Have you ever had friends or family play a trick on you? If you have, then you may have been “punked.”
If you’re playing a prank or playing a practical joke on someone, it means that you’re deceiving them in some way to have fun or to make other people laugh. In recent years in the U.S., people have started using the word “punked” to describe being the victim (the person harmed or tricked) of a practical joke or prank. In fact, the actor Ashton Kutcher had a show on MTV, the music cable television station, called Punk’d in which he played practical jokes on other celebrities.
Recently, I saw a prank on the website “Funny or Die.” Here’s the setup (arrangement; plan): The producers (makers) of “Funny or Die” asked popular singer Jewel to disguise herself by wearing a wig (false hair) and a fake nose, and to go to a karaoke bar and to sing her own songs. A karaoke bar is a bar where any customer can sing a popular song on stage while recorded music plays, usually performing in front of friends or coworkers for fun. The producers asked her to sing her own hit (very popular) songs as a woman named “Karen” to see how the other bar patrons (customers) would react. After Jewel got her disguise, she was also given some fake coworkers, “business associates,” who went to the bar with her. They all wore badges, which she calls “laminants” in the video, which are identification cards worn on a string around the neck or pinned to a shirt/coat, showing that they were in town to attend a frozen foods convention (large meeting).
When they arrived, Jewel said that their group “really stood out,” meaning that they were very noticeable because they were different from the typical customers in the bar. Her “business associates” were trying to get her to sing, but she pretended to be reluctant (not wanting to do something), until the entire bar was “pulling for her” (wanting her to succeed).
Watch the video below or here at “Funny or Die“. I’ll explain below a few more things people said in the video in case you have difficulty understanding them.
2:48 “She’s kind of homely (not attractive; plain looking).”
3:02 “That’s the first time there’s ever been an encore here (the first time someone has been asked to sing again because the audience enjoyed the first performance so much).”
3:04 “That was pretty off the charts (amazing; better than anyone had expected) there.”
6:14 “That was all set up (all arranged; not real).”
6:18 “I was duped (successfully tricked).”
What do you think of the prank? How would you have reacted if you had been one of the other customers?