How YouTube Stars 'Natural Born Pranksters' Turned Practical Jokes Into a Profitable Business

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 9:10 PM

Atwood once pretended to blow up his own baby on top of an ATV though he said he knows where to draw the line. “[Roady] and I know the ethical line,” Atwood told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “[Zorovetskiy] steps over the line.” Zorovetskiy, who's originally from Russia, famously went streaking during the two thousand fourteen World Cup final.

How YouTube Stars 'Natural Born Pranksters' Turned Practical Jokes Into a Profitable Business

Roman Atwood, Dennis Roady and Vitaly Zorovetskiy are the stars behind the YouTube channel "Natural Born Pranksters."

The three men have made a living performing outrageous pranks and stunts that range from chasing people with a chainsaw to scaring others with a fake, rubber snake.

Atwood once pretended to blow up his own baby on top of an ATV though he said he knows where to draw the line.

“[Roady] and I know the ethical line,” Atwood told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “[Zorovetskiy] steps over the line.”

Zorovetskiy, who's originally from Russia, famously went streaking during the two thousand fourteen World Cup final.

“I got my cleats on, my sock, and I just went for it,” Zorovetskiy told “Nightline.” “The best adrenaline I’ve ever had. I'd tingles, all the flashing lights... I went to jail for an hr in Brazil, paid $100 bail and that was that.”

But pushing the limit on pranks has paid off large for the three men. They each have multiple YouTube channels with over twenty-nine million subscribers between them and have racked up nearly four billion total video views. Atwood even landed on Forbes’ list of top earning YouTube stars in two thousand-fifteenth.

Roady said he recalls watching the MTV show “Jackass” and wanting to do something similar one day.

“I just recollect saying, ‘I'm going to do this one day. I know I can do something just love this in that same arena,’” Roady said.

The pranksters are presently taking their act to the large screen, and their first film, “Natural Born Pranksters,” premieres in theaters today -- April Fools' Day.

The process of planning the pranks for the film was “brutal,” Atwood said.

“We wrote for mo in rooms... I think we ended with four hundred pranks,” said Atwood. “And the film has about thirty-two pranks.”

“You have to go through the valid process. [Lawyers] say, ‘No,’ a lot,” Roady said.

“Legal was really tough to obtain through it. It wasn't love YouTube where we just go out and do our thing, but with the movie, it'd so many legalities and approvals and budgets,” added Atwood.

Some of the pranks that did create it into the film are bound to lift eyebrows, including one joke where a husband is surprised when his pregnant wife gives birth to an African-American baby because he's not African-American. The wife, who's also not African-American, was in on the prank.

“That was awesome,” Roady said. “It’s so different to discover that specific accomplice, someone that’s about to have their baby and also willing to [set their husband up].”

And sometimes the pranks have even gotten Atwood, Roady and Zorovetskiy into physical danger.

“We were in Finland filming a prank, and the joke was … we’re kidnapping a woman in front of people and we keep her in the trunk,” Roady recalled. “My nose got cracked. Some guy was trying to fight us to obtain into the trunk, which was great. It’s good.”

“It’s intense. That’s the first time I ever had police grab their guns,” Zorovetskiy added.

But there is one joke Zorovetskiy said he wouldn’t pull.

“I was going to leap to the White House wall … but I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it because I’m not [an American] citizen, and I know I'd obtain deported immediately,” Zorovetskiy said.

“But when I obtain my [citizenship] … White House,” he noted.

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