s gone now. And airport authorities say the incident is being “investigated internally.” Allen, for her part, is in the clear and free to continue spreading her unpredictable brand of sass.

You Shouldn’t Buy This Boat

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

You get a text message obviously not meant for you. Do you politely correct the sender, sympathizing with the inconvenience? Or do you spring into action?

Redditor /u/beccascott1 brings us a tale of a boat deal that’s all wet.

You shouldn't buy this boat

The prospective buyer seems oddly intent on going through with the purchase, even after the product is revealed to be less than seaworthy.

According to the screen capture, the wiseacre’s phone is at a nearly full charge, sidestepping a standard rebuke from the Redditorati.

Fellow posters /u/bpaq3 and /u/MustardIcecream weigh in, forecasting a dark aftermath for the ruse, making the whole thing just sad enough to be funny.

[via Reddit's /r/pranks]

Obama Walks in Times Square and Survives

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

From Lee Washington & maxmantv: President Barrack Obama’s look-alike “Bronx Obama” walks across Times Square in New York and stops traffic.


Obama-Surprise-Walk-Prank

Watch the video:

GayVillage Proposal Dupes Media

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

From Concepta Cassar:


Dutch ‘gay-only village’ hoax fools press
The Guardian
19 June 2014

Dutch and foreign media taken in by gay rights group’s hoax plan for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-only community

Scott Brown, dressed as a native American and Pilo Pilkes, as Henry Hudson, are married in Amsterdam

Dutch media have hit out after the authorities in a southern city took part in an elaborate hoax announcing the construction of a “gay-only” village.

The state broadcaster NOS and the national daily newspaper NRC reacted angrily on Thursday after they fell for the hoax a day earlier by publishing stories about plans for a community outside Tilburg specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.

The hoax also caught out several international news outlets.

The plan for the “GayVillage”, which had a slick website and promotional videos, was cooked up by the Pink Monday Foundation, which organises a gay festival with the same name during Tilburg’s summer festival.

Endorsed by the city’s mayor and a developer to give it more authenticity, “GayVillage” was supposedly a “protected” community to be built on land north of in Tilburg. Read more here.

Gil Fulbright for Senate!

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

From Represent.Us: Help the honest politician crash the most expensive Senate race of all time. Get This Guy on TV


Gil Fulbright for Senate

Watch the video

via Huffington Post

“Perfect” Fake

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Filed under: Instructionals, Media Pranks

Over 7M views for “29 Celebrity Impressions, 1 Original Song”, by Rob Cantor. Only .5M checked out how the other 6.5M got faked out.


The Guy Perfectly Impersonating 29 Celebrities While Singing An Original Song Is A Fake
by Liat Kornowski
The Huffington Post
July 10, 2014

Remember this incredibly impressive video that popped up all over your Facebook feed earlier this month? You know the one, where one guy does 29 celebrity impressions while singing his original song, “Perfect.” The one that amassed nearly seven million views in under two weeks.

Watch the videos:

Well, this guy, with all his mighty talent and Billie Holiday imitation, is a fake… Rob Cantor, the man behind this well-orchestrated Internet hoax, posted yet another YouTube video Wednesday, July 9, explaining the workings behind the scenes. Read more here.

Alligator Attack Prank

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

From Čeněk Stýblo:


Watch the video:

“All By Myself” in an Airport with an iPhone

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Filed under: Parody

From Erin:


Man gets stuck in airport overnight, makes spectacular music video
by Christopher Hooten
The Independent
July 13, 2014

When hit with flight delays, most of us tend to just idly wander around the departure lounge staring blearily at oversized bars of Toblerone and deciding whether to blow the last of our trip money on a U-shaped neck pillow that will in no way improve the chances of sleeping on the plane.

But not Richard Dunn, when stuck overnight in Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport he busied himself making a music video for Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”, complete with improvised dolly tracking shot and bottom of the escalator ‘fall to knees’ for the crescendo. Read more here.

Watch the video:

Google Street View Murder?

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Pranks

Pranking Google Is Fun, Until Cops Investigate You For Murder
by Sara Gates
The Huffington Post
June 3, 2014

Check this “murder” off as solved.

