Jackass star Johnny Knoxville does not seem to have an off switch when it comes to pranking everyone around him, and this was something fellow prankster Eric Andre found out first hand. Along with Gabourey Sidibe, the three serve as the panel of “pranxperts” for ABC’s new series The Prank Panel. The show is coming to the network on Wednesday, May 24, for a special preview episode before returning with weekly episodes starting on Sunday, July 9.
To promote the show, Andre spoke about The Prank Panel for a new interview with Howard Stern. He explained the concept, noting how it’s basically like Shark Tank but with pranks. What happens is people come in and pitch elaborate pranks that the panel must decide if they want to produce. Meanwhile, Knoxville was separately pranking Andre the whole time as well, and it was getting to the point where coming in to work was getting very challenging for him. Andre recalls going to Jeff Tremaine for help, and he was advised to essentially dish it right back to Knoxville. As Andre explains:
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“Knoxville’s pranking me the whole time. He’s tasing me, he’s got a different weapon on him every day. So, I called [Jackass director] Jeff Tremaine. I go, ‘Jeff, I don’t know what to do [about] Knoxville. Every day I go to work, something’s popping out of a wall, or he’s hitting me with a taser or something.’ And Jeff goes, ‘Well, he’s never gonna stop, so you’ve gotta hit him back.'”
That had Andre convinced that he’d get Knoxville back by using a stun gun on him. However, Andre didn’t anticipate that Knoxville basically has the pain tolerance level of the T-1000 from Terminator 2. It only made things worse for Andre, and it got so bad that he even quit the show for a period, unsure that he could keep working with Knoxville.
“While Knoxville’s not looking, I stake this stun gun out, and I hit him right in the heart with it, like right in the center of his chest. But he’s like the liquid Terminator, the guy is so impervious to pain, that’s like a little pinch to him… He just starts looking at me while he’s being electrocuted, and then he grabs it out of my hand, and then he just starts attacking me with it. And he has another one in his pocket, so he takes out another one, and he has mine. He gets me on the floor, and he’s just lighting me up with two stun guns. And I run for my life out of the studio. And I quit, I quit the show… So, I quit that weekend, then he begged me back.”
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Filming Prank Panel has made more than just Eric Andre upset. One person who was the recipient of a prank filmed for the show was so upset that a lawsuit was filed in response. A handyman claims he’d been duped when he responded to a fake ad that had been placed by the show’s team, resulting in someone he believed to be the homeowner accusing him of killing a pony along with other bizarre comments. Knoxville came out to reveal that the whole thing had been a prank, but the handyman was not amused, prompting the lawsuit.
“Plaintiff was not amused, and remains unamused… He has been badly shaken and traumatized by this episode,” the lawsuit reads.
Prank Panel is set to premiere on ABC on May 24, 2023, followed by weekly episodes airing starting on July 9, 2023.
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