During its heyday in the 2000s, Punk’d built a reputation by pranking Hollywood A-listers like Kim Kardashian using unfathomable scenarios. Most of the outrageous pranks paid off, with the stars at the center of them left mad, sad or utterly shocked. But not all the ventures were successful, as its been rumored that certain episodes were scrapped due to the target figuring things out. One person who didn’t fall for anything was Gabrielle Union, who was a target of the show on different occasions. And just recently, she and series alum Dax Shepard hilariously recalled the multiple failed attempts.
The major misses came to light when Gabrielle Union was a guest on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. As mentioned on the show, he host had interviewed the actress’ husband — former NBA star Dwayne Wade — in 2022, so they’re definitely familiar with each other. However, the former Parenthood cast member pointed out they’d met more than two decades earlier. Union couldn’t recall when or where she’d met him, leading Shepard to mention her unaired Punk’d episodes:
Upon the podcast host recalling his Punk’d days, the actress immediately recalled being on the popular hidden camera show. She even specifically remembered how many times she was on it, saying that the crew “tried twice” to get her. Dax Shepard further clarified that he was only part of one of the attempts, and it’s very specific:
Clearly, he just wanted to make sure his guest (and listeners) knew that he personally only failed once. From here, the Inspection star detailed the first failed trick the MTV show tried to play on her:
This first fake scenario actually triggered Gabrielle Union, as she called parking garages “the bane of her existence.” She brought up her anxiety associated with them and remembered where her car is parked. Dax Shepard corrected her by saying that those ventures happened before the prank reality series’ first season premiered. Shepard then shed light on the second time the team tried to get Union:
Anyone would be thrown off when seeing a huge satellite dish (associated with space exploration) in your yard. Union recalled pulling up to her home with the dish in her driveway, and it apparently didn’t take her long to sense what was really going on:
So the Cheaper by the Dozen star already came into the outrageous situation with a healthy amount of skepticism. It’s also interesting to hear that Jamie Foxx was involved, and it seems that little detail had even slipped Shepard’s mind:
After Union caught on and walked away from Shepard, he mentioned series creator Ashton Kutcher trying to persuade him to push the prank even more. But the podcast host recalled having to give Kutcher a reality check after Union’s skepticism kicked in:
So I’d say that the chief takeaway from both of these situations is that you simply can’t pull one over on Gabrielle Union. The star — who recently voiced a character in Disney’s Strange World — is just too astute. So if Ashton Kutcher’s proposed Punk’d reboot does ever get off the ground, don’t expect her to be one of the prankees.
The actress will return as a guest star on a different sequel series — The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder — later this year though, and you’ll be able to stream her episode using a Disney+ subscription. You can also watch classic episodes of Punk’d if you’re a Hulu subscription-holder. And don’t forget to look over our 2023 TV schedule for more small-screen premieres.