Howard Stern fan Captain Janks has apparently struck again. A prankster pretending to be a rep for the San Francisco Police Department called CNN with supposed information about this morning’s 6.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked northern California. But instead, the caller “revealed” that the true cause of the quake was Stern’s butt crack.
The segment, which aired at around 6 a.m. PT, began innocently enough. The CNN host introduced “Adam Sure” from the San Francisco police and asked him about any reports of damages or injuries from the earthquake.
“Yes, because of the early morning, most people were home when it occurred,” the prankster said of the San Francisco earthquake. “And what we believe is that this was a rumbling from Howard Stern’s butt crack.”
The Howard Stern prankster then apparently hung up, leaving the host to do damage control.
“Obviously, that is not who we expected it was to be,” the CNN host explained about the Howard Stern prank-caller. “We apologize for that so early in the morning. But I do want to keep on this, because the fact of the matter is, this is a serious situation. So, we don’t need any jokes going on right now.”
Watch CNN get fooled by a Howard Stern prank caller during its coverage of the San Francisco earthquake.
The real identity of this latest prank caller has not been confirmed. But Howard Stern fan Captain Janks is known for pulling similar stunts on news programs. Just last month, he famously fooled MSNBC’s Krystal Ball by pretending to be a witness of the downed Malaysian Airlines flight in Ukraine.
“Well, I was looking out the window, and I saw a projectile flying through the sky,” Janks said. “And it would appear that the plane was shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s a–.”
Watch Captain Janks prank MSNBC below.
Janks, whose real name is Tom Cipriano, has prank-called news stations for 25 years. He was inspired by Howard Stern, who would often tape Janks’ pranks and play them on the air of his syndicated radio show.
Captain Janks’ notoriety has made his voice recognizable, leading some call screeners to hang up on him before he hits the air. But he has gotten around this by pretending the station contacted him first or by having a friend talk to the screener. He even has a device that will temporarily change his phone number so he can’t be caught by caller IDs. CNN has been a frequent target of Cipriano’s in the past, so it would not be shocking if this San Francisco earthquake prank was another one of his jokes. Indeed, a YouTube channel called “Tom Cipriano” has posted audio of this latest Howard Stern prank alongside other clips of confirmed Captain Janks jokes.
“This is all about fun,” Captain Janks said of his antics. “I know I should be embarrassed about making prank phone calls, especially at my age. But for me, even now, I’m having a good time. I’m only feeding into what [news stations] want to hear.”