Thanks to technology: Bloopers & epic fails aplenty in MTV’s Bugging Out

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Someone, most likely a prankster, said that as long as there are hidden cameras, prank shows would live on. And these prank shows, whether televiewers admit it or not, are a top-rating source of guilty pleasure (unless, of course, the joke’s on you). 

And with MTV’s tradition of prank shows like Punk’d and Pranked, it’s only just logical that the newest yet comes from the channel.

Bugging Out airs across all international channels of MTV every Wednesday at 12 midnight.

Hosted by YouTube personality and illusionist Rob Anderson with host and stand-up comedian Traci Stumpf, the 22-episode reality show gets help from technology in bringing on the laughs.

The STAR had an e-mail interview with Rob and Traci where they talked about how this particular subgenre of TV shows is changing in this day and age of smart phones and digital whatnots.

How is it like working with each other on MTV’s Bugging Out?

Traci: Pure magic!

Rob: Traci is a super funny co-host; she’s always cracking jokes and keeps us laughing on and off set.

How did you end up pursuing a career in entertainment? Have you always imagined doing this job?

Traci: Well, I have always loved entertaining people and making them laugh. I was a little lost in my life when I was about 20 years old, and one of my best friends Alicia introduced me to a hosting coach who suggested I start doing stand-up comedy in addition to hosting/presenting, and I fell in love with both. It hasn’t been the easiest road but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I just love it!

Rob: I dreamed about this for years while working an office job back in my hometown of Baltimore. I was doing small magic shows on the side and making YouTube videos. Then, I realized one day that I had to go off to Las Vegas and pursue my dream. So I saved my money, quit my job, sold all my stuff and moved to Las Vegas. Best decision I’ve ever made.

For Rob, how was the transition from the web to television like?

Rob: It was like doing what I’ve already done online, but on a larger scale. Aside from YouTube, I’ve been acting in TV commercials and appearing on a few shows here and there, but Bugging Out is the first time I’ve hosted an entire series. I feel like everything I’ve done before was my training ground for what I’m doing now, and I’m so excited to have reached this level!

The show is described as a prank show series with a twist. What’s the twist that makes it different from all other prank shows?

Traci: We have a lot of twists, but the main difference is that we use technology to prank people. Technology is something that we use in our day-to-day lives and we’ve all grown so accustomed to it so the minute it goes wrong, things get hilarious!

Rob: The twist is that we are using technology in hilarious ways that it’s never been used before, so we can make it backfire on people and prank them. Everyone relies so heavily on tech gadgets these days, and we thought it would be hilarious to base a show around pranking people with them.

And what is the most challenging/fun thing about doing this show?

Traci: There’s never a dull moment! From talking dogs, to flying drones to a live studio audience, all fun — all the time.

Rob: The challenging part is actually finding the right people to prank. You want that hilarious reaction that everyone will laugh at and remember, and sometimes it takes days of filming one prank to get it. The most fun thing is that it’s a show on MTV! I get to go to work and use my personality to make people laugh, and to me there’s nothing more fun than that.

Why do you think Bugging Out will also click with audiences in Asia?

Traci: This show is funny no matter what, and I’m so excited for you guys to watch it.

Rob: Bugging Out will connect with Asian audiences because we know how much you love your technology. That’s not exclusive to just Asia, either. Everyone around the world who has a TV and is able to watch the show will relate to how technology is attached to their lives. When they see that same technology backfiring on other people in hilarious ways, I guarantee you’ll be hooked and will want to tune in week after week to see what crazy stuff we’re going to do next.

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