DID YOU READ

7 Comedians Who Started Out on Punk’D

Dax Shepard Punked

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Trucker hats and Justin Timberlake’s tears aren’t the only things we got out of the long running MTV celebrity prank extravaganza Punk’D. A slew of successful comedians got their start convincing Beyoncé she’d ruined Christmas or informing Eliza Dushku (remember when she was a thing?) that she was going to jail.

While Ashton Kutcher has continued to punk us all with his career, his field agents have slowly become big players in Hollywood. Before you see what sort of comic mischief Dax Shepard gets into on this week’s Comedy Bang! Bang!, take a look at some of Punk’D‘s most famous alumni.

7. Dax Shepard

Funnily enough, Dax Shepard has gone on to become a celebrity of the stature he once punk’d himself. His varied career has included everything from the cult comedy Idiocracy, to the family drama Parenthood, which recently concluded its run on NBC. He also married Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, so things seem to have worked out for him so far.


6. Ryan Pinkston

Ryan Pinkston was one of the first breakout stars on Punk’d, where he terrorized red carpets as a children’s network correspondent all too happy to insult celebrities to their faces. At just 15 years old, he was the youngest field agent in the show’s history, and has gone on to a career in shows like Hannah Montana and Tower Prep.

Ryan Pinkston Punk'd

Ryan Pinkston Punkd 2


5. Kaitlin Olson

She may now be known for playing “Sweet Dee” Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but Amber Tamblyn didn’t find her so sweet when she was driven to tears on a 2003 Punk’D episode. Kaitlin admits that many of the celebrities were pissed when the cameras stopped rolling, no matter what it looked like on TV.


5. B.J. Novak

Perhaps best know for NBC’s The Office, B.J. Novak has had a singular career — he’s been nominated for Emmys, written children’s books, and killed Nazis in Inglourious Basterds. But he got his start pretending be a driving instructor who assured Hilary Duff that hitting pedestrians was okay.


4. Stephen Rannazzisi

Stephen Rannazzisi spends most of him time these days on FXX’s The League trying to win the Shiva Bowl, but his first job in the business was as a field agent on the early seasons of Punk’D. He told Conan that the occasional bit would implode, and never air. For instance, one failed punking nearly resulted in him being knocked out by Alex Rodriguez.

3. Ahmed Ahmed

Star of the TBS sitcom Sullivan and Son, Ahmed Ahmed gained fame on the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour in the mid-2000s. But before he tried to shake America’s preconceived notions of the Middle East, he cut his teeth pretending to hit on Travis Barker’s girlfriend.

Ahmed Ahmed Punked


2. Whitney Cummings

A celebrity torturing lifer, Whitney Cummings is best known these days as the cocreator of 2 Broke Girls and for her many appearances on the Comedy Central Roasts. But back in 2003, she learned how to ruin a celebrity’s day at the feet of the master, one Ashton Kutcher. Her Punk’d hit list includes Chris Klein, Adam Brody and a particularly angry Vivica A. Fox.

Whitney Cummings


1. Bill Hader

In one of his few appearances, future Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader ironically Punk’D Ashlee Simpson, who was still recovering from her lip-synching meltdown on SNL. Here, Hader convinced the young pop star that she had accidentally started a fire at an art gallery. Mr. Hader would soon graduate to another level of comedy, becoming perhaps the show’s most famous alumni.

Bill Hader Punkd

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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