Travis Kelce Discusses Taylor Swift's 'Punk'd' Prank

NFL star explores memorable TV moments on his podcast.

by Nouman Rasool
Travis Kelce Discusses Taylor Swift's 'Punk'd' Prank
© Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In a recent episode of the podcast "New Heights," hosted by NFL stars Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce, guest Andrew Santino reminisced about an unforgettable experience from his time on the MTV show "Punk'd." During the chat, Santino shared about the 2012 prank the team pulled on pop star Taylor Swift, an episode that still keeps fans and celebrities chuckling.

The plot was cooked up at a taping of the show hosted by Justin Bieber where the pop singer introduced Swift to blowing up what she thought were fireworks brought in from overseas. Santino and Bieber conned Swift into joining them at a Malibu beach house to see Bieber's new recording studio.

The gag ended with Swift unknowingly lighting off a cascade of fireworks, wired to appear as though a nearby boat carrying a wedding party had an accident and burst into flames. Describing the elaborate setup, Santino said, "We had a button setup that Taylor would accidentally activate, leading her to believe she had sparked a fire." The result was chaos: a boat was supposed to have caught fire, with a wedding party on board, and a distraught wedding party blaming Swift for ruining their special day.

"I was the groom," Santino added, recounting how they managed to convince Swift she had caused a major calamity.

Punk'd Revisited

All of this, of course, has brought this episode of "Punk'd" back into recent discussions of popular culture, a sure sign of that unique blend of humor and shock that the show was always known for.

Though the prank received some backlashing from viewers asserting that it was overly harsh, Santino contended that it was all in fun and kept pointing out the staged nature of the television show. The Kelce brothers and Santino laughed it off, with Travis Kelce even being quoted as saying, "I gotta ask Taylor about that one." What made the conversation interesting was not just the revelation about the hidden world of celebrity pranks but also the lighter and playful dynamic that commonly exists among celebrities.

This nostalgic look-back to the most controversy ever made by "Punk'd" is one of those very few reminders of how deep the show's cultural impact is, and how this style helped shape celebrity media. Now that the clip is back in the limelight, it is entertaining an entire new generation of viewers—those who had not really received it well way back when.

Travis Kelce Taylor Swift