“Crank Yankers” is a television show that features crank calls made by show regulars and celebrity guests. The calls are re-enacted using puppets representing various characters. The show premiered in 2002 on Comedy Central before airing on MTV2 between Feb. 9, 2007, and March 30, 2007. “Crank Yankers” developed a cult following over the years and has since been revived by Comedy Central.
In this article, we discuss some of the key characters of the TV show and provide updates regarding its current status.
Who Are the Main Characters of “Crank Yankers”?
The show features a wide range of characters voiced by comedians and actors. Here’s an overview of the main characters of “Crank Yankers.”
Voiced by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, the character is a caricature of NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone. Karl refers to himself in the third person and often makes prank calls that involve requesting odd items from the prank victim (for example, Beanie Babies).
This character is voiced by stand-up comedian, writer, and actress Wanda Sykes. Gladys is a loud and energetic woman with a knack for making embarrassing announcements. Her prank calls are usually scatological or sexual in nature.
Voiced by comedy writer Tony Barbieri, Niles is the eccentric British Earl of Yankerville. He’s an immensely wealthy middle-aged man who frequently displays his perverted intentions during phone calls. His go-to prank is inquiring about a service’s price and then asking the service provider to “double it.” Niles has a deformed twin brother named Giles Standish.
Special Ed is a mentally challenged man who frustrates the prank victim by constantly repeating himself and making random comments. Special Ed has a cousin named Bobby Fletcher, an underachieving older man who’s equally adept at frustrating his victims. Veteran comedian Jim Florentine voices both characters.
Voiced by comedian and radio personality Adam Carolla, Dick is an unhinged Vietnam war veteran with an eclectic range of interests that include carpentry, martial arts, guns, and spying on people in their beds or bathrooms. Dick’s family consists of a morbidly obese wife, an 8-year-old son, and conjoined twin daughters.
Elmer is one of the many characters voiced by Jimmy Kimmel. The character is based on Jimmy’s real-life grandfather and is prone to going on long-winded tangents and incoherent rants. He’s married to Helen (voiced by Susie Essman), a woman who often propositions younger men.
Voiced by actor and comedian Tracy Morgan, Spoonie Luv is a hip-hop-inspired character who likes to make suggestive and lewd comments. He often introduces himself as “Spoonie Luv From Up Above.”
Voiced by actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, Hadassah is a Jewish college student who seems to have a loose grasp on reality. She tends to ask intrusive questions and make veiled passive-aggressive insults to unsuspecting victims.
This is another character voiced by Jimmy Kimmel. Terrence is Elmer Higgins’ grandson, an effeminate redhead who pretends to represent celebrities like Tom Cruise, Bill Cosby, Jared Fogle, J.K. Rowling, Mr. T, and the Olsen twins. His pranks involve calling various businesses and trying to book appearances on behalf of the celebrities above.
Voiced by actor Bob Einstein, Tony is a loud-mouthed politician whose pranks consist of calling random people and pandering for votes as “district selectman.”
Voiced by actress Lisa Arch, Cammie is a condescending 23-year-old exotic dancer. She has a smug personality and can often be seen making comments with sexual connotations.
Boomer and the Nudge:
Voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Patton Oswalt, respectively, Boomer and the Nudge are two annoying radio disc jockeys who challenge prank victims to on-air dares.
Voiced by Pete Dzoghi, Junkyard Willie is imported from the “Touch-Tone Terrorists,” where he is a regular character. He’s an obstructionist with a gravelly voice. He appeared in a couple of sketches as the supervisor at Yankerville Package Service.
Voiced by comedian Dane Cook, Sav is an enthusiastic game show host. As part of his show “The Phone Zone,” he asks prank victims random trivia questions for prizes and makes heavy use of sound effects.
Voiced by actor David Alan Grier, Danny is a man with a weak stomach and an inability to keep his nerves under control. He gets disgusted fairly easily and often ends up vomiting over the phone.
Voiced by actor and comedian Fred Armisen, Chip is a Mexican immigrant who seems to always be in the process of building a house. He has poor command of the English language, and his prank calls involve calling newspaper offices and making bizarre requests.
Katie is voiced by Jimmy Kimmel’s daughter Katie. She has made several appearances on the show since 2003.
In addition to the main Yankerville’s puppet citizens, the show features guest characters voiced by celebrities such as Will Forte, Tiffany Haddish, Will Forte, Chelsea Peretti, Dave Chappelle, Natasha Leggero, Kevin Nealon, Aubrey Plaza, and Kathy Griffin.
Where Can You Watch “Crank Yankers”?
The show airs on Wednesday night on Comedy Central. The seventh season premiered with two new episodes airing on July 7, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. ET. The show is available on-demand on several streaming platforms like Fubo TV, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and VUDU.
Who Is the Creator of “Crank Yankers”?
“Crank Yankers” was created by four men.
- Adam Carolla: Adam Carolla is an American radio personality, comedian, actor, and podcaster. A pioneer of podcasting, his talk show “The Adam Carolla Show” set the record for most downloads in 2011. Besides his comedy and broadcasting work, Adam Carolla also hosts a political segment on Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
- Jimmy Kimmel: Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian and television host best known for hosting the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” late-night talk show on ABC. He has hosted several award shows and produced shows like “Sports Show with Norm Macdonald” and “The Andy Milonakis Show.”
- Daniel Kellison: Daniel Kellison is a television/film producer and the founder of Jackhole Productions, an entertainment group he established with Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel. His production credits include “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” and “The Man Show.”
- Jonathan Kimmel: Jonathan Kimmel is the younger brother of Jimmy Kimmel and is a television and film director, producer, writer, and actor. He has won multiple awards for his work as a writer on the hit show “South Park.” He’s currently the executive producer and showrunner of “Crank Yankers.”
When Did “Crank Yankers” Come Out?
“Crank Yankers” premiered on June 2, 2002, on Comedy Central. It ran on the network for three seasons until March 2005. The show briefly returned in 2007 on MTV2 for an eight-episode season.
Are They Still Making “Crank Yankers”?
The show returned to the air in 2019 and is currently in its seventh season. The revived version of the show maintains the original concept of “Crank Yankers” and adds newer elements, such as pranks on social media and other platforms. Jonathan Kimmel serves as executive producer and showrunner.
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