Ashton Kutcher has made a career out of playing practical jokes.
“A lot of times people look at me and don’t know if I’m serious or I’m joking. I’ve been known to put some saran wrap on some toilets from time to time,” he told The Hatchet. But only one man has ever successfully pulled a practical joke on him – presidential hopeful John Edwards.
Kutcher accompanied Edwards along the campaign trail in 2004, and one sunny day, upon entering the airplane, the Secret Service stopped and searched Kutcher. They informed him that there was a bomb in his bag and they were going to have to blow it up and bring him in for questioning. The joke worked and the young actor/producer/director was duped.
“But it doesn’t even count,” Kutcher said. “It was the real Secret Service. People are constantly pulling things like this on me.” He admits that, “if you are willing to dish it out you’ve got to be willing to take it.”
Kutcher is continuing to dish it out in a new show – “The REAL Wedding Crashers,” and boy is it a mess. “Punk’d” was a guilty pleasure for many? – who didn’t like watching Justin Timberlake cry? But “The REAL Wedding Crashers” is a total bust. It was obviously inspired by the movie we all loved – New Line pitched it to Kutcher – but it’s nothing like it. Not only is the program incredibly boring; it’s offensive. No, it isn’t racist; it’s just abrasively terrible. It’s so bad that you will wish you could have your hour back – an hour that could have been spent on GMail chat, that reading you’re behind on, or banging your head against a concrete wall (any one of those would be a better option). It’s so bad that you will wish for Ashton to come out and yell “Yo, bro! You’ve been punk’d!” It’s so bad that you won’t want to go to another wedding, ever again.
“The REAL Wedding Crashers” consists of an improv troop that works with a bride and groom to play a few pranks on their wedding guests. Each actor plays a jokester, taking on a particular character- a priest that answers his cell phone during vows, a cop who plans to arrest the best man, and a waiter who eats off the serving plates. Improv can be great-everyone loves to laugh but these actors are everything you hate about it: no timing, no good lines, awkward, hard to follow and, uh oh, not even close to funny.
There is an obnoxious Bob Saget inspired narration by one of the actors that provides agonizingly silly guiding comments throughout the episode, but if no one is telling you what’s going on, you won’t get it. As if they knew no one would follow, before each stunt the game plan is explained loud and clear. Scripted improv- it’s what our man Ashton considers “creative” and what executive producer Jason Goldberg calls a “unique blend of five individuals. A true hybrid,” and “a great experiment.” Spare us.
So what are these Tuesday open-mic night improv failures doing on the show? Ashton Kutcher thinks they’re funny, and that’s good enough for the backers. Kutcher explained his hope to provide “another venue for young comedians to come and get their feet on the ground.” “This show is another opportunity for us to do that as well,” he says. “Hopefully we can launch these actors.” And don’t hold your breath for Ashton to crash the party- he decided to stay out. “This show had it’s own independent flare and that it stands on it’s own two legs, so I didn’t need to be there,” he says. But it’s important to give them some credit because they know not what they do. They probably get a few laughs from their friends off-screen. Perhaps they’re the funny guys at the party who take dares to be well-liked. Maybe one of them does a great Jay Leno impersonation- the kind of thing that elicits a few chuckles and sometimes gets girls’ attention. Unfortunately, they don’t belong on TV.
With bad acting and junk for a concept, the show makes a wedding into an abomination, but Ashton isn’t too worried. “With the state of marriage right now, I have to question how sacred it really is,” he says. “I’ve never seen religion as a serious thing. I would laugh in church and my mom would get mad and me. I never understood why. Jesus wouldn’t laugh?” No, no He wouldn’t- at least not at this show.
The REAL Wedding Crashing begins April 23. Please do not support this atrocity.