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Celebrate April Fool’s Day With the Best Celebrity Pranks Ever

Joe McHale Aziz Ansari David Beckham
Frederick M. Brown / Michael Buckner / Lintao Zhang, Getty Images

April Fool’s Day is today, and what better way to celebrate the day that it’s totally cool to wrap a toilet in cellophane than to go through some of the best celebrity pranks throughout the ages?

Of course, by “ages,” we mean anything within the new millennium.

Whether they’re perpetrated on the first of April, done to add a spark of fun to a hoity toity red carpet, or executed merely for comedic purposes, pranks have been a traditional part of human culture since the 1300s. At least according to Geoffrey Chaucer and his unfinished ‘Canterbury Tales.’ (Fred Flintstone would probably disagree, though.)

Anyway, check out our list to see a lot of prankster celebs and their unwitting victims.


Actor/comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed in character from his film ‘The Dictator,’ walked down the red carpet at the 2012 Oscars, bringing as his “date” the ashes of his “tennis partner” Kim Jong Il.

Then he “accidentally” spilled them on Ryan Seacrest.

Seacrest was a good sport about the whole thing, later revealing it was just flour, and Cohen joked that he bought the media mogul a new jacket made “by child slave labor.”

Upon seeing the “ashes,” Tina Fey adorably crossed herself — which just made the prank that much better.


Construction workers are notoriously slow at getting the job done, even more so if Bill Murray is standing around reading them poetry while they’re trying to work.

The actor donned a hard hat and went to the site of New York’s Poets House (the US’s premiere poetry library) in May of 2009, and then read poetry to the workers building the organization’s new location. His captive audience looked both bemused and confused about the whole thing, especially when Murray invited them to come up and read some of their own work.

Somehow, even Emily Dickinson’s words are made cheerier when Murray reads them, so the workers probably didn’t mind that they had to listen to poetry instead of, you know, actually doing what they were paid to do.

We’re really glad this was counted as the site’s first official poetry reading.


Ryan Seacrest Joel

E! hosts Joel McHale and Ryan Seacrest have a long standing “rivalry,” with McHale generally standing as the victor with his perpetual short jokes aimed at Seacrest’s diminutive stature — and his ability to hack into Seacrest’s social media.

On April Fool’s Day in 2010, McHale took over Seacrest’s entire website, renaming it, photoshopping his head onto Ryan’s body, hacking his Twitter account and sending out disparaging yet amusing tweets throughout the day.

It is said that on this day, Joel McHale truly won the internet. Check out some screenshots below to see all the hilarity.


As part of her ‘Undercover’ segment on her daytime talk show, Ellen DeGeneres sends celebrities out into the real world and forces them to obey her every command.

This time around, her victim was David Beckham, who had to ask Target customers if they’d like to try his perfume. And by “his perfume,” we mean the David Beckham brand of perfume.

He was a super good sport through the entire ordeal, especially when people got suspicious that he was in fact David Beckham and he was forced to deny it, saying he only wished he were David Beckham and people should stop spreading nasty rumors.


For April Fool’s Day in 2012, late-night host Conan O’Brien released a video claiming he’d purchased the tech website Mashable for a mere $3,500 (because it’s terrible) and had already fired the site’s CEO, Pete Cashmore.

Conan claimed in the announcement that he yelled at Mashable’s top dog in a possible British accent, ranting, “You’re out! Get out! You’re through Cashmore! Through! Get out!”

He then announced himself as the current CEO, and later in the day, released another video in which he apologized, said he wasn’t the CEO, and that he’d accidentally purchased a ‘M*A*S*H’ TV fan site instead. Oops.


In one of the best-known celeb pranks, back in 2008 comedienne Sarah Silverman went on her then-boyfriend’s show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ to tell him a secret. A surprise, if you will, of epic proportions.

On the program, Silverman instructs the crew to roll the clip she brought, in which she sings a song about how she’s cheating on Jimmy with his nemesis Matt Damon.

The song is unsurprisingly called ‘I’m F—ing Matt Damon’ — and features the man himself singing along.

The Emmy Award-winning ditty was just another joke in a long string revolving around Kimmel bumping Damon from his show on a regular basis. The ongoing prank finally culminated in Matt taking his revenge by kidnapping Jimmy and taking over an entire episode of his program. It was perfection.


Back in the year 2000, ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone dropped some acid, put on dresses and headed out to the Oscars because why not.

Not only did they attend the Oscars — where Parker’s song ‘Blame Canada’ was nominated for Best Song — and do it while tripping balls, they also did it while wearing reproductions of gowns worn by Jennifer Lopezand Gwyneth Paltrow. (The original plan was to dress as ducks, but the dynamic duo were worried they wouldn’t be allowed in.)

Even funnier, they made a pact that during interviews, they wouldn’t do anything to draw attention to the fact that they were in drag.


Once again using power to her benefit, Ellen DeGeneres sent her friend, ‘Modern Family’ star Sofia Vergara, into a store on the Warner Bros. lot to talk to employees about her imaginary film ‘When the Horses are Running and the Dogs are Silent.’

Like David Beckham earlier in this list, Vergara was being fed instructions by Ellen, who smiled with demonic glee from the safety of her studio.

If you’ve ever wanted to see grown men treat an insane woman who is also insanely hot like she’s not at all crazy while she sobs on the floor and gallops like a horse, this is the prank for you. (And if it’s not? Maybe other DeGeneres/Vergara pairings like this or this are more your speed.)

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