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B.J. Novak Says Usher Was 'Furious' After Punk'd Prank

Novak got his start posing in real-life situations with celebrities on the hidden-camera prank show.
  • Just days after Punk'd co-creator and host Ashton Kutcher revealed that he has no interest in rebooting the hidden-camera celebrity prank show due to the way it impacted his real-life friendships, The Office's B.J. Novak disclosed that he also experienced negative effects of pranking famous folks on the show, particularly R&B star Usher.

    During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Novak said working with Kutcher on Punk'd was his first on-camera job. He would pose in what seemed like real-life situations with celebrities, only to play practical jokes on them. As grateful as Novak was for the opportunity, he also revealed that celebrities would often get "terribly mad" at him for the pranks.

    "I'm meeting all these celebrities for the first time, right? It's thrilling for me. I'm meeting Missy Elliott. I'm meeting Usher," Novak told Colbert. "It's the worst day of their life."

    He recalled getting to meet Usher while playing a store owner on Melrose where the singer was shopping with his brother. The prank, which Usher's brother was in on, was that his brother would be accused of shoplifting."The only way I would let the brother go is if [Usher] recorded a rap jingle for my store," Novak said. "Which I rapped for him."

    "He was like, 'First of all, I'm not a rapper. Second of all, why does it refer to ice?' And I'm like, 'Well, we wanted Vanilla Ice.'" Novak explained that Usher was "furious" until Kutcher came out to reveal that he was actually being Punk'd.

    "[Kutcher]'s like, 'Bro!' And like, [gives Usher] a huge hug. And I'm like," Novak said, opening up his arms in a wide hug gesture. "And he's like, 'No, no, no, no.' Like, your first impression of someone sticks, you know. So I have not run into Usher since."

    "I don't think he'll be in my next movie," Novak quipped.

    Punk'd, which ran for nine seasons on MTV from 2003 to 2015, pranked countless celebrities. While the show was on the air, no one was immune to Kutcher's antics, including Halle Berry, Serena Williams, Beyoncé, Hugh Jackman, Taylor Swift, and many more.

    Although Punk'd is not currently streaming, it is available for purchase on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video and there are clips from the show on the MTV Vault YouTube channel.

    The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights on CBS at 11:35 PM ET.

    Kirstie Renae is a writer, blogger, and Austin-based actress with a penchant for binge-watching TV with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter @KirstieRenae.

    TOPICS: B.J. Novak, CBS, MTV, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Office (US), Punk'd, Ashton Kutcher, Usher, Late Night