Original Prankster

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"Original Prankster"
Single by The Offspring
from the album Conspiracy of One
B-side "Come Out Swinging"
Released October 24, 2000
Recorded 2000
Length 3:40
Label Columbia[2]
Writer(s) Dexter Holland
Producer(s) Brendan O'Brien
Certification Platinum (ARIA)[3]
Silver (BPI)[4]
The Offspring singles chronology
"She's Got Issues"
"Original Prankster"
"Want You Bad"

"Original Prankster" is a song by American rock band The Offspring, released from their sixth studio album Conspiracy of One and was released as the first single from the album in October 2000. The song features additional vocals by Redman[5] and is included on the band's 2005 Greatest Hits album.

Prior to the release of Conspiracy of One, The Offspring distributed the track for free as a downloadable MP3 file on their official website.[6] A competition was held, featuring a prize of $1 million (USD) which was awarded to a randomly selected participant who downloaded the song.

"Original Prankster" reached the top 10 in some countries including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, and went top 10 on US Rock radio. The name of the song was inspired by the Ice-T song "Original Gangster". Because of the similarities, the song is considered to be a spiritual follow-up to "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)".

Track listing[edit]

Version 1[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Original Prankster"   3:40
2. "Come Out Swinging"   2:47
3. "Staring at the Sun" (Live) 2:26

Australia CD Maxi[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Original Prankster"   3:40
2. "Dammit, I Changed Again"   2:49
3. "Come Out Swinging"   2:47
4. "Gone Away" (Live) 4:19
5. "Staring at the Sun" (Live) 2:26

Promo CD[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Original Prankster" (Album version) 3:40

Music video[edit]

The song follows the prankster, the subject of the song, through his life, pulling various pranks on his superiors, being motivated by Redman.[5] As a child, he slips his dog's feces into his father's sandwich. In his teen years, he uses a bunsen burner on a perverted science teacher. When sent to the principal's office, he sets up the principal to be photographed in a compromising position with two students. Throughout the video, the band is shown to be playing at their hometown Huntington Beach, California.

Finally, in the present, he switches off the whole city's power supply, though the band still manages to play in the dark and the crowd use flares to light the scene. As the song ends, the prankster is suddenly hit by a bolt of lightning and dissolves. It can be interpreted that when hit by the lightning he becomes the new Original Prankster.

DVD appearances[edit]

The music video appears also appears on the Complete Music Video Collection DVD (2005).


Chart (2000–01) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 5
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[8] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[9] 40
Canada Canadian Rock/Alternative chart (RPM) 5
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[10] 12
France (SNEP)[11] 34
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 46
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 24
Italy (FIMI)[14] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[15] 44
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[16] 34
Norway (VG-lista)[17] 7
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[19] 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 70
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[22] 7
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[23] 2


The single went platinum in Australia in 2001.[24] It was the third single by the Offspring to reach platinum after "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" and "Why Don't You Get a Job?." It was the largest selling single from Conspiracy of One.

Popular culture[edit]

References in the song include: Janet Reno; a line from the Adam Sandler comedy, The Waterboy ("You can do it!") which was originally quoted by Hungarian Gymnastics coach Béla Károlyi as one of his words shouted to Kerri Strug whilst she struggled with an injury in the Women's Vault of the 1996 Summer Olympics; David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, and his arson crimes; and Sigmund Freud. The Original Pranksters referred to in the title allude to the original members of the Merry Pranksters, who took a bus trip from California to New York in the 60s promoting what would eventually become "hippie" drug culture. The Offspring are from Huntington Beach, where many of these "Original Pranksters" resided. Ken Kesey, leader of the Pranksters, lived there for a considerable time.

The song is featured in the a scene in the 2001 comedy film The Animal starring Rob Schneider, whose voice is sampled in the song.[25]

It was also featured on an episode of The Cleveland Show entitled "American Prankster" and in the Daria season five episode "Fizz Ed".


The band[edit]

Other personnel[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Offspring, The – Original Prankster". Discogs. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Original Prankster". Rate Your Music. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001 Singles" Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  4. ^ "BPI Database - Statistics - Certified Awards - Search for Offspring" British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Redman". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ Menta, Robert (September 26, 2000). "Sony Forces The Offspring to Cancel MP3 Giveaway". MP3 Newswire. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Offspring – Original Prankster". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Offspring – Original Prankster" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Offspring – Original Prankster" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "The Offspring: Original Prankster" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Offspring – Original Prankster" (in French). Les classement single.
  12. ^ "Musicline.de – The Offspring Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ Search results for "The Offspring". IrishCharts.ie. Retrieved on February 11, 2015. Note: User must define search parameters as "The Offspring".
  14. ^ "Italiancharts.com – The Offspring – Original Prankster". Top Digital Download.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Offspring – Original Prankster" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  16. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Offspring – Original Prankster". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Offspring – Original Prankster". VG-lista.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Offspring – Original Prankster". Singles Top 60.
  19. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Offspring – Original Prankster". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Offspring: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  21. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Offspring.
  22. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for The Offspring.
  23. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for The Offspring.
  24. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-accreditations-singles-2001.htm
  25. ^ "Animal (2001) – Soundtracks". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]