After a Google Street View user stumbled upon what looked like a murder scene last year, the user reported the sight to police, BBC News reports. Local authorities in Scotland, where the apparent axe murder was pictured, launched an investigation into the case to see if a crime had actually taken place.

As it turns out, the Google Street View “murder scene” from August 2012 was just a prank — and a pretty simple one, at that. Read more here.

o-STREET-VIEW-425

Michael Brody RIP

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Filed under: Pranksters, The History of Pranks

Michael Brody (December 3, 1943 – June 8, 2014)

Actor, artist, activist, friend, co-conspirator. He’ll be greatly missed by all. In his immortal words “Carry on.”

Fat Squad” 1986

Michael Brody in Joey Skaggs' Fat Squad Performance

Chicago Tribune, May 15, 1986


Portofess” 1992

Michael Brody in Joey Skaggs' Portofess performance

Frames from video by Katsu


Bush!” 2004

Michael Brody in Joey Skaggs "Bush!" performance

Bush! photos by Roger Lee, Toni Dalton, Rob Faludi, Steven Cohen


Inside James O’Keefe’s Latest Hollywood Hit Job

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Filed under: Media Pranks, Propaganda and Disinformation

Inside a Hollywood Hit Job: How Sting Artist James O’Keefe Tried to Set His Latest Trap – And Got Stung Himself
U.S. News
May 22, 2014

JamesO'Keefe-425

On Wednesday, conservative activist and controversial video sting artist James O’Keefe made an appearance in Cannes during the Film Festival with a new, secretly recorded 20-minute video that he said exposes the hypocrisy of two environmentalist documentarians and two Hollywood actors. At the end of the clip, after Josh and Rebecca Tickell, Mariel Hemingway, and Ed Begley Jr. appear to have unwittingly agreed to accept financing for an anti-fracking film from Middle East oil interests, O’Keefe claims he’s caught other allegedly altruistic actors and filmmakers in his trap, teasing a clip of a phone conversation with filmmaker Josh Fox.

But this time, O’Keefe wasn’t the only one making secret recordings.

Read the rest of the story here.

A Little “Lovin” for McDonald’s

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

15 Captivating Works Of Art That Challenge The McDonaldization Of Society
by Kevin Short
The Huffington Post
April 24, 2014

…In protest of this overwhelming “McDonaldization” of society, a term first coined in 1993 by sociologist George Ritzer, artists around the world have created some highly vivid pieces that assail the symbols of McDonald’s omnipresence.

UNEXPECTED-CLARITY-425
Artist:Zoltron
Year:2011
Location:San Francisco, California

SHALL-I-DO-IT-425
Artist: Banksy
Year: 2009
Location: Bristol, UK

POTATOES-1-425
Artist:Peter Pink
Year:2012
Location:Berlin, Germany

(more…)

Extreme Multi-tasking: Singing and Orgasming at the Same Time

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

This Is What Happens When An All-Female Band Tries To Sing While Orgasming (NSFW)
by Emily Thomas
The Huffington Post
May 10, 2013

ADAM-ORGASM-435

…Dutch electronic dance music group ADAM debuted a new music video on May 7 for their track “Go to Go.” Their minimalistic music is known for its momentous climaxes, and to reflect the gradual build-up intrinsic to their sound, the bandmates decided to film themselves similarly working their way up to the “big O” using vibrators (which aren’t shown on camera)…

Read the whole article here.

Vagina Inspection Prank Goes Down

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Filed under: High School Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News

From Huffington Post, May 15, 2014: High School ‘Vagina Inspection’ prank letter sent to families. Police investigate


A prank letter ordering students to attend a “mandatory vagina inspection” in the gym of a Minnesota high school has administrators — and police — looking for who’s behind it.

The letter (see below), written on official-looking letterhead for Prior Lake High School in Savage, Minnesota, was hand-delivered to the mailboxes of at least 50 families, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

vagina inspection prank

Watch the ABC Channel 5 news video:

Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 6 Alternate Ending

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Filed under: Satire

Spoiler alert for Episode 36, ‘The Laws Of Gods And Men’


Tyrion, on trial for murdering the King and about to be found guilty, gives an impassioned speech. Here’s an alternate ending:

Watch the video: