CNN Gets Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The scene was more reminiscent of a Hollywood production than an elaborate prank by the Punk'd-master himself.
Ashton Kutcher -- with wife, Demi Moore, in tow -- dropped by Atlanta's CNN Center to fulfill his promise to "ding-dong ditch" founder Ted Turner's house after winning last month's race to attract 1 million followers on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Kutcher reached the goal about 30 minutes before CNN passed the mark.
He had challenged CNN to the Twitter race, saying he would donate 10,000 mosquito bed nets to charity for World Malaria Day in late April if he beat CNN, and 1,000 if he lost. CNN agreed to do the same.
"You know, CNN lost. That's what happened," Kutcher told a tag-along crowd of more than 100 fans whom he calls "tweeps." "I'm just fulfilling a promise I made ... that I'd do this thing and I'm doing it."
But what's a TV, movie and Internet star to do when Turner, a man known for his own sense of flair and self-promotion, isn't readily available?
"We have to improvise a little," Kutcher acknowledged. "Ted doesn't really have an accessible home and Ted doesn't really have an accessible doorbell."
Kutcher picked the next best thing, a Ted's Montana Grill restaurant, named after the media mogul, a block away from the CNN Center.
"Don't be shy; get involved," Kutcher crowed from the top of a U-Haul van filled with Hostess Ding Dongs.
"There are 800 boxes of Ding Dongs. There are approximately 9,600 Ding Dongs here," said the former star of MTV's "Punk'd" show. "We have to deliver these to Ted."
With the precision of a Hollywood director, Kutcher barked into his two-way radio as his light and sound crews followed with the Twitter entourage hot on their heels and an Internet audience watching on Ustream.
The initial prank was rather tame. The group neatly stacked hundreds of boxes of Ding Dongs in front of the restaurant, then each person banged a bronze bell out front. But Kutcher wasn't done yet.
"We came out because we won the war," Kutcher said as the crowd regrouped. "We came out because we wanted to see something spectacular. People are watching live on Ustream right now, because they wanted to see something special, right?"
"Lights," Kutcher called into his two-way.
"Lights," the radio echoed back. "Lights go!"
Right on cue, floodlights focused on the CNN Center and Kutcher's crew unfurled a banner with his Twitter name -- aplusk -- over the CNN logo.
CNN, Punk'd again.