Blog Posts

LinkNYC Mister Softee Prankster Comes Clean

Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, The History of Pranks

Payphone performance artist/activist drops a dime on himself…

My Summer of Softee Prank
by Mark Thomas.

In this year of 2019, I use payphones regularly. As such, I feel fortunate to live in New York City, where thousands of old-fashioned landline payphones still line the streets.

A few years ago, when news came that the City decided to replace every single outdoor payphone with LinkNYC Internet kiosks, preëmptively pronouncing this unproven replacement the “payphone of the future”, I felt a bit of an affront. How could a decision reaching so deeply into the social fabric of New York be made? Was public input ever solicited regarding this decision that all payphones must be replaced by an unproven, unneeded alternative?

I gave LinkNYC a chance but soon came to loath not only the program but, in almost all respects, the so-called “Smart City” itself. Born of unearned municipal privilege, the arrogant ineptitude of the LinkNYC rollout at times made me cringe.

To express my sentiments about LinkNYC, I subverted their intended purpose. I regarded these kiosks as unwanted, unneeded irritants and turned the machines themselves into irritants, using them as a broadcast platform, blasting ridiculously loud noises and music out of the kiosks’ loudspeakers.

This became a social media engineering project for me for most of 2018. (more…)

Gone Phishing at the White House

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Filed under: Phone Pranks, Political Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters

Email prankster, @SINON_REBORN, went phishing at the White House and caught some big ones.

White House officials tricked by email prankster
by Jake Tapper
Monday, July 31, 2017

A self-described “email prankster” in the UK fooled a number of White House officials into thinking he was other officials, including an episode where he convinced the White House official tasked with cyber security that he was Jared Kushner and received that official’s private email address unsolicited.

“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the fake Jared Kushner on an Outlook account wrote to the official White House email account of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. “It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible (sic) quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”

Bossert wrote back: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is” (redacted).

Bossert did not respond to CNN’s request for comment; the email prankster said he was surprised Bossert responded given his expertise. The emails were shared with CNN by the email prankster.

White House officials acknowledged the incidents and said they were taking the matter seriously. “We take all cyber related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN. Read the rest of the story here.

Veteran Crank Yankers Celebrate the Lost Art of the Prank Call

Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Pranks, Phone Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters, Satire, The History of Pranks

In the ’90s, Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers showcased popular comedians and kept alive the hallowed cultural tradition of the phone prank. Here, stars Adam Carolla and Jim Florentine reminisce and reflect.

“Crank Yankers’ Adam Carolla and Jim Florentine on the ‘Lost Art’ of the Prank Call”
by Jake Lauer
June 1, 2017
There's something nostalgic about prank phone calls. They're the product of a bygone era, and if you were born before the invention of caller ID, they were likely a part of your childhood.

"Maybe there's a nostalgic feel to them because you can't do them anymore, says Jim Florentine, one of the stars of Comedy Central's Crank Yankers and the voice of fan-favorite character Special Ed. "Now you get harassment charges. It's really a lost art."

It's been 15 years since comedians Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel introduced the world to Crank Yankers, the hilariously offensive show where puppets, voiced by comedians, harass unsuspecting people with prank phone calls. The show was a huge hit, running for four seasons-three on Comedy Central and one on MTV 2.

Crank Yankers featured some of the biggest names in comedy, including Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan and Dane Cook (before he became a household name). Carolla, who produced the show with Kimmel, voiced Mr. Birchum, a crotchety Vietnam War veteran who berated anyone who spoke with him.

Paste spoke with Carolla and Florentine about Crank Yankers's 15th anniversary, the art of the perfect prank call and the unaired calls that went too far. Read more.

Monkey Nuts Prank Caller Gets Rocks Off Live on CNN

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Filed under: Phone Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

CNN anchor interviews prank caller live
by ninemsn staff
November 29, 2011

A red-faced CNN anchor was fooled on live television by a prank caller impersonating a US student who had been arrested in Cairo.

The prankster phoned the studio on November 27 pretending to be Gregory Porter, a real 19-year-old student from Philadelphia who was arrested while participating in protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and then released.

Anchor Fredricka Whitfield appeared completely fooled by the caller, who sounded legitimate at first.

He said returning to the US was like “an early Christmas present”.

But the exchange came to a bizarre end when Ms Whitfield asked the caller what he had been doing the night he was arrested.

The man claimed he was “just down there looking” at the protest when the group was “grabbed by police”.

He then thanked his lawyer, his mother, the US embassy in Cairo, the North shore Animal League and Baba Booey’s monkey nuts. (more…)

Yes Man

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Filed under: Phone Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

Submitted by Gerant Johnston: I video myself talking to telemarketers. I do it for laughs and I do it to keep them occupied so they have less time to bother other people. I have this joke where I try to see how many times I can consecutively say ‘YES’… and yesterday I beat my record of 27 with a whopping 35. I’m quite proud.

Ian Murphy’s Running… for Congress

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Filed under: Political Pranks

“˜I am not a witch”™: Buffalo Beast editor running for Congress to replace Rep. humiliated on Craigslist
by Stephen C. Webster
The Raw Story
March 29th, 2011

Exclusive interview: Journalist behind prank on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is on the ballot in New York’s 26th congressional district

Ian Murphy has been at the lonely work of gonzo journalism for a while now, but it’s only recently that he’s achieved a level of national notoriety from his perch atop New York publication The Buffalo Beast. Others might call it infamy.

You may remember his last hit: prank calling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, pretending to be billionaire tea party supporter David Koch.

Well, Murphy has a new project: He’s running for Congress.

When Gawker published shirtless photos that New York Republican Congressman Chris Lee sent a woman he contacted on Craigslist, Murphy didn’t see red like so many other voters living in New York’s 26th congressional district. He saw green.

Today, less than two months out from a special election, Murphy has secured a place on the ballot as the Green Party’s nominee: a nod he won by a unanimous vote.

In his candidacy announcement, Murphy sits by a fireplace smoking a pipe, reading off his hand (à  la Sarah Palin) and intentionally flubbing his talking points for laughs.

This video is from YouTube user MurphyCanHasCongress.


A Prank Call Instructional

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Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Phone Pranks

Proud art of prank calling still worth mastering
by Adrian Lahola-Chomiak
The Gateway
March 28, 2011

These days, with the invention of caller ID and text messaging, it seems that prank calls have more or less fallen by the wayside. But I’m not ready to surrender this classic joke just yet; too many hours in my life have been spent trying to decide who to call and which prank to pull. So for all you wide-eyed, greenhorn, wannabe pranksters out there, here are a few tips on how to transform yourself from a refrigerator runner to a master.

First, let’s review the tools of the trade. There’s the phone, and, well, that’s pretty much it “” but you do have to worry about how you use it. You’ll want to mask your voice with a modulator app, like Funny Call from iOKi. This will make you sound like anything from Rebecca Black to a chipmunk. Now that your voice is anonymous “” and hilarious “” you’ll need to know three simple rules before you call. (more…)

Editor Ian Murphy Masquerading as David Koch Prank Calls Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

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Filed under: Phone Pranks, Political Pranks

Update from Huffington Post 2:28pm: Buffalo Beast Website Goes Down Following Walker, Koch Prank Call. But you can listen to the prank call here or watch the 2 part video below.

Blogger Pranks Wisconsin Gov
Daily Beast
February 23, 2011

Wisconsin”™s public workers are still deadlocked in a fierce battle with Gov. Scott Walker, but one blogger has his number””literally and figuratively. Ian Murphy, a writer for the Buffalo Beast, says he posed as businessman David Koch, a major funder of conservative and libertarian causes, and managed to get through to Walker, engaging him in-and recording-a somewhat embarrassing conversation. The ersatz Koch offers favors, draws Walker into an objectifying remark about MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, and gets him to tip his hand on a procedural trick to draw Democratic senators back to the state after fleeing to Illinois. Walker”™s office confirmed the recordings are genuine on Wednesday. Read it at Buffalo Beast.

Here’s video in two parts of the phone call:

Koch Whore: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, part 1

Koch Whore: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, part 2


Additional links:

  • Scott Walker Gets Punked By Journalist Pretending To Be David Koch, Huffington Post, February 23, 2011
  • Governor Walker’s office confirms prank Koch call, Washington Post, February 23, 2011
  • Cell Phone Eavesdropping by Tom Mape

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    Filed under: Phone Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

    From CMT Comedy Stage – Tom Mape in “Mape in America”

    Click here to watch a video of a Tom Mape phone prank called Cell Phone Eavesdropping

    thanks Linda

    Check out more prank calls from Tom Mabe here and here.

    Prank Call: False Confession Goes Wrong

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    Filed under: Phone Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

    Prank call gone HORRIBLY wrong!!

    War of the Roses Phone Prank

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    Filed under: Fact or Fiction?, Phone Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

    Phone prank from KTU War of the Roses with hosts Goumba Johnny and Hollywood Hamilton.

    War Of The Roses 3

    via Will Art for Food – Weekend News