Pulling off a practical joke is not easy, but the cast members of Walk the Prank are experts at the art of taking their “targets” by surprise. This fall, NFL stars will get in on the action. A handful of players, including L.A. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, will appear on Walk the Prank: NFL Edition, which premiers Saturday, September 2, at 11 a.m. ET on Disney XD. (The show NFL LOL! premiers right after.) We asked Gordon, Ajayi, and the show’s cast members to tell us about the best jokes they’ve played—and what happened when someone pulled pranks on them.
What has been the best joke or prank someone pulled on you?
Melvin Gordon: When I was younger, someone put makeup on my face and painted my fingernails when I was asleep.
Jay Ajayi: I’m not really a prankster, so the funniest prank I’ve played on someone is simply hiding their phone.
Jillian Shea Spaeder: On set for my birthday, the cast brought a cardboard cake. Then they brought out a real cake, and I was doubly surprised when they smashed it all over my face!
Brandon Severs: I was getting groceries out of the car and as I walked in, my dad dumped a bucket of ice and freezing cold water on me.
Bryce Gheisar: My parents played a prank on me a few years back that I will never forget. I had always wanted to go to Disney World, and had begged my parents for years. My parents sat my brother down one year and announced that we were going on a special family trip. I was so excited until they told us we were going skiing. I was really upset about that because at that time I hated the cold and I didn’t know how to ski. They had us pack all of this ski gear to get ready for this trip. On the morning of the trip, they told us we were leaving all the ski gear because we were actually going to Disney World. I was in shock. It was the worst and best prank ever!
What was the best practical joke you have ever played?
MG: The best practical joke I ever pulled off is when I played a workout instructor for Disney!
JA: To be honest, no one has really ever pulled a prank on me.
JSS: One time in the middle of the summer, we decorated my grandparents’ house for Christmas while they were on vacation. They came home to find lights and decorations outside, and inside we had their fake tree up and completely decorated. It was hilarious!
Who is the funniest person in your life, and what makes him or her fun to be around?
MG: My cousin Joe Keels. He's just one of those people who is naturally witty and can make jokes out of thin air.
JA: I’d have to say my brother because he has a great sense of humor.
What happened to make you laugh the hardest you’ve ever laughed in your life?
MG: A great incident is when I was younger and my pants fell down in the lunchroom in front of everyone in middle school. Some people would have been embarrassed, but I thought it was the funniest thing and just laughed it off.
Describe a prank that didn’t go as planned and what happened.
Tobie Windham: The gorilla-in-the-school prank was one we could not get to work for the first two or three times. We figured out that we were allowing too much time for the target to think. Pranks are best when you have a series of events happen back-to-back; it gives the brain less time to process. So we fixed it by using two gorillas and misdirection. We told the target one gorilla was loose and it was in the hallway. While they were looking at the front door, we sent the other gorilla through the back door. It was perfect. The target ran out the front door into the arms of the first gorilla, who was actually a stuntman in a gorilla suit.
Cody Veith: When we scare a target and finish filming a prank, we usually expect the target to laugh at the end once they realize it's a prank. This one guy didn't laugh; he just ran for two blocks. We had to chase him to get an interview!
JSS: We had a prank where I was supposed to scare a babysitter by running into the house with a (fake) skunk and “accidentally” spray her with skunk stink (water). For one target, though, I couldn't get the sprayer to work! The babysitter was still scared, so it worked out O.K.
Photographs by (from top): Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images (Gordon); Disney XD/Jaimie Trueblood (Walk the Prank cast)