A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series features puppets acting out prank phone calls that were previously recorded by comedians like Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, and Dane Cook, who all have lots of appeal for teens. While almost every kid has made one of these usually harmless (if annoying) calls at some point, they seem more offensive when they're acted out on screen -- it's disturbing hearing innocent people being made fun of in a passive-aggressive way. There's some iffy language, too, though the worst is bleeped.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In CRANK YANKERS, comedians like Adam Carolla, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, and Dane Cook lend their voices to prank-call-making puppets. The comedians make the calls, their voices are recorded, and later puppets act them out for the show. Each episode features several segments that range from the absurd (a woman who says she has a penis-like appendage tries to explain her unique anatomy while making a bikini wax appointment) to the silly (a shopper reports her lost juice to the security office at a local mall). Some of the calls have a fair share of sexual innuendo, as when a harpist who is called upon to join a hip-hop tour says she has to end the call to get some wood from the carpenter. The hip-hop artist to whom she had been speaking then giggles and says, "Yeah, go get some carpenter wood."
Is it any good?
Crank Yankers targets the same audience as Jackass and Beavis and Butt-head: goofy guys who get off on inane pranks. Save for a few bleeped-out curse words, there's nothing here that most kids haven't already done ... although that doesn't mean that watching won't inspire them to do more.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about practical jokes. How does it feel to be on the receiving end of a prank? Is it OK to get a laugh at someone else's expense? What's the difference between laughing at someone and laughing with them? Which is more respectful? Do you think the comedians participating in the show ever feel bad about the people they trick?