1. Noel Godin
Godin is a Belgian writer and actor, and infamous entarteur, or cream pie thrower. Most famously, in 1998 he pelted then-Microsoft CEO Bill Gates while he was in Brussels. After successfully pieing Gates, Godin allegedly said, “My work is done here.” What a champion.
2. Barry Bremen
Known in the sports world as the “Great Imposter,” Barry Bremen was a Phoenix-based insurance salesman and marketing executive who pulled off a number of pranks on sports teams, including posing as an umpire in the World Series, a player in an MLB All-Star Game, a player in a NBA All-Star Game, a referee in the NFL, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and a professional golfer. Oh, and he accepted an Emmy Award once. It wasn’t his.
3. Joey Skaggs
Skaggs is the “godfather of pranks on the media,” whose practical jokes have ranged from the most inane to extremely poignant—like building a grotesque version of the Statue of Liberty to protest against the Vietnam War.
Banksy makes this list because he has become a sort of prankster, in that no-one knows who he really is, and his awesome graffiti art has rocked the political and social realms in its commentary.
5. Charlie Todd
Todd is the creator of “Improv Everywhere,” a performance art group based in New York City. The group predominantly adopts strange personalities and accosts people, filming them to see their (often hysterical) reactions.
6. Alan Funt
Funt was best known for creating and hosting the infamous show “Candid Camera,” where unwitting people were secretly filmed after being put in comically unusual scenarios and seeing how they reacted.
7. Ashton Kutcher
Perhaps not always subtle and smart in his practical jokes, Ashton Kutcher, through his show “Punk’d,” definitely makes the list for sheer quantity and comedy of his hijinks. His pranks were so prolific that Shannon Elizabeth (from “American Pie”) filed for divorce from her husband Joe Reitman as a result of a punking.
8. Hugh Troy
Troy was a popular American painter who was also notorious for his practical jokes. For instance, during an exhibition of Van Gogh’s works at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Troy carved a piece of corned beef into the shape of an ear and put it on display at the museum, with a plaque declaring that it was the ear Van Gogh had cut off in 1888. Thousands of people flocked to it until security finally removed it.
9. Rick Astley
Okay, Astley isn’t actually a prankster, but because of rickrolling, he’s certainly being included.