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Ashton Kutcher Revealed How He Convinced Celebs To Do "Punk'd" And How One Failed Prank Cost $300,000

When a prank goes wrong, it costs a LOT of money.

Punk'd was one of the most iconic TV shows of the noughties. I mean, was there anything better than watching Ashton Kutcher prank celebs and shake them to their core?

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But one of the most asked questions about the show is how it all went down behind the scenes and what footage didn't make it into the final cut.

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Well, appearing on the most recent episode Hot Ones, Ashton himself opened up a little about the show, revealing how they persuaded celebs to let them air the footage and how much money the show lost in a single episode because a prank didn't go to plan.

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"We never aired a single episode that a celebrity didn't sign a waiver to say, 'It's OK to air this," Ashton said after being asked about paparazzi invasion and celebrity privacy.

Hot Ones / First We Feast

In fact, Ashton revealed that he'd often show celebs the final product in order to get their permission and air what had been filmed.

MTV

He said: "There were many cases where I was like, 'Listen, I'll show you the final cut product — if you don't like it, if you don't think it's funny, we just won't air it.'"

When Hot Ones host Sean Evans asked what would happen if a celebrity started to rumble the prank, Ashton revealed the two tricks he'd use to keep the whole thing alive.

Hot Ones / First We Feast

The first was to fall back on the initial plan and then insert somebody else into the scenario so the celeb wouldn't guess that something was off.

MTV

Ashton said: "If a mark caught on to what we were doing, we would hit the eject button and then keep the bit up and try to bring somebody else into the scenario so we didn't lose the money."

The second route was to just keep the prank going for as long as possible so the mark would begin to think that it would be impossible for the scenario to be fake.

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"We'd keep it going on for so long that they'd be like, 'OK, there's no way I'm being Punk'd' and then you're right back on," Ashton revealed.

He added: "A lot of times, somebody would be like, 'I'm being Punk'd right now, Ashton come out, I'm being Punk'd' and I would just be like, 'OK everybody back off and chill.'"

However, things couldn't go exactly to plan all the time and if the prank failed, it meant the show had spent a ton of money on nothing. The biggest loss in a single episode? $300,000...

Hot Ones / First We Feast

"I can't remember exactly, but I wanna say that there was a special effect that was supposed to go off," Ashton recalled. "We couldn't get it to trigger, and there was no way to do it. So we had to just pull [the plug]."

Hot Ones / First We Feast

You can watch Ashton's full interview on Hot Ones here.

Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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