MTV needed to give you more reasons to laugh. They have a new show, Jerks with Cameras, in which a group of comedians terrorize the streets with funny pranks. Don’t worry—it’s all in very good fun. The show airs Thursdays at 10:30pm on MTV, and we prepped for the second episode by talking with host Tone Bell. Watch the clip and learn more!
OK!: What’s the format of the show?
Tone Bell: It’s a clip show with pranks, so whereas Punk’d was one celebrity being set up the entire time, we set up in a studio and toss to what could be a Tosh clip or a Ridiculousness clip, but all non celebrities. I never see the clips before we run them in the studio, I’m completely blind like if you’re sitting on your couch or in the live studio audience.
OK!: Who are the pranksters?
TB: We have a couple of sketch comics, a couple of stand-up comics, and some people who have done hidden camera before, and it makes for a nice family because everyone has a different skill set. Sometimes it’s solo pranks, sometimes it’s groups. They gel well together.
OK!: What is the type of comedy? Is it mean-spirited?
TB: The pranks are reactionary. Some could be mean, but when people find out it’s a prank, everyone smiles afterwards. If a dude just startled you on the street or accused you of something, you’d be like, Screw you! But it’s like, Okay. I get it now. Then there’s glee and joy.
OK!: Can you share one of your favorite pranks from the show?
TB: One of my favorites is the construction worker, which is in the first episode. They were on Hollywood Boulevard and a couple of the guys were wearing construction vests, and someone was being hoisted down, and as people walk by, they’d go, Whoa whoa whoa whoa! And people would freak out, like someone’s about to fall. People immediately either touch the ground, or run. You think, what would I do? As a young black dude, I’m gonna run.
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OK!: Are you a prankster?
TB: In high school and college, but nothing extensive. As the host, I’m kind of the mediator of this whole thing. I like to watch how far they’ll go. The seat I’m sitting in, it’s great. I can’t believe how far some people reacted.
OK!: What makes a prank work?
TB: A straight face. I think that’s why they won’t let me do pranks. When something’s going too good, I’ll smile. They have to keep a straight face, and people are getting riled up, and they don’t stop until they get the reaction they want. I could never!
OK!: Your title on your website is “your girlfriend’s favorite comedian.” I’ve gotta ask about that.
TB: [laughs] I started my career in Dallas, and a couple of the guys I used to travel with, and everybody pulls a certain fan base. My demo when I play clubs is girls and old couples. I don’t know why. In 2009, I was in south Texas doing a show and after this girl was flirting with me. We have a few drinks, we start making out, and her boyfriend walks up. Who was also the booker of the show! And the dude’s like, Why are you with my girl?! It was very awkward. And so my buddy was like, Your everyone’s girlfriend’s favorite comedian. And that became a running joke in Dallas. I’m not promoting myself as a girlfriend stealer.
Do you like prank shows? Have you caught Jerks with Cameras yet? Who’s your favorite comedian? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.