And it’s even funnier when celebrities are involved!
George Clooney is a master prankster who has been pulling off elaborate practical jokes on his fellow A-listers for years, but he’s never been in hot water for his stunts. Similarly, Ellen Degeneres can get away with humiliating Taylor Swift on national TV because she’s...Ellen. But the following celebs are neither savvy pranksters like George, nor are they THE Ellen Degeneres.
Insufferable YouTuber Jake Paul’s tone-deaf humor
By no means was it the greatest atrocity he’s ever committed toward comedy, but celebrity vlogger Jake Paul’s car horn prank was supposed to be a hilarious, viral YouTube hit. Instead, he was hit with a million-dollar lawsuit.
To be funny, pulling a prank requires some thinking. When it involves nothing but driving around in Los Angeles and loudly blasting an oversized car horn to see how pedestrians would react, you know not much brain activity was involved. But this is Jake’s brand of humor, and his 14 million YouTube subscribers are the poorer for it.
Jake and his crew initially targeted teenage girls but decided that scaring a diverse group of people would be funnier. One of the victims, a California man stepping out of a West Hollywood shop, found no humor in it at all. He sued Jake and his company for damaging his hearing and putting him through emotional distress.
Pro prankster Ashton Kutcher’s corpse joke that was dead in the water
When Ashton Kutcher decided pulling kiddie stunts on ‘Punk’d’ was no longer fun, he decided to up the ante with blood and gore. His first victim, a couple vacationing in Sin City, wasn’t thrilled.
Instead of a welcome basket, Washington DC couple James and Laurie Ryan were welcomed by hidden cameras and a mutilated corpse in their Hard Rock Hotel room, which was set up to look like a scene of a homicide. Like any normal human beings, the Ryans were horrified at the sight of the dead body in the bathroom and attempted to flee.
But that’s not funny yet. The real gag began when fake security guards and a paramedic kept them in the room, presumably to scare them further. Cue Ashton’s trademark ‘You got punk’d!’...except that this was for a new show called ‘Harassment,’ which is a fitting name for a show that traumatizes people for laughs.
The unamused couple sued Ashton, MTV, and the hotel for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and fraud to the tune of $10 million, citing ‘wanton, malicious, and oppressive behavior.’
The fake Bieber phone number that harassed two Texans
When stars like Justin Bieber post fake phone numbers on Twitter as a gag, it only results in pandemonium and harassment.
The Biebs likes to prank like his pal Ashton, but he certainly didn’t think this one through. The ill-conceived prank resulted in two Texans getting bombarded with calls from Beliebers, several of whom successfully rang the two registered numbers, neither of which belonged to Justin.
One of the two victims threatened to sue for reckless behavior. Unfortunately for The Biebs, emotional or mental trauma are enough grounds to sue for personal injury. Prank calls may not result in physical injuries, but being shouted at ‘I love you so much, Justin!!!’ 900 times a day is sure to cause unimaginable stress. Fortunately for him, the other victim had teenage granddaughters and settled for free concert tickets.
This happened when he was only 18 and at a time before celebrities’ Twitter accounts were taken over by their publicists. He has grown up since then and now tweets prayers for those in pain.
Here at Buckingham, LaGrandeur & Williams, we also love the occasional brainless practical joke. We laugh at them when they’re good, but when they result in physical injury, emotional distress, or damaged property, we examine the facts to determine whether the prankster’s actions constitute grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
So give us a call if you’re suing pranksters and want to recover damages for medical bills or pain and suffering from someone’s harebrained mischief